Engineering Schools in Virginia
The state of Virginia is nicknamed the “Mother of Presidents” because out of all the other states, it is birthplace of the highest number of U.S presidents. The Blue Ridge Mountains and Chesapeake Bay provide geographical and climatic diversity to the state. Virginia’s proximity to the capital makes it the preferred location for many government contractors, federal government and defense workers to relocate to. The biggest industry in Virginia is agriculture while technology and tourism are the second and third biggest contributors to the state GDP.
Many of the engineering colleges and universities in Virginia are world renowned for their research and developmental contributions to the field of engineering. While each institution has unique values and qualities, they are all united by a common mission – preparing engineers for the future.
Accreditation for Engineering Schools in Virginia
Colleges and universities in the U.S. are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. However, most engineering colleges in Virginia should also hold an accreditation from the ‘Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology’ which is responsible for accrediting engineering and most applied science courses.
A comprehensive search of your preferred school’s website should clearly reveal its accreditation.
Engineering Degrees in Virginia
There are over fifty accredited engineering schools in Virginia. The highest concentration of engineering schools is in Norfolk and Lynchburg. These schools provide a number of non-degree and degree programs to their students.
The engineering training degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level are:
Associate’s degree in Engineering
Bachelor’s degree in Engineering
Master’s degree in Engineering
PhD in Engineering
It is also very rare for students to want a degree in general engineering which is why most degree programs offer specialization into several fields of engineering.
Careers for Engineers in Virginia
The “Big Four” Engineering Disciplines: Mechanical, Civil, Computer and Electrical Engineering, all of which combine to account for 67% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in engineering annually.
The “Medium Four” Engineering Disciplines: Chemical, Industrial/Manufacturing, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering combine to make up 20% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded annually in engineering.
The “Smaller Ten” Engineering Disciplines: Petroleum, Nuclear, Mining, Materials, General Engineering Studies, Environmental, Engineering Physics, Engineering Management, Architectural and Agricultural Engineering collectively make up for 10% of all bachelor’s degrees in engineering awarded annually.
Virginia’s second largest economy driver sector is technology, due to which some engineering professions are quite popular and offer relatively better job prospects.
Mechanical Engineers: The annual median pay in 2012 was $83,900 which was higher than national average salary levels. The expected job growth from 2010 to 2020, for mechanical engineers in Virginia is almost double the national average at 11%.
Civil Engineers: The annual median pay in 2012 was $77,600. The expected job growth from 2010 to 2020 for mechanical engineers in Virginia stands at 20%.
Electrical Engineers: The annual median pay in 2012 was $90,200 which was higher than national salary levels. The expected job growth from 2010 to 2020, for mechanical engineers in Virginia is 17%.
Chemical Engineers: The annual median pay in 2012 was $113,200 which was much higher than national salary levels. The expected job growth from 2010 to 2020 for mechanical engineers in Virginia is at 5%.
*All salary-related figures have been taken from careerinfonet.org.