Known for its Delta region, the river that bears its name, and its coastline with the Gulf Coast, the state of Mississippi is known for being a staple of U.S. southern culture. The subtropical environment allows for thick vegetation throughout the state. The largest city in Mississippi, Jackson, is also the state capital.
Other major cities in Mississippi include Gulfport, which lies on the Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, which lies in the southern region of the state, and Southaven, which is to the north bordering Tennessee.
The economy of Mississippi is based on agriculture, energy, and slight manufacturing. One of the biggest industries rising out of the state is green technology as they have recently turned their attention to lure “green” jobs to the area.
Thanks to friendly incentive packages, Mississippi has reeled in several green tech companies to the state which has opened up opportunities for those pursuing a career in the engineering sector. Overall, the state has provided approximately $323 million in stimulus funds to green manufacturers.
Some of the larger employers in Mississippi that hire engineering professionals include: Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Stennis Space Center, Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., Baptist Memorial Hospitals, IMS Engineers, P.A., Southern Diversified Technologies, Baptist Memorial Hospitals, BlueCross BlueShield of Mississippi, Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino (MGM/Mirage), Grand Casinos (Ceasars), Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc., and FNC Inc.
Engineering Education in Mississippi
Mississippi has an expansive community college system providing engineering certifications and associate’s programs. There are four public universities in Mississippi that provide engineering bachelor’s programs.
These include Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, and Mississippi State University. Jackson State and Mississippi State provide graduate programs as well.
The University of Mississippi system includes two universities with both undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering: the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi.
The private college, Mississippi College in Clinton, also provides an undergraduate program in engineering. Out of the 15 community colleges in Mississippi with engineering programs, Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, is the largest school.
Outlook for Engineering Jobs in Mississippi
Federal and state investments for infrastructure, especially around the unique ecosystem and climate of Mississippi increases demand for engineers across sectors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2011, there are 13,950 engineers employed in Mississippi.
These engineering jobs include architectural jobs, as part of the BLS measurements, and engineering sectors ranging from aerospace to mechanical engineering. The annual average salary for an engineer in Mississippi calculated to $61,860 according to the BLS, with the bottom tenth percentile earning $29,470 a year and the top tenth percentile earning $98,800.
The engineering sectors that hire the most workers include industrial engineering, with 1,930 workers, civil engineering, with 1,800 workers, and mechanical engineering, with 880 workers.