Engineering techs have several career choices as numerous different industries need engineers, who the technicians assist in their work. Most need at least an associate's or bachelor's degree in their field of engineering.
Engineering technicians can work in several specialized areas, including electrical and electronics engineering or civil engineering. In general, engineering technicians assist engineers in designing, testing, troubleshooting, and modifying components and products for research or manufacturing. Most of these technicians hold associate's or bachelor's degrees in an area of specialization, and some opt to advance their career prospects by earning professional certifications in their field.
|Career||Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technicians||Mechanical Engineering Technicians||Civil Engineering Technicians||Industrial Engineering Technicians|
|Required Education||Associate's or bachelor's degree in electrical engineering technology||Associate's or bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology||Associate's or bachelor's degree in civil engineering technology||Associate's or bachelor's degree in industrial engineering technology|
|Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)*||2%||3%||3%||1%|
|Median Annual Salary (2020)*||$67,550||$58,230||$54,080||$57,320|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Salary Information for an Engineering Technician
Salaries for engineering technicians differ by specialization and level of experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), electrical and electronic engineering technicians made a median annual salary of $67,550 as of May 2020 (www.bls.gov). Median salaries for other engineering technicians included $58,230 for mechanical engineering technicians, $54,080 for civil engineering technicians, and $57,320 for industrial engineering technicians, based on BLS figures.
Career Information for an Engineering Technician
There are several types of engineering technicians. According to the BLS, approximately one-third of engineering technicians specialized in electrical and electronics engineering in 2008. These technicians design, develop and troubleshoot electrical and electronics components, equipment and products.
Other popular specializations for engineering technicians include civil engineering, industrial engineering, and mechanical engineering. Civil engineering technicians assist civil engineers in construction of buildings, bridges, roads, and other structures. Their duties might include drafting and designing, calculating dimensions, reviewing blueprints, and inspecting project sites. Industrial engineering technicians assist factories and other businesses in maintaining efficiency, promoting safety, and troubleshooting problems. Mechanical engineering technicians help mechanical engineers to design, develop, modify, and prepare machinery, equipment, and other products for manufacturing.
Engineering technicians typically have an associate's or bachelor's degree in their area of concentration, such as electrical engineering technology for electrical engineering technicians. Certification usually is not needed to work as an engineering technician, but some employers might prefer it.
Engineering Technician Job Outlook
According to the BLS, the employment of engineering technicians was expected to grow at varying rates between 2019 and 2029, depending on the field of specialty. Mechanical engineering technicians could see an average job growth of about 3% during the decade, while civil engineering technicians would also see an average increase of 3% percent during the same time frame. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians will likely see slower than average growth from 2019 to 2029, per the BLS, which also noted that industrial engineering technicians would see a 1% increase in jobs.
An engineer technician may choose to enter the electrical/electronic, mechanical, civil, or industrial engineering field, based on their specific degree. The salary varies by the particular sector, but it generally ranges from around $54,000 to $68,000 for the four careers mentioned.