Electrical technologists, also referred to as electrical engineering technologists, apply technologies and theories to projects at work. Technologists often hold a 4-year engineering degree, and work that fits a technologist's abilities falls between an electrical engineer and an electrician. Technologists' responsibilities include preparing technical layouts, planning electrical distribution, and implementing methods for using scientific instruments. Some employers require employees to complete training programs for professional certification.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering or electrical technology|
|Other Requirements||Professional certification may be mandatory|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)||2% for electrical and electronics engineering technicians*|
|Median Salary (2014)||$61,294**|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com.
Salary Information for Electrical Technologists
In September 2014, PayScale.com reported the median salary for an electrical engineering technologist as $61,294 per year. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn't collect data for electrical engineering technologists, it does provide salary info for technicians; the Occupational Information Network (O*Net) notes that these figures are comparable for technologists (www.onetcenter.org). According to the BLS, electrical engineering technicians made a median annual salary of $58,540 in 2013 (www.bls.gov).
Electrical Technologist Career Information
Electrical technologists generally need a bachelor's degree and some experience working with technology. Like some other engineering fields, technologists may need to be licensed or certified to work with certain employers.
Career Education Requirements
Since technologists are between engineers and tradespersons in terms of education, a degree is necessary. Electrical technologists most frequently, need a bachelor's degree. Technologists in this specialty often earn an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) and TAC (Technology Accreditation Commission) accredited electrical engineering (EE) or electrical technology degree (EET). Both undergraduate electrical engineering degrees focus on building a strong foundation in physics, calculus, and technical writing.
Certain employers in the electrical technologist career field may require prospective employees to pass a certification process. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) is an example of such certification. NICET offers a program where technologists can prove to employers that they have the knowledge and skills to work in the industry. Due to this recognition, certified individuals also often have better employment opportunities.
While there is no BLS data on job growth for electrical technologists, the number of employed electrical and electronic engineering technicians was expected to change very little, if at all, from 2012-2022. The outlook for electrical and electronic engineers for that same period was slightly better, with an increase of 4 percent projected by the BLS. However, those are very narrowly-defined segments of the engineering field and the outlooks for other closely related occupations varied widely according to specialty.