Engineering technicians solve technical problems. They work in
various fields. Some of them help engineers and scientists in
research and development. They build or set up equipment. They
do experiments. They collect data and calculate or record results.
They help make a first model of newly designed equipment.
Some work in quality control. They look over products, do tests,
and collect data. In manufacturing they may help in design, development,
Most engineering technicians specialize in certain areas. For
example, there are civil engineering technicians and electrical
and electronics engineering technicians.
Most engineering technicians work at least 40 hours a week. They
work in labs, offices, factories, or on construction sites. Some
times they can be exposed to hazards.
Most employers prefer to hire someone with at least a 2-year
associate degree in engineering technology. You can be trained
at a lot of different schools or in the Armed Forces. You may
be able to get a job with science, engineering, and math courses
in college. If so, you may need more training and experience.
High school students who are interested in this field should
take as many science and math courses as possible.
Many engineering technicians help with design. To do this it
is good to be creative. They often work as part of a team. As
a result, good speaking and writing skills are important. They
also must be able to work well with others.
Beginning engineering technicians are usually given routine jobs
and watched closely. Then they are given more difficult jobs and
watched less closely. Some become supervisors.
|How much does this job pay?
The middle half of all electrical and electronics engineering
technicians earned between $33,760 and $53,200 in 2002. The lowest-paid
10 percent earned less than $26,770. The highest-paid 10 percent
earned more than $64,070.
The middle half of all civil engineering technicians earned between
$29,030 and $47,260 in 2002. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned
less than $23,080. The highest-paid 10 percent earned more than
There were 478,000 engineering technician jobs in 2002. Of these,
204,000 were electrical and electronics engineering technicians.
About 39 percent of all engineering technician jobs were in manufacturing.
Another 20 percent were in companies that do engineering work
on contract for government and businesses.
In 2002 the Federal Government employed 11,000 engineering technicians.
There were 34,000 engineering technicians in State government
and 24,000 in local government.
Those with an associate degree or lots of job training in this
field will have the best chance for a job. Employers will want
people who are trained in the latest technology. This is so they
will have little additional training to do. There will be more
jobs in public health and safety.
Employment of engineering technicians is expected to increase
about as fast as the average for all jobs through 2012. Companies
will have to improve and update their factories and product design.
However, more use of computers will limit job growth.
Employment also depends on the economy. This is true at both
the local and national levels. Growth in the largest field—electronics—is
expected to be about as fast as the average. The best chances
may be in the environmental field, which is expected to grow faster
|Are there other jobs like this?
- Broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators
- Science technicians
|Where can you find more information?
More information about these jobs can be found in the Careers
Occupational Outlook Handbook -- U.S. Department of Labor Bureau
of Labor Statistics