Michigan’s Economy Benefits from Engineering
Almost as soon as Michigan became the 26th state in 1837, it was among the Great Lakes region’s industry and trade centers. While Michigan has a diverse economy, automotive engineers have made the state a major economic force in the U.S. automotive industry. Engineer Henry Ford, who pioneered the system for mass producing cars the average American could afford, lived in the Detroit area. Once he started the Ford Motor Company in 1903, local engineers with their stove works and machine shops saw a lucrative opportunity to supply the automobile parts the company needed.
Chrysler And General Motors
William C. Durant, who in 1908 co-founded the General Motors Company, ran the very successful Flint, Michigan based Durant-Dort Carriage Company. By 1900 it was the United States’ leading horse-drawn vehicle manufacturer. In 1904, Durant bought the Buick Motor Company. He acquired Oldsmobile in 1908 and Cadillac and Pontiac’s predecessor, Oakland, in 1909. Innovative automotive engineer Ransom Olds, who also lived in Michigan, founded the Chrysler Corporation in 1925. In 1928, he bought the Dodge brand and created Plymouth. Automobile designers and engineers often moved between Ford, GM and Chrysler and Michigan became a center of automobile innovation.
The Value of Engineering to Michigan’s Economy
Engineers and engineering provides great value for the economy of Michigan. The automotive industry is among Michigan’s most important economic drivers and the work of engineers is crucial for all the automobile manufacturers and parts suppliers that call Michigan home. But engineers are valuable to the success of much more than Michigan’s automotive industry. The also play an important role in Michigan’s high-tech, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry and professional services industries as well. Engineers also play valuable roles in the research and development for automobile, technology, agriculture and manufacturing companies in Michigan.
Why Engineering Is So Valuable
Michigan has easy access to iron ore from Minnesota, skilled laborers, parts suppliers, small component manufacturers, vast local timber resources, many rail and water routes to nearby Chicago and New York, the value of engineers to the state’s economy is that they are able to transform those raw materials into manufactured products that are needed all over the country. Whether it is automobile design and production engineers, railroad engineers or civil, mechanical, architectural or chemical engineers, the value of the work of the engineers who create the products, systems or technology that contributes to Michigan’s economy cannot be overstated.
Engineering provides the technological base that allows Michigan’s manufacturing sector to thrive. Watch this video from Forbes that highlights this correlation.
Annual State Revenue/GDP
Michigan’s 2018 GDP was $527,095 billion. Plus, the average Michigan resident’s income is $26,143 annually and Michigan’s median household income is $49,087 a year. Although the auto industry is the first thing that comes to mind when many people think of Michigan’s economy, the state actually has a very diverse economy. The industry that contributes the most is manufacturing which brings in about $90.3 billion a year. Finance, insurance and real estate add about $76 billion while professional and business services contributes $65.4 billion and government and government enterprises kicks in about $47.1 billion annually to Michigan’s GDP.
Healthcare, Trade, Entertainment and More
Other industries that contribute significant amounts to Michigan’s GDP is healthcare and educational services with $44.1 billion, wholesale and retail trade $63.2 billion and $16.3 billion from construction. Arts, entertainment, recreation, food services and accommodation brings in about $15 billion, Information Technology adds $14.8 billion and transportation and warehousing contribute $11.5 billion. The Michigan GDP gets around $9 billion from utilities, agriculture, forestry and fishing adds $3.3 billion and oil and gas extraction, mining and quarrying kicks in $2.2 billion. That’s a pretty diverse source of annual revenue for Michigan.
The Number of Engineering Jobs in Michigan
Michigan ranks number 8 in the United States when it comes to providing the most opportunities for careers in engineering. Michigan companies are consistently looking for candidates to fill over 9,000 engineering jobs. The state has two of the nation’s best metro areas for career opportunities in top engineering disciplines. They are Livonia metro area for mechanical engineering careers and Southfield for manufacturing positions. While the well-established auto industry in the southeast of the state has the majority of engineering jobs, there are engineering positions in countless engineering specialties available all over the state.
Engineer Salaries in Michigan
In Michigan, the average engineer salary is $82,390 a year. Civil engineers in Michigan make between $63,367 and $78,136, while project engineers make $74,985 per year, design engineers earn $73,491, electrical engineers make $86,114 annual, mechanical engineers get $88,490 and system engineers earn $91,600 per year. Companies like General Motors pay engineers $97,981 annually, Tata Technologies offers engineers $90,174 per year, while The Hastings Group engineers get $111,092 per year, Tier 1 Nesco Resource pays engineers $110,000 per year and engineers at Ventures Unlimited Inc. and Talent Logic commonly make $100,000 annually.
Type of Engineering Work in Michigan
Michigan many and diverse types of engineering work. They are in fields like aerospace, agricultural, architectural and biomedical engineering. There are also a wide variety of electrical, chemical, environmental, geotechnical, civil, computer and manufacturing engineering positions. In Michigan, there are thousands of jobs in construction, industrial, materials, marine, metallurgical and network engineering that pay excellent salaries and provide opportunities for professional growth. There are also lucrative positions in nuclear, petroleum, software, solar and structural engineering.
Michigan Engineering Colleges and Universities
There are at least 75 colleges and universities in Michigan that offer certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in engineering. The top engineering schools in Michigan are:
- University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
- Michigan Technological University
- Michigan State University
- Kettering University
- Lawrence Technological University
- Hope College
- Calvin College
- Western Michigan University
- University of Michigan – Dearborn
- Wayne State University
Engineering in Michigan
The innovative work of visionary engineers has helped to turn Michigan the heart of the automotive industry in the United States. Michigan’s manufacturing, finance real estate and wholesale and retail sales has made the state a great place for engineers to build lucrative careers.
Are You a Michigan Professional Engineer
Michigan professional engineers will be interested in our article about the license renewal process. Our article provides a comprehensive overview of each requirement. It provides links to renewal forms, fees, deadlines, and much more.
We offer seven continuing education packages for Michigan engineers. Each package includes all 30 PDH hours and is guaranteed to meet the Michigan board’s requirements.