Virginia’s Economy Benefits from Engineering
Engineers are very important to the growth and development of the infrastructure and economy of Virginia. Engineers created the innovations that led to the products, buildings, bridges and infrastructure that has helped Virginia and Virginians to thrive. Engineers laid the groundwork that has helped a wide range of industries to take root and flourish in the Old Dominion. Virginia employs thousands of engineers. They hold important positions in government, business and industry and are paid well because of the important knowledge and abilities they possess.
Value of Engineering to Virginia’s Economy
Engineering plays an increasingly valuable role in Virginia’s economy. Once based primarily on agriculture, technology and engineering services have taken over as Virginia’s leading generator of income. The state is now a leading center for software development, communication technologies, consulting and defense contracting. Those industries depend heavily on engineers to design, implement, test, upgrade and maintain the advanced technologies those booming fields need to bloom, grow and be productive. That has steadily increased the value of engineering to Virginia’s economy.
The Nation’s Richest Counties
Engineering services has helped to make Northern Virginia an area with some of the richest counties in the United States. The region is now home to top Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and military facilities. All of those are heavily dependent on high-paying engineering jobs. Those valuable, lucrative, engineering positions have helped to give Northern Virginia some of the highest per capita income in the nation.
Annual State Revenue/GDP
Virginia’s real GDP for 2019 was $508.662 billion. That’s up from the $476.39 billion in real GDP in 2018. Virginia’s economy is well balanced, with income generated from diverse sources. The state now has 15 of America’s top 100 wealthiest jurisdictions based on median income. That’s the highest number of any state. Virginia’s GDP per capita is an impressive $54,244. The Northern Virginia counties of Loudoun and Fairfax have median household income that’s the country’s highest and second highest.
Diverse Income Sources
Some of Virginia’s income sources include military installations, cattle, tomatoes, soy, tobacco and peanut farming, hay and an increasing number of wineries and vineyards. The federal government is a major source of funding for Virginia’s robust economy. It provides about 900,000 jobs for the commonwealth. The U.S. government spends about 12% of its procurement money in Virginia. That’s the highest per capita defense spending in the nation.
Watch this video highlighting engineering’s impact in the manufacturing sector.
Abundant Government Jobs and Federal Contracts
Many people in Virginia work for the Department of Defense, the Pentagon, the CIA, the National Science Foundation, FDIC, the INS, TSA, DEA and many other federal agencies. Over 15,000 federal contracts are held by defense and security firms in Virginia. The world’s largest naval base and the metropolitan area with the world’s highest concentration of both military personnel and military assets is in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area.
Number of Engineering Jobs in Virginia
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Virginia has about 78,970 engineers.
The American Electronics Association says Virginia’s concentration of technology workers is the highest of any state. Virginia’s highest highest-grossing export is computer chips. There’s also a very high concentration of communications technology, internet and software engineering firms in Virginia’s Dulles Technology Corridor. Virginia’s biotechnology and nanotechnology industries have been growing rapidly since 2005.
Type of Engineering Work in Virginia
There’s a wide range of engineering jobs in Virginia. A growing number of engineers work in the state’ biotechnology and nanotechnology industries. NASA’s Langley Research Center, the recently built biotech incubator Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, the Janelia Farm opened by Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the research in and commercialization of nanotechnology has attracted engineers with an array of specialties and led to the production of over $1 billion in manufactured goods annually.
Diverse Engineering Expertise
Virginia’s diverse industries have created employment opportunities for aerospace engineers, industrial engineers, civil engineers, Marine engineers, Navy architects, nuclear engineers, ship engineers and engineers with expertise in a wide range of other specialties.
Engineer Salaries in Virginia
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the average annual salary for an engineer in Virginia is between $81,350 and $90,700. That includes industrial engineers earning about $82,140 a year, civil engineers with an annual salary of around $82,380 and aerospace engineers making $123,980 a year or more. There are also thousands of Nuclear engineers, Marine engineers, Navy architects, ship engineers,
agricultural, automotive, biomedical, chemical, computer, electrical and mechanical engineers that earn salaries ranging from $75,000 to $117,000 a year or more depending on the companies and industries in which they work.
Virginia Engineering Colleges and Universities
There are more than 46 technical schools, community colleges and public and private universities in Virginia with high quality engineering programs. Some provide certifications, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degrees in fields like electrical or mechanical engineering. Virginia has 23 community colleges that offer programs leading to engineering certificates or associate’s degrees. Eleven public universities in Virginia have engineering program that offer bachelor’s degrees. They include Virginia Tech, Norfolk State University, the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Private Universities and Graduate Programs
Hampton University, Washington and Lee University, Randolph College and Liberty University are among the six private universities in Virginia with bachelor’s degree programs in engineering. With over 95,639 students, Liberty University is Virginia’s largest engineering school. There are also six public universities in Virginia that offer graduate programs specializing in engineering. They include Old Dominion University, George Mason University, Norfolk State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Popular Engineering Specialties
Students in engineering schools in Virginia have a wide range of areas in which they specialize. Some of the most popular engineering specialties they choose are aerospace, agricultural, automotive, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering.
Engineering in Virginia
The work of engineers in Virginia has not only transformed the way the homes, businesses and infrastructure looks and functions, it has changed the economy from one primarily based on agriculture to one where technology is a major source of income.
Are You a Virginia Professional Engineer
If you’re a professional engineer registered in the state of Georgia, you may be interested in our detailed review of the licensing requirements.We prepared a list of requirements for renewing your professional engineer license. We outline every form, the renewal fees, due dates, and much more.
PDH-Pro offers complete continuing education packages for Virginia engineers. These packages meet all of the board’s requirements, guaranteed.