Engineering Technologist Vs Engineering Technician Comparison

Engineering allows people to use their math skills and attention to detail to help build the things that make the world run. This article centers on engineering careers as a technologist or technician and some vital information about both.

Comparing Engineering Technologists to Engineering Technicians

Engineering technologists and engineering technicians basically have the same job duties, which involve assisting engineers. The big differences between the two is that technologists will have more formal education, as well as more responsibilities. Below is a comparison of two mechanical engineering careers and some additional information.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary* (2016) Job Growth* (2014-2024)
Engineering Technologist Bachelor's degree $62,330 (for mechanical engineering technologists) 1% (for mechanical engineering technologists)
Engineering Technician Associate's degree $54,480 (for mechanical engineering technicians) 2% (for mechanical engineering technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Engineering Technologists vs. Engineering Technicians

There are a variety of engineering careers, including mechanical engineering. Technologists in this field work directly under a mechanical engineer doing many different things involving generation and distribution of energy forms. Mechanical engineering technicians may work under the direction of an engineer or technologist. Their tasks may not have as high a level of responsibility as technologists, but are equally as important. For instance, technicians may work on detailed schematics and the fabrication of much needed replacement parts.

Engineering Technologist

Technologists may be assigned to produce layouts of different parts of machinery or engines. They might also be put in charge of planning the work roster and keeping crews on a time line. Technologists should be familiar with putting together a cost analysis or data study. These professionals may be placed in charge of updating equipment or interpreting an engineer's sketch to develop and design machines or consumer products.

Job responsibilities of an engineering technologist include:

  • Customize equipment or structures
  • Prepare specs or designs on systems related to energy generation
  • Provide tech support
  • Conduct tests and inspections
  • Monitor and interpret gauges and other indicators

Engineering Technician

Mechanical engineering technicians may start their careers by doing sketches or rough illustrations of an engineer's idea. They might collect data, statistics, and estimates and then make reports to a technologist or engineer. Technicians might be put in charge of building machines and testing them and writing reports of those results. They will work directly under an engineer and a technologist. Most engineering technicians hold associate's degrees, however, many get training from a technical institute.

Job responsibilities of an engineering technician include:

  • Evaluate blueprint drawings to make sure measurements of tools or equipment are accurate
  • Discuss any alterations with workers
  • Conduct tests of completed units and compare results with original specifications
  • Create and assemble new or altered tools or products
  • Estimate costs or dimensions of a project

Related Careers

Those interested in the responsibilities that engineering technologists often have may find a career as a mechanical drafter to be appealing, since they often deal directly with clients about design calculations and regulation compliance. If you are more drawn to the roles of an engineering technician, you might also want to check into the job of a machinist, who plans and works with their hands to build precision metal tools or parts.


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