Synonymous with the Appalachian Mountains, the state of West Virginia is connected to several geographic and cultural regions in the United States like the Mid-Atlantic states and the Southeastern United States.
West Virginia’s dominant and most noteworthy industry is the coal mining industry, which makes West Virginia the second largest coal producer in the United States.
Tourism is also a strong industry in the state, as the majestic Appalachian Mountains provide unique and breathtaking hiking, skiing, sight-seeing, and outdoor activities.
Engineering Education in West Virginia
Engineering programs are typically provided as subfields or concentrations from an engineering department. Some examples of departmental degrees of study or concentrations include electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or civil engineering.
In the community college system of West Virginia, thirteen community colleges, career centers, and technical institutes offer certificate and associate’s programs in engineering.
Bachelor’s degree programs in engineering are provided by seven state universities, including two campuses of West Virginia University (Morgantown, Parkersburg), Marshall University, Shepherd University, and Bluefield State College. Two private universities offer engineering bachelor’s programs as well: Davis & Elkins College and West Virginia Wesleyan College.
West Virginia University (the Morgantown flagship campus) and Marshall University are the only universities in West Virginia with graduate programs in engineering.
Outlook for Engineering Jobs in West Virginia
Engineering career trends vary on the particular occupation. As of May 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports there are 8,300 engineers in West Virginia who earn $66,680 per year. Engineering careers vary between each other, such as aerospace engineers who earn $106,560 a year in West Virginia with 80 workers employed in the state.
In contrast, West Virginia has 1,130 civil engineers who earn $72,000 a year. With mining being one of West Virginia’s largest industries, the state has 390 mining engineers earning $79,890 a year.