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

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for mechanical engineers in the Charleston, West Virginia area. The national trend for mechanical engineers sees this job pool growing by about 6.0% over the next eight years. In general, mechanical engineers perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment.

Mechanical engineers earn approximately $31 per hour or $65,800 annually on average in West Virginia. Nationally they average about $36 hourly or $74,920 per year. Mechanical engineers earn less than people working in the category of Engineering generally in West Virginia and less than people in the Engineering category nationally. People working as mechanical engineers can fill a number of jobs, such as: plant engineer, manufacturing engineer, and industrial engineer.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as a mechanical engineer. The most common level of education for mechanical engineers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a mechanical engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, mechanical engineers perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. They also oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.

Mechanical engineers read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings and computer-generated reports. They also design and test models of alternate designs and processing methods to gauge feasibility, operating condition effects, possible new applications and necessity of modification. Equally important, mechanical engineers have to conduct research that tests and analyzes the feasibility, layout, operation and effectiveness of equipment, components and systems. Finally, mechanical engineers specify system components or direct modification of products to insure conformance with engineering layout and performance specifications.

Every day, mechanical engineers are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. 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 mechanical engineers to talk with engineers and other personnel to execute operating procedures, resolve system malfunctions, and furnish technical data. They are often called upon to recommend layout modifications to remove machine or system malfunctions. They also research and maintain mechanical products, equipment, systems and processes to fit requirements, applying knowledge of engineering principles. They are sometimes expected to assist drafters in developing the structural layout of products using drafting tools or computer-assisted layout (CAD) or drafting equipment and software. Somewhat less frequently, mechanical engineers are also expected to estimate costs and submit bids for engineering or extraction projects, and ready contract documents.

Mechanical engineers sometimes are asked to layout test control apparatus and equipment and develop processes for testing products. They also have to be able to research and analyze customer layout proposals and other data to review the feasibility and maintenance requirements of designs or applications and solicit new business and furnish technical customer service. And finally, they sometimes have to solicit new business and furnish technical customer service.

Like many other jobs, mechanical 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:

  • 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.
  • 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 Draftsman. Prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewerage control systems.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. 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. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mechanical 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 Mechanical Engineering which graduated twenty-three 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.

Certified in Plumbing Design: The Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD) program is an international certification program for engineers and designers of plumbing systems.

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

Certified Associate in Materials Handling: MHMS is proud to offer a professional certification program for its members.

For more information, see the Materials Handling and Management Society 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.

LICENSES

Mechanical Engineer

Licensing agency: West Virginia State Board of Registration
Address: for Professional Engineers, 608 Union Building, Charleston, WV 25301

Phone: None
Website: West Virginia State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers

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.