Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Energy Systems Engineers in Seattle, Washington

If you want to be an energy systems engineer, the Seattle, Washington area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 5,050 working energy systems engineers in Washington; this should grow by 14% to 5,750 working energy systems engineers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for energy systems engineers, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.7% over the next eight years. Energy systems engineers generally design, develop, and evaluate energy-related projects and programs to reduce energy costs or improve energy efficiency during the designing, building, or remodeling stages of construction.

Energy systems engineers earn approximately $44 per hour or $92,590 annually on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $42 hourly or $88,570 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Green Engineering, people working as energy systems engineers in Washington earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Green Engineering nationally. Energy systems engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: environmental solutions engineer, energy conservation engineer, and alternative energy engineer.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be an energy systems engineer, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. Given that the most common education level for energy systems engineers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become an energy systems engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Energy Systems Engineer

In general, energy systems engineers design, develop, and evaluate energy-related projects and programs to reduce energy costs or improve energy efficiency during the designing, building, or remodeling stages of construction. They also may specialize in electrical systems; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; green buildings; lighting; air quality; or energy procurement.

Energy systems engineers identify energy savings opportunities and make recommendations to attain more energy efficient operations. They also train personnel or clients on topics such as energy management. Equally important, energy systems engineers have to furnish consultation to clients or other engineers on topics such as climate control systems, energy modeling, data logging, energy management control systems, lighting or daylighting layout, sustainable layout, and energy auditing. They are often called upon to ready project reports and other program or technical documentation. They are expected to monitor and analyze energy consumption. Finally, energy systems engineers direct the work of contractors or staff in the implementation of energy management projects.

Every day, energy systems engineers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for energy systems engineers to conduct energy audits to review energy use or conservation measures. They are often called upon to perform energy modeling or retro-commissioning. They also conduct research or collect data on renewable or alternative energy systems or technologies such as solar thermal and photovoltaic energy. They are sometimes expected to oversee the development or development of energy conservation projects to insure acceptability of budgets and time lines, conformance to federal and state laws, or adherence to approved specifications. Somewhat less frequently, energy systems engineers are also expected to conduct research or collect data on renewable or alternative energy systems or technologies such as solar thermal and photovoltaic energy.

Energy systems engineers sometimes are asked to inspect or monitor energy systems including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), or daylighting systems to establish energy use or potential energy savings. and confer with construction or renovation clients and other engineers on topics such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental layout (LEED) or Green Buildings. And finally, they sometimes have to promote awareness or use of alternative and renewable energy sources.

Like many other jobs, energy systems engineers must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and have exceptional integrity.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Energy Systems Engineer Training

Seattle University - Seattle, WA

Seattle University, 900 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122-4340. Seattle University is a medium sized university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,560 students and an admission rate of 65%. Seattle University has a bachelor's degree program in Mechanical Engineering which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Mechanical Engineering which graduated eighty-five, thirty-five, and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Everett Community College - Everett, WA

Everett Community College, 2000 Tower Street, Everett, WA 98201. Everett Community College is a medium sized college located in Everett, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,765 students. Everett Community College has an associate's degree program in Mechanical Engineering which graduated two students in 2008.

Green River Community College - Auburn, WA

Green River Community College, 12401 SE 320th St, Auburn, WA 98092-3622. Green River Community College is a medium sized college located in Auburn, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,544 students. Green River Community College has an associate's degree program in Mechanical Engineering which graduated five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Forensic Claims Consultant : AACE International's Certified Forensic Claims Consultant (CFCC) certification program is designed to establish credentials to recognize your professional expertise.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified Energy Manager: Since its inception in 1981, the Certified Energy Manager (CEM®) credential has become widely accepted and used as a measure of professional accomplishment within the energy management field.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certified Energy Auditor: The Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) certification identifies professionals as having the required knowledge and experience needed to succeed in the growing field of energy auditing.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Protective Coatings Specialist: This certification is geared toward individuals who are experienced, knowledgeable and capable of performing work at an advanced level in both the theory and practice of corrosion prevention and control, and who are capable of performing work at an advanced level in the protective coatings field.

For more information, see the NACE International website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.