Find one of the nation's highest concentrations of engineers and technicians in Wichita
Engineering / High Tech --
Wichita metro area is home to nearly 11,000 engineers, engineering technicians and IT specialists – one of the highest concentrations in the United States. Of the 100 largest U.S. metro areas – Wichita ranks 1st in manufacturing jobs as percent of all jobs, and 3rd in percent of manufacturing jobs classified as very high-tech (Brookings Institution – 2012.) Of those 100 largest U.S. metro areas – Wichita ranks 22nd in percentage of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math – STEM occupations (Brookings – 2013.)
Engineering More Than Planes
Wichita is widely recognized as the “Air Capital of the World” – the city that launched the majority of the world’s general aviation fleet. Aircraft and aircraft components have been built by Wichita expertise for over 100 years. Wichita’s reputation as a community of aircraft builders would not be possible without the army of engineers and technicians who design the countless components of those aircraft and manage the complexity of assembly. Airbus established its Airbus Americas Engineering center in Wichita in 2002 and has rapidly grown its employment to more than 400 today – making Wichita home to the international plane builder’s largest North American engineering facility. In addition to Wichita’s famous OEM plane builders: Textron Aviation (Beechcraft, Cessna, Hawker) and Bombardier Learjet, thousands of engineers are employed in Wichita’s regional aerospace supplier network that includes Spirit AeroSystems – the world’s largest 1st Tier supplier of aerospace structures.
While aerospace is the field of engineering most prevalent in Wichita – with over 2,400 aerospace engineering professionals, Wichita’s engineering workforce continues to diversify into an ever widening range of industries. Products which flow from the greater Wichita area’s nearly 900 manufacturing firms can be characterized as high-technology and high value-added. In addition to aircraft, those highly engineered products include computer equipment and other electronics, instrumentation and controls, composite material products, industrial machinery and chemicals. For example:
NetApp – a leading developer of data storage systems, is currently expanding their employment of IT engineers in Wichita. NetApp is working with Wichita State University’s College of Engineering to provide work-based learning experiences that often result in full-time employment upon graduation.
Koch Industries – the second largest privately held company in the U.S., employs thousands of engineers – many located at their Wichita global headquarters – to support and expand their multifaceted operations in energy, petrochemicals and textiles.
Excellence in Engineering Education
The focal point of Engineering education in Wichita is the nationally prominent program offered at Wichita State University. WSU’s College of Engineering has an award-winning faculty equipped with the most advanced technology for study in fields as diverse as bioengineering, advanced materials and computer networking. Bachelor’s and Advanced Degrees are offered in a spectrum of engineering disciplines: Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical, Industrial, Manufacturing, Computer, Bioengineering and Engineering Management. WSU offers one of the few Master’s degree programs in computer networking currently available in the U.S..
To help sustain a trained available engineering workforce, WSU works in concert with Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas to sponsor paid internships with employers under the Kansas Engineering Excellence Project (KEEP.) Workforce Alliance also offers employers the opportunity to hire degreed engineers who are currently unemployed and recover a substantial portion of training costs through the Engineer Training Grant Program offered by Kansas Department of Commerce.
Wichita’s wealth of engineering talent is affordable to employ. For example – Wichita area aerospace engineers earn on average about $46.83 per hour – fully 12% under the comparable national figure.