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Engineering Technician Career

Career Description

Engineering Technician Career

Engineering technicians use scientific, engineering and mathematical principles to overcome technical issues in research, development, construction and maintenance of equipment. They work in close collaboration with engineers and scientists but are more focused on customized applications.
Work Tasks

With an engineering technician career, you can work in research and development, quality control or manufacturing. Depending on your field, you could be required to:

  • Build or set up equipment,
  • Calculate or record results,
  • Collect data,
  • Inspect products and processes,
  • Conduct tests, and
  • Assist in product design, development and assembly.

Educational Programs and Training

Though formal education is not a compulsion for an engineering technician career, most companies prefer to hire individuals with some vocational training or an associate’s degree. Vocational schools require a high school diploma or GED. If you enroll in an associate degree, you may be able to transfer credits to a bachelor’s program in engineering to improve your educational qualifications or make changes in your career.
Programs at technical institutions include classroom instruction and vigorous training with more focus on the practical side of things rather than the theoretical. Coursework and the length of such programs tend to vary with each college. The entire coursework or some part of it may also be taken online in many institutions.

Programs at community colleges are quite the same as those of technical institutions apart from additional courses in liberal arts and an emphasis on theory instead of practical training.

Areas of Specialization

Engineering technicians may choose to specialize in a particular field such as electronics, civil engineering, aerospace, agriculture, materials, computer hardware, environment, industries, petroleum, nuclear energy, and geological or chemical engineering.


After completing an associate’s degree program you can take the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technology (NICET) exam which has four different levels of certification to offer. After a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institute, you can seek certification from the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (TAC/ABET).


The average annual earnings in 2009 for engineering technicians were:

  • Civil engineering  - $45,970
  • Environmental engineering - $42,350
  • Aerospace engineering and operations - $56,960
  • Mechanical engineering - $48,970
  • Electro-mechanical engineering - $48,010
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