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Career and Education Opportunities for Equipment Engineering Technicians in Charleston, West Virginia

If you want to be an equipment engineering technician, the Charleston, West Virginia area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for equipment engineering technicians sees this job pool shrinking by about 2.2% over the next eight years. In general, equipment engineering technicians apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories.

A person working as an equipment engineering technician can expect to earn about $25 hourly or $53,930 per year on average in West Virginia and about $25 hourly or $53,240 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering Technologies, people working as equipment engineering technicians in West Virginia earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Engineering Technologies nationally. Equipment engineering technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: light technician, electrical engineer, and equipment specialist.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including five within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as an equipment engineering technician. Equipment engineering technicians usually hold some college courses, so it will take a short time to learn to be an equipment engineering technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Equipment Engineering Technician

In general, equipment engineering technicians apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. They also usually work under direction of engineering staff.

Equipment engineering technicians collaborate with electrical engineers and other personnel to pinpoint and solve developmental problems. Finally, equipment engineering technicians furnish technical assistance and resolution when electrical or engineering problems are encountered before and after construction.

Every day, equipment engineering technicians are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.

It is important for equipment engineering technicians to assemble and operate test apparatus to evaluate effectiveness of developmental parts or systems under simulated operating conditions, and record results. They are often called upon to assemble electrical and electronic systems and prototypes in line with engineering data and knowledge of electrical principles, using hand tools and measuring instruments. They also analyze and interpret test data to deal with design-related problems. They are sometimes expected to set up and maintain electrical control systems and solid state equipment. Somewhat less frequently, equipment engineering technicians are also expected to conduct inspections for quality control and assurance programs, reporting findings and recommendations.

Equipment engineering technicians sometimes are asked to ready project cost and work-time estimates. They also have to be able to ready contracts and initiate, review and direct modifications to contract specifications and plans throughout the construction process and evaluate engineering proposals, shop drawings and layout comments for sound electrical engineering practice and conformance with established safety and layout criteria, and recommend approval or disapproval. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish technical assistance and resolution when electrical or engineering problems are encountered before and after construction.

Like many other jobs, equipment engineering technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:

  • Architectural Drafter. Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.
  • CAD/CAM Specialist. Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.
  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Electronics Engineering Technician. Lay out, build, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, and systems, such as computer equipment, missile control instrumentation, electron tubes, and machine tool numerical controls, applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Industrial Engineering Technician. Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May study and record time, motion, and speed involved in performance of production, maintenance, and other worker operations for such purposes as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Equipment Engineering Technician Training

Fayette Institute of Technology - Oak Hill, WV

Fayette Institute of Technology, 300 West Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901. Fayette Institute of Technology is a small school located in Oak Hill, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 24 students. Fayette Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology.

Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology - Montgomery, WV

Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, 405 Fayette Pike, Montgomery, WV 25136. Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a small university located in Montgomery, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 743 students. Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology has 2 areas of study related to Equipment Engineering Technician. They are:

  • Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

West Virginia Junior College - Charleston, WV

West Virginia Junior College, 1000 Virginia St E, Charleston, WV 25301. West Virginia Junior College is a small college located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 206 students. West Virginia Junior College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Computer Technology/Computer Systems Technology which graduated zero and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Everest Institute-Cross Lanes - Cross Lanes, WV

Everest Institute-Cross Lanes, 5514 Big Tyler Rd, Cross Lanes, WV 25313. Everest Institute-Cross Lanes is a small school located in Cross Lanes, West Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 144 students and an admission rate of 72%. Everest Institute-Cross Lanes has an associate's degree program in Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-nine students in 2008.

West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV

West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Electrical, Electronic & Communications Engineering Technology/Technician.

CERTIFICATIONS

Calibration Technician: The Certified Calibration Technician tests, calibrates, maintains and repairs electrical, mechanical, electromechanical, analytical and electronic measuring, recording and indicating instruments and equipment for conformance to established standards.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality 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 Lighting Efficiency Professional: AEE's Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP) program is designed to provide recognition for professionals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field of lighting efficiency.

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

Consumer Electronics Service Technician: Consumer Electronics Service Technicians are expected to have knowledge and abilities to operate, install and service home.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Industrial Electronics Technician: A technician with two or more years of combined work and electronics training may apply for the Journeyman exam.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Student Electronics Technician (High School Level): Training electronics workers as entry level, apprenticed, installer personnel should include the following 19 Categories: Electrical Theory, Electronic Components, Soldering-Desoldering and Tools, Block Diagrams, Schematics-Wiring Diagrams, Cabling, Power Supplies, Test Equipment & Measurements, Safety Precautions, Mathematics and Formulas, Electronic Circuits: Series and Parallel, Amplifiers, Interfacing of Electronics Products, Digital Concepts and Circuitry, Computer Electronics, Computer Applications, Audio & Video Systems, Optical Electronics, Telecommunications Basics, and Technician Work Procedures.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

RF Line Sweeping: RF Line Sweeping, or FDR, Frequency Domain Reflectometry, certification by the Electronics Technicians Association, Internationa, has two assessments: The 16 category knowledge written multiple-choice examination, and the practical hands-on physical abilities and skills demonstration documented during a formal training course.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Associate Certified Electronics Technician: Knowledge areas include: Electrical Theory, Electronic Components, Soldering-Desoldering & Tools, Block Diagrams - Schematics - Wiring Diagrams, Cabling, Power Supplies, test Equipment & Measurements, Safety Precautions, Mathematics & Formulas, Radio Communication Technology, Electronic Circuits: Series & Parallel, Amplifiers, Interfacing of Electronics Products, Digital Concepts & Circuitry, Computer Electronics, Computer Applications, Audio & Video Systems, Optical Electronics, Telecommunications Basics, Technician Work Procedures.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician: NALMCO offers a home study certification program, the Certified Apprentice Lighting Technician (CALT), which is indispensable for both entry-level and midlevel lighting management personnel.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Certified Senior Lighting Technician: NALMCO offers a home study certification program, the Certified Senior Lighting Technician (CSLT) which is indispensable for both entry-level and midlevel lighting management personnel.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

Electron Microscopy Technologist: The Microscopy Society of America (MSA), the world's largest professional association of microscopists, provides the only certification of technologists in biological transmission electron microscopy available in the Americas.

For more information, see the Microscopy Society of America website.

Corrosion Technician: This certification is geared towards personnel with little experience but who possess some basic knowledge of corrosion and corrosion control, who are capable of performing routine, but well-defined work under the close direction of Specialist or Senior Technologist personnel.

For more information, see the NACE International website.

EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) Technician: iNARTE's EMC certification is applicable to professional engineers and technicians practicing in EMC fields to include bonding, grounding, shielding, EMI prediction, EMI analysis, conducted and radiated interference, lightning protection and more.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) Technician: ESD Control certification is appropriate for engineers and technicians whose training and experience have primarily focused on problems, engineering design and corrective measures associated with minimizing or eliminating electrostatic discharge.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

Junior Telecommunications Technician: Telecommunications certification is applicable to professionals involved in the science and practice of communications by electromagnetic means.

For more information, see the National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. website.

System Operator Certification: The System Operator Certification Program awards certification credentials to those individuals who demonstrate that they have attained sufficient knowledge relating to NERC reliability standards and the basic principles of bulk power system operations by passing one of four specialty examinations.

For more information, see the North American Electric Reliability Corporation website.

Broadband Distribution Specialist: Certifies proficiency in the subject matter related to the RF distribution of signals.

For more information, see the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers website.

Certified Manufacturing Technologist: This certification primarily benefits new manufacturing engineers and experienced manufacturers without other credentials.

For more information, see the Society of Manufacturing Engineers website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.