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Career and Education Opportunities for Electronics Engineers in Charleston, West Virginia

Electronics engineer career and educational opportunities abound in Charleston, West Virginia. There are currently 170 working electronics engineers in West Virginia; this should grow 8% to about 180 working electronics engineers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for electronics engineers are expected to grow by about 0.3%. Electronics engineers generally research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties.

Electronics engineers earn about $29 per hour or $61,460 yearly on average in West Virginia and about $41 per hour or $86,370 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering, people working as electronics engineers in West Virginia earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Engineering nationally. Electronics engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: electrical engineer, electronics research engineer, and electrical electronics engineers.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as an electronics engineer. Given that the most common education level for electronics engineers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be an electronics engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Electronics Engineer

In general, electronics engineers research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. They also design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.

Electronics engineers talk with engineers, customers, vendors or others to consider existing and potential engineering projects or products. They also evaluate operational systems, prototypes and proposals and recommend repair or layout modifications, on the basis of factors such as environment and system capabilities. Equally important, electronics engineers have to direct and schedule efforts concerned with manufacture and modification of electronic equipment and systems. They are often called upon to design and perform operational, maintenance, and testing processes for electronic products and systems. Finally, electronics engineers furnish technical support and instruction to staff or customers regarding equipment standards, assisting with specific, difficult in-service engineering.

Every day, electronics engineers 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 read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for electronics engineers to decide on material and equipment needs and order supplies. They are often called upon to operate computer-assisted engineering and layout software and apparatus to perform engineering tasks. They also inspect electronic equipment and systems to insure conformance to given requirements and applicable codes and regulations. They are sometimes expected to ready engineering sketches and requirements for construction and installation of equipment and systems. Somewhat less frequently, electronics engineers are also expected to ready documentation containing data such as confidential descriptions and specifications of proprietary hardware and software, product development and introduction schedules, product costs, and data related to product performance weaknesses.

and formulate and design applications and modifications for electronic properties used in components and systems, to further optimize technical performance. And finally, they sometimes have to design and perform operational, maintenance, and testing processes for electronic products and systems.

Like many other jobs, electronics engineers must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

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.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electronics 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.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

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.

RADAR Electronics Technician: Radar electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of radar basics and concepts which are then applicable to all the.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.