What Exactly is Engineering Technology?

For most people, engineering is seen as being a “practical” field. However, it is important to note that this is a over-simplistic view of the field. After all, there are those who would call engineering the “theoretical” field compared to engineering technology, which would be called the “practical” field.

In short, if engineering is focused on designing things, then engineering technology is focused on translating those designs into functional products. As a result, there is a fair amount of overlap between engineering and engineering technology, as shown by the engineers and engineering technologists who wind up working in much the same roles in much the same processes. Sometimes, interested individuals can find engineering technologies helping out engineers, while other times, interested individuals can engineering technologies leading entire teams of engineers. Based on this, it is no wonder that people confuse engineers and engineering technologists for one another even though there is a clear line of separation drawn between the two.

What Do Engineering Technologists Do?

As stated, engineering technologists are supposed to handle the tasks involved in translating a design into a functional product. As a result, this means that a lot of engineering technologists are focused on the development process that exists for the purpose of producing improvements in a particular design by incorporating the lessons learned through their experiences and other useful sources of information. Likewise, there are a lot of engineering technologists involved in the implementation of designs, which can see said individuals performing tasks that range from the actual fabrication of things to the testing of the things that have been fabricated by them.

With that said, it is important to remember that there is considerable overlap between engineers and engineering technologists, which makes sense because a lot of real world processes can’t be separated into neatly compartmentalized steps but instead see those steps flowing into one another in a more-or-less seamless manner. Based on this, it is not uncommon to see engineering technologists involved in tasks that might be more associated with engineers in the popular imagination. For example, there are plenty of engineering technologists who are involved in product design in one way or another, which is perhaps unsurprising when they possess a lot of the same expertise and experience as their more “theoretical” counterparts. Moreover, it should be mentioned that engineering technologists have similar opportunities to engineers for advancing in their careers of choice, which is why interested individuals can find plenty of engineering technologists who have wound up as management as well as plenty of engineering technologists who have wound up as the owners of their own businesses.

How Can You Become an Engineering Technologist?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, engineering technologists have similar educational requirements as engineers, though the exact criteria will see differences from country to country. As a result, if people are interested in becoming an engineering technologist, they should research to see the exact requirements demanded of the relevant authorities for the countries where they are hoping to work as such.

Naturally, both engineering and engineering technology programs involve a fair amount of mathematics. After all, engineering wouldn’t be possible without mathematics, which in turn, means that engineers and engineering technologists wouldn’t be able to perform their intended tasks without a solid understanding of said field. With that said, engineering tends to involve more mathematics as well as more complicated mathematics. In contrast, engineering technology tends to involve less mathematics as well as less complicated mathematics, though that differences between the two might not be particularly apparent to people who are not well-suited for that particular field.

Of course, there is one other way that the two kinds of programs differ as well. Simply put, engineering programs put a huge emphasis on theory, which makes sense when engineers are supposed to do so much theoretical work. Meanwhile, engineering technology programs do include some theory, but they have a increased emphasis on the practical side of things that befits the intention for engineering technologists to handle the practical work that might not be well-suited to someone who focuses on the theoretical. As a result, while engineering and engineering technology programs can seem very similar. In the end, there are nonetheless clear differences between the two.


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