Kansas is an agricultural state that boasts of its high production of wheat, sunflowers and sorghum. Although Wichita is the largest city, Kansas City and the suburb of Overland Park create an equally large metropolitan area.
Because the geography of the Kansas lends itself to wind energy, there are several wind farms throughout the state. One of the best known is the Smoky Hills Wind Farm near Topeka. The state has a goal of getting 20 percent of their energy from wind turbines by 2020. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is increasing the need for enviornmental engineeer technicians by 24%.
Some of the larger companies in Kansas that hire engineering professionals include: Sprint Nextel Corp., Spirit Aerosystems, Cessna Aircraft, Hawker Beechcraft, General Motors, AT&T Corporation, United Parcel Service, Black & Veatch, Farmers Insurance, BNSF Railway, Bombardier Aerospace, Garmin International, Honeywell, FedEx, Koch Industries, Century Link, Ericsson, Blue Cross & Blue Shield and Goodyear.
Engineering Education in Kansas
Although Kansas is mainly an agricultural state, it boasts a strong education system with over thirty public universities and colleges and numerous private ones. The University of Kansas School of Engineering offers bachelor, master and doctorate degrees in several fields of engineering. Presently, the school has eight engineering departments, such as aerospace engineering, engineering physics and engineering management.
Kansas State University offers degrees in nine engineering fields and University Of Kansas Main Campus has degrees in twelve fields. Many students take classes through distance learning or online courses as well as attending classes on campus. Aside from the usual civil and mechanical engineering degrees, some of the Kansas schools offer degrees in specialty fields, such as nuclear and water resource engineering.
Outlook for Engineering Jobs in Kansas
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), generally, the predicted job growth rate for engineers will be slow to normal until 2020, when the agency will reassess the market. In spite of this report, there is a steady demand for engineers in the larger cities. Kansas hosts a variety of manufacturers, such as regional and business aircraft makers, farm equipment producers and more.