Who are they and what do they actually do?
Engineering Technicians are the arms and legs of an Engineering department. The Project Engineers, Design Engineers & other technical people are creating plans, designs & strategies which are then carried out by the Technicians. In smaller companies the roles tend to be blended together, where the lead Engineer is also playing the part of the Technician. In larger companies and large-scale projects the roles are separated and clearly defined.
Since Engineering Technicians are involved with mainly the hands-on part of the tasks, they only need a basic understanding of Engineering principles and theories. They usually don’t need degree qualifications. The work environment for this type of career is either lab based (for research companies), production lines (for manufacturing companies) or work site (for construction and other civil companies).
Cognitive processes & intelligence methods used: Engineering technicians use mainly kinaesthetic methods for processing information & learning. They carry out all of the practical work of an engineering function whilst only needing a basic understanding of underlying scientific or mathematical principles. Whilst having less deeper level understanding than other engineers, technicians tend to have a better ‘practical feel’ for the technology they deal with.
Skills that are needed to begin in this career path: A range of hands-on & trade skills are usually needed for a start in this position, although some companies offer internship or apprenticeship positions where these skills are taught from the ground up.
Skills that are developed throughout this career path: As an Engineering Technician develops through their career they usually become highly skilled in a particular art of expertise such as welding, fabricating, electrical wiring or firmware debugging. Technicians that are highly motivated can eventually progress into more technical work (less hands on) or even business roles.
Individual or teamwork: Technicians have a wide scope of tasks and could either work individually on small projects or within a large team.
Similar Engineering careers:
- It is a unique career path.
Read more about the most relevant disciplines:
An Engineering diploma is usually the only requirement for an Engineering technician role. Any of the four major disciplines are relevant.