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Engineering Technician Job Description

Engineering Technicians use the principles and theories of science, engineering and mathematics to solve technical problems in research and development, manufacturing, sales, construction, inspection and maintenance.

Primary Objective of Engineering Technicians:

  • The Primary objective of the Engineering Technician is to use the principles and theories of science, engineering and mathematics to solve technical problems in research and development.
  • Next the Engineering Technicians work is more narrowly focused and application-oriented than that of scientists or engineers.
  • The Engineering Technicians do assist engineers and scientists, especially in research and development.

Some Engineering Technicians work in quality control, inspecting products and processes, conducting tests, or collecting data. In manufacturing, Engineering Technicians may assist in product design, development, or production. Engineering Technicians who work in research and development build or set up equipment, prepare and conduct experiments, collect data, calculate or record results, and help engineers or scientists in other ways, such as making prototype versions of newly designed equipment. Engineering Technicians assist in design work, often using computer aided design and drafting (CADD) equipment.

Most Engineering Technicians specialize, learning skills and working in the same disciplines as engineers. The Engineering Technician is therefore inclined to use occupational titles that depict what specific nature of their work that they are specializing. Aerospace Engineering and operations technicians operate and maintain equipment used to test aircraft and spacecraft. New aircraft designs are subjected to years of testing before they are put into service, since failure of key components during flight can be fatal. Engineering Technicians may calibrate test equipment, such as wind tunnels, and determine causes of equipment malfunctions. They may also program and run computer simulations that test new designs virtually. Using computer and communications systems, aerospace engineering and operations technicians often record and interpret test date.

Civil Engineering Technicians help Civil Engineers plan and oversee the construction of highways, buildings, bridges, dams, wastewater treatment systems, and other structures. Some estimate construction costs and specify materials to be used, and some may even prepare drawings or perform land-surveying duties. Others may set up and monitor instruments used to study traffic conditions. Some Engineering Technicians prefer to specialize in Electrical Engineering. They help design, develop, test and manufacture electrical and electronic equipment such as communication equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and computers. They work in product evaluation and testing, using measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test and repair equipment.

Other Engineering Technicians prefer to specialize in the environment and are referred to as Environmental Engineers. These Engineering Technicians work with engineers and scientists in developing methods and devices used in the prevention, control, remediation of environmental hazards. These Engineer Technicians inspect and maintain equipment related to air pollution and recycling. Some inspect water and wastewater treatment systems to ensure that pollution control requirements are met. Their job is very vital and as an Engineering Technician they must take specialized courses at college or vocational school so that they are capable of maintaining and repairing the equipment needed to do their job.

Most Engineering Technicians work 40 hours a week in laboratories, in offices, in manufacturing or industrial plants, or on construction sites. Some may be exposed to hazards from equipment, chemicals or toxic materials, but incidents are rare as long as proper procedures are followed. Most employers prefer hiring Engineering Technicians with an associate degree or other postsecondary training in Engineering Technology. Training is available at Technical Institutes, at community colleges, at extension divisions of colleges and universities, at public and private vocational technical schools and in the Armed Forces. Employers prefer to hire someone with a 2-year associate degree or other postsecondary training in Engineering Technology. The reason is that workers with less formal Engineering Technology training need more time to learn skills while on the job. A prospective Engineering Technicians should take as many high school science and math courses as possible to prepare for programs in Engineering Technology after high school.

Engineering Technology assist in design work, so creativity is very desirable, good communication skills a must and the ability to work well with others a certainty. Most Engineering Technicians are a part of a team of engineers and other technicians. It is very important that any Engineering Technician be able to work well as a team effort.

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