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Careers in Technology and Engineering Technology
There are a variety of different opportunities available to students when choosing a career in technology and engineering technology. A student's career objectives and skills will determine the type of education and training a student will need to pursue.
Understanding the functional differences between a technician, a technologist, and an engineering technologist is especially important when considering career options in technology. Knowing the differences will help students choose the appropriate course of study.
A technician usually attains technical training through an apprenticeship, technical certification, or two-year associate degree program in a specific field of study. Technicians typically build, repair, maintain, and/or operate specialized, technical equipment and systems. Technicians include: machinists, electrician, welders, auto body technicians, auto mechanics, drafting technicians, aircraft mechanics, etc.
Generally, a technologist is college educated with a four-year degree which includes general education, a technical specialization, and a technical management core. Technologists typically hold positions such as technical manager and must be able to understand theories and apply the principals and concepts of mathematics, science, and application of computer fundamentals. Training in management, social and behavioral sciences, and communication is essential. Technologists often manage technicians and engineers.
Engineering technologists use the principles and theories of technology, science, engineering, and mathematics to solve technical problems in research and development, manufacturing, sales, construction, and electronics. Their work is more limited in scope and more practically oriented than that of engineers. Many engineering technologists assist engineers and scientists, especially in research and development. Others work in quality control inspecting products, processes, conducting tests, and collecting data. In manufacturing, they may assist in product design, development, or production. Engineering technicians who work in research and development build or set up equipment, conduct experiments, collect data, and report results. Also they assist engineers in making prototype versions of newly designed equipment. They also assist in design work, often using computer-aided design (CAD) equipment. Engineering technologists specialize in certain areas, learning skills and working in the same disciplines as engineers.