What is Engineering Technology?

engineering technology

Engineering technology is a field suited for those who like to work with their hands. It’s related to the field of engineering yet is unique. It attracts individuals looking to move from concepts and designs to the practical application of engineering.

Definition

Engineering technology involves applying science, math, and engineering concepts to solve problems. The field merges the principles of engineering with modern technology. Those employed in the field work in several areas of engineering which include:

  • electrical engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • civil engineering

Electrical engineering deals with designing, testing, and maintaining electrical systems which include computers.

Mechanical engineering involves building, installing, and maintaining machines.

Civil engineering consists of constructing transportation infrastructure, water systems, and buildings.

Job duties vary depending on the area employed. However, all areas involve hands-on activities that require spending ample time working with the machines, tools, and materials that are used in that particular area. Employees are concerned with the application of concepts in the particular field of engineering.

Associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees are available to earn in the field. Master’s degrees are obtained for those wanting to teach. There aren’t currently any doctoral level programs in the field. Those who want doctoral level degrees usually complete one in a specific area in the field of engineering.

Engineering Technician

Employers in this field frequently employ individuals with associate degrees, something that is uncommon in many fields. An associate’s degree typically leads to a position as an engineering technician. This occupation is considered a part of the service industry. Job duties usually include:

  • equipment installation
  • testing
  • troubleshooting
  • operation
  • manufacturing

Job titles include:

  • field service engineer
  • field service technician
  • lab technician
  • engineering assistant
  • engineering technician

Engineering Technologist

Most who have earned a bachelor’s degree in the field are employed as engineering technologists. These individuals work with engineers. They’re considered specialists who implement existing technology  by applying their technical skills and basic engineering principles. They complete tasks such as:

  • testing
  • development
  • quality control
  • technical operations

If an individual had management courses as a part of their degree program, they could even work as a manager of technology.

Differentiation from Engineering

Many are confused about the difference between this field and engineering. The confusion is understandable as the two fields are highly related. The true difference, according to Connecticut State University, is that engineering deals with theories and concepts while this field deals with the application and implementation of these concepts.

Engineers mainly function as designers while those working in this field use these designs to solve problems. Those in engineering programs generally need an internship to gain experience similar to those working as engineers. Engineering technologists can be employed in the field straight after completing a program such as hands-on training. This is a hallmark of the field and students are already familiar with the typical practices and procedures.

This field offers a great variety of jobs. The application and implementation of the designs and concepts are derived from a variety of areas in engineering. That, in addition to the jobs being available from every degree level, makes the field of engineering technology very desirable to many individuals.

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