Tennessee’s Economy Benefits from Engineering
Engineering has a long and glorious history in Tennessee. Two of the most famous, ambitious and successful engineering feats in Tennessee history are the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1933 and the creation of the Clinton Engineering Works, later known as Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Tennessee Valley Authority is a state-owned electric utility enterprise and economic development agency that created tens of thousands of good paying jobs during the Great Depression.
Two Very Successful Engineering Projects
The TVA erected dams and lakes on 652 miles of the Tennessee River and its tributaries to generate electricity, provide navigation and flood control, stimulate economic development and modernize the region. Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is the town where 75,000 workers secretly helped with government engineers at the Clinton Engineering Works, as part of the Manhattan Project. They played an important role in building one of the atomic bombs that enabled the United States and the Allied Forces to win World War II.
The Value of Engineering to Tennessee’s Economy
Engineering still plays a very valuable role in the economic growth and success of Tennessee today. With its headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority hires thousands of people. The average worker there makes over $65,000 a year. Plus, the TVA contributes over $11 billion a year to Tennessee’s economy. TVA engineers also help the Tennessee River system provide many valuable benefits to the public. They include affordable electricity, improved water supply and water quality, recreation, as well as economic growth.
Manufacturing relies heavily upon engineers to design production lines, develop the technology that goes into products, and maintain quality during fabrication. Watch this video that highlights the Wieland manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Engineers Play Diverse Roles Today
Today, engineers make valuable contributions to the economy of Tennessee through the diverse roles they play in companies in the agri-forestry industrial complex. They help to create a streamlined, efficient, cost-effective, supply chain that runs seamlessly from farm and forest all the way into the homes and business of consumers who purchase the end products. Engineers are also essential to the success of the manufacturing, entertainment, automotive, commercial and technology sectors of Tennessee’s economy.
Annual State Revenue and GDP
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tennessee’s total gross domestic product in 2018 was $364,104.9 billion and the state’s 2018 per capital GDP was about $48,400. Each year, the Tennessee Department of Revenue takes in over $11 billion in revenues. More than two-thirds of that revenue comes from franchise and excise tax and sales and use tax, the Tennessee Department of Revenue reports. The economy of Tennessee gets income from a wide variety of sources. The agri-forestry industrial complex contributes about $81.8 billion a year. Tennessee’s advanced manufacturing, education, automotive, finance, healthcare, mining, aircraft equipment and adventure tourism sectors contribute billions to the economy each year.
Music and Entertainment
The music industry in Nashville alone creates 56,000 local jobs and has an almost $10 billion economic impact. But Tennessee’s entertainment industry delivers much more than just music. There’s also film and television production, broadcasting and streaming digital video that generate billions of dollars each year for major media companies in Tennessee. They help the entertainment sector to add about $15 billion a year to Tennessee’s economy. Engineers provide the technical foundation that this industry depends on.
The Number of Engineering Jobs in Tennessee
There are about 100,000 engineering jobs in Tennessee. Tens of thousands of them are available at the Tennessee Valley Authority. A government-owned energy company, TVA has lots of engineering positions available at their 29 hydroelectric dams, 6 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants, their wind energy site, pumped storage hydroelectric plant, combined cycle gas plants, plants with natural gas combustion turbines and more than a dozen small solar energy sites. Thousands of engineers also work for companies like Lockheed Martin Energy, Nissan North America Inc., Eastman Chemical Co., Goodyear, Maytag Corp., Denso Manufacturing Tennessee and Aerospace Testing Alliance.
Engineer Salaries in Tennessee
In Tennessee engineers earn an average salary of $78,696 annually. Engineer salaries can start at $46,000 for entrance level transportation planning engineers, between $58,000 and $128,000 for government program managers and engineers at the Tennessee Valley Authority who earn between $51,439 and $120,549. At TVA, the average engineer’s salary is about $80,907. Statewide electrical engineers’ average yearly salary is $98,036 and they can make $65,000 to $144,000 annually. Senior civil engineers in Tennessee earn from $72,000 to $114,000 a year and it’s easy for software engineers to make $48,000 and $97,000 and for project architects to average $70,000 to $142,000 annually, while instrumentation engineers to take in $101,000 to $177,000 each year.
Type of Engineering Work in Tennessee
The types of engineering jobs available in Tennessee are many and diverse. There are engineers employed in the agricultural, entertainment, defense, computer technology, manufacturing, healthcare and medical devices, automotive and wholesale and retail sales sectors. They include positions like engineering program manager, principal electrical engineer, principal mechanical engineer, nuclear engineer, software applications engineer, computer networking systems engineer, architecture project manager and more.
There are thousands of civil engineer, component engineer, control systems engineer, design engineer, environmental engineer and customer service engineer positions available in utility, transportation, commercial and industrial companies all over Tennessee. These engineers work in companies like FedEx, AutoZone, HCA Inc., Eastman Chemical, General Mills, General Motors, Volkswagen, Nissan, Aerospace Testing Alliance, Lockheed Martin Energy, Goodyear and Maytag.
Tennessee Engineering Colleges and Universities
Colleges and universities in Tennessee educate and prepare thousands of engineers in a vast array of specialties in certificate and degree programs through the state’s more than 75 engineering schools. The top 10 schools for engineering in Tennessee are:
- Vanderbilt University
- The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
- University of Memphis
- Tennessee Technological University
- The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
- Rhodes College
- Lipscomb University
- Belmont University
- Middle Tennessee State University
- Christian Brothers University
Engineering in Tennessee
Engineering and engineers have long had a significant and lasting impact on the economy and quality of life for people in the Volunteer State. Excellent engineering schools in Tennessee educate, train and prepare thousands of engineers each year who go on to have a positive impact locally, nationwide and internationally.
Are You a Tennessee Professional Engineer
Tennessee professional engineers will be interested in this article. It summarizes all of the PE license renewal requirements including forms, due dates, license fees, and a lot more.
Continuing Education Packages for TN Engineers
We have a group of continuing education packages that provide all 24 hours of required continuing education credits, including the 13 hours focused on public health, safety and welfare issues. All of our packages are guaranteed to meet the Tennessee engineering board requirements.