Career and Education Opportunities for Electrical Engineers in Charleston, West Virginia
For those living in the Charleston, West Virginia area, there are many career and education opportunities for electrical engineers. There are currently 400 working electrical engineers in West Virginia; this should grow by 3% to about 410 working electrical engineers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for electrical engineers are expected to grow by about 1.7%. In general, electrical engineers design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
Income for electrical engineers is about $39 per hour or $81,170 yearly on average in West Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $39 per hour or $82,160 per year. Incomes for electrical engineers are better than in the overall category of Engineering in West Virginia, and not quite as good as the overall Engineering category nationally. People working as electrical engineers can fill a number of jobs, such as: traffic engineer, wind farm electrical systems designer, and circuits engineer.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be an electrical engineer, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. The most common level of education for electrical engineers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become an electrical engineer if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Electrical Engineer
In general, electrical engineers design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
Electrical engineers talk with others to consider existing or potential engineering projects and products. They also ready and study technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, and topographical maps to insure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements. Equally important, electrical engineers have to ready requirements for purchase of materials and equipment. They are often called upon to operate computer-assisted engineering and layout software and apparatus to perform engineering tasks. They are expected to oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed satisfactorily, on time and within budget. Finally, electrical engineers direct and schedule manufacturing, construction and testing efforts to insure adherence to specifications and customer requirements.
Every day, electrical engineers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.
It is important for electrical engineers to compile data and write reports regarding existing and potential engineering studies and projects. They are often called upon to layout and improve electrical instruments and systems for commercial and domestic purposes. They also design budgets and construction costs. They are sometimes expected to investigate customer or public complaints, decide on nature and extent of problem, and recommend remedial measures. Somewhat less frequently, electrical engineers are also expected to help in developing capital project programs for new equipment and major repairs.
They also have to be able to investigate and test vendors' and competitors' products and inspect completed installations and observe operations to insure conformance to layout and equipment specifications and adherence to operational and safety standards. And finally, they sometimes have to supervise and train project team members as needed.
Like many other jobs, electrical engineers must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:
- Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
- Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
- Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
- 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electrical Engineer Training
West Virginia University Institute of Technology - Montgomery, WV
West Virginia University Institute of Technology, 405 Fayette Pke, Montgomery, WV 25136. West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a small university located in Montgomery, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,185 students and an admission rate of 46%. West Virginia University Institute of Technology has a bachelor's degree program in Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering which graduated thirty students in 2008.
Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.
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 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.
CompTIA Radio Frequency Identification (RFID+) Certification: CompTIA Radio Frequency Identification (RFID+) certification validates the knowledge and skills of professionals who work with RFID technology.
For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.
IPC-A-600 Acceptability of Printed Circuit Boards: The IPC-A-600 Training and Certification Program helps all segments of the electronics interconnection industry improve their understanding of printed board quality issues; greatly enhances communication between PCB manufacturers, their suppliers and their customers; and provides a valuable portable credential to industry professionals as well as recognition for their companies.
For more information, see the IPC (Institute of Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits) website.
Certified Lighting Management Consultant: The lighting industry prides itself on distinguishing those persons who have accomplished this professional and personal achievement.
For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies 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.
Junior Telecommunications Engineer: 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.
PV Installer Certification: The target candidate for NABCEP certification is the person responsible for the system installation (e.
For more information, see the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners 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.
Licensing agency: West Virginia State Board of Registration
Address: for Professional Engineers, 608 Union Building, Charleston, WV 25301
Website: West Virginia State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers
LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia
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.