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Engineering Technician

What is this job like?

Engineering technicians solve technical problems. Some help engineers and scientists do research and development. They build or set up equipment. They do experiments. They collect data and calculate results. They might also help to make a model of new equipment. Some technicians work in quality control where they check products, do tests, and collect data. In manufacturing, they help to design and develop products. They also find ways to produce things efficiently.

Most technicians focus on one type of engineering, such as civil engineering. They help engineers to plan bridges and roads. They might also get data about traffic.

Other technicians focus on electrical engineering. They help to design or test electronics.

Other types of engineering technicians work in aerospace, environmental, industrial, or mechanical engineering.

Most engineering technicians work about 40 hours a week. They work in labs, offices, factories, or on construction sites. Some might be exposed to dangerous materials.


How do you get ready?

People who have a 2-year college degree in engineering technology have the best chance of getting a job, but some people train in the Armed Forces. High school students who want this job should take as many science and math courses as they can.

Many engineering technicians help with design. This takes creativity. Technicians often work as part of a team. So, they must be able to work well with others.

How many jobs are there?

There were 497,300 engineering technician jobs in 2008. More than half were in electrical and electronics engineering or civil engineering. About 34 percent of all engineering technicians worked in manufacturing industries.What about the future?

Employment of engineering technicians is expected to increase more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2018. However, the amount of growth depends on the engineering field. Employment of civil engineering technicians is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations, but employment of electrical and electronics engineering technicians will experience little or no change through 2018.


How much does this job pay?

In May 2008, the average yearly wages of electrical and electronics engineering technicians were $53,990. Civil engineering technicians earned an average yearly wage of $45,730.

Are there other jobs like this?

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators

Drafters

Science technicians

Surveyors

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