By DeVry University
An engineering technologist is someone who works on the creation of new or existing technologies. While they may work with engineers during the design process, an engineering technologist tends to be more focused on the practical, applicable side of engineering in a more hands-on way, making an engineer’s vision a reality.
If you've ever asked yourself, "What is an engineering technologist?" then read on to understand more about the key differences between engineers and engineering technologists, along with things you should know about the engineering technology field.
We’ll explore the type of work an engineering technologist does, skills that may be used in this career field, how to become an engineering technologist and more in the following sections:
Types of Work for an Engineering Technologist
Engineering technologists can find work in a wide range of industries, like manufacturing, aerospace, chemical processing and more. Here is a quick look at some of the jobs that an engineering technologist may pursue, as well as a brief description of what that job might include:
- Computer network support technician: Computer network support technicians use their understanding of computers to build and develop information technology (IT) networks. Job duties often include upgrading networks, troubleshooting errors, monitoring performance, improving servers and implementing more effective network security measures.
- Electrical engineering technologist: Electrical engineering technologists work alongside electrical engineers to build and test electrical systems within devices. Some job duties may include developing circuitry layouts, building and testing devices that an engineer designed, supervising workflows and performing project cost estimates.
- Engineering technologist: An engineering technologist working in a more general capacity can have a wide range of job duties depending on where they work. You may be involved in designing products, managing assembly processes, building prototypes based on an engineer’s designs or quality testing of existing prototypes.
- Manufacturing engineering technologist: Engineering technologists that work in the manufacturing field may find that their work tends to be a bit more process oriented. They may be responsible for analyzing the efficacy of existing processes and creating more efficient ones, building devices that can help with manufacturing and testing new manufacturing machines.
- Industrial engineering technologist: Industrial engineering technologists work with industrial engineers to solve issues that occur during the manufacturing process. Their work is similar to that of manufacturing engineering technologists.
Keep in mind that you may only be able to pursue some of these jobs after you’ve achieved a certain level of education. Certain job descriptions may require applicants to have a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering Technology, while others may only require you to have an Associate Degree in Engineering Technology.
It is also worth noting that job titles are not standardized across industries. You may find that the application requirements for a position at one company differ from a similarly titled position at another.
Soft Skills of an Engineering Technologist
An engineering technologist needs to develop a variety of hard, industry-relevant skills in order to succeed at their work. But hard skills aren't the only thing that great engineering technologists have. A big part of becoming a well-rounded engineering technologist is developing soft skills to help you work with your colleagues and do your job effectively.
Here are some examples of soft skills that engineering technologists might utilize:
- Problem solving: Engineering technologists need to know how to approach problems, analyze them and come up with new ways to solve them on a regular basis.
- Critical thinking: Critical thinking skills help engineering technologists know what questions to ask in order to develop products or systems.
- Attention to detail: Engineering technologists have to pay close attention to the how well a machine is functioning, or to the results of product or process tests which can reveal useful information and give them insight into where they can make improvements.
- Analytical abilities: Running tests to evaluate prototypes is a big part of an engineering technologist's job. Knowing how to read the results and implement a fix effectively is critical.
- Good at teamwork: Engineering technologists work with engineers and other engineering technologists on a regular basis. Understanding how to work as part of a team is an important part of improving efficiency and driving results.
- Communication skills: It's important that engineering technologists are able to communicate their findings clearly. In some cases, they may need to communicate complex ideas to non-engineers, so effective communication skills are key.
- Creativity: Engineering technologists sometimes need to think outside of the box when developing solutions to roadblocks that their projects face.
Hard Skills of an Engineering Technologist
As we mentioned, soft skills are only one part of working as an engineering technologist. Here are some of the hard skills engineering technologists use on the job that you might learn during an engineering technologist program:
- Industrial IoT: Engineering technologists that work in an industrial or manufacturing setting should understand how to connect machines and devices using Internet of Things (IoT) principles.
- Signal analysis: Depending on your specific field, you may need to know how analyze signals via processes such as frequency analysis and signal conversion.
- Circuit analysis: Engineering technologists that work in the electrical engineering technology field should know how to build and monitor circuits, as well as understand voltage and currents.
- Automation and control: If you want to work as a manufacturing engineering technologist, then you may need to know how to configure and troubleshoot control systems.
- Digital literacy: Digital literacy skills help engineering technologists know which technologies are appropriate to apply when solving issues that arise with devices.
- Mechanical capabilities: Engineering technologists need to have a good understanding of mechanics in order to build and test the designs that an engineer creates.
How to Become an Engineering Technologist
To pursue a career as an engineering technologist, you should spend time developing industry-related skills, earn a credential or degree that demonstrates your abilities and then start looking for work in the engineering technology field.
Here is an example of some of the steps you might take when thinking about how to become an engineering technologist:
- Enroll in an engineering technology program: The first step to becoming an engineering technologist is developing your skills. Enrolling in an engineering technology program, like our Bachelor's Degree in Engineering Technology at DeVry, is a great way to advance your education while gaining hands-on experience from knowledgeable faculty.
- Help yourself succeed: Once you've enrolled, you'll need to pass all the classes that are required to earn your degree. Setting aside time to focus on your studies can help set you up for success, and don't be afraid to ask questions from your teachers when you need it.
- Identify a field that interests you: As you near your graduation date, you might want to start to look at employers within the engineering technology field. Identify some positions that line up with your career goals, education level and work experience. While you’re in school, you should also work on building a resume that highlights your abilities and credentials.
- Apply for positions: Once you graduate from your engineering technology program, start looking at job postings and applying to positions that intrigue you. You may have to apply for several before you get an interview, but hang in there. With persistence and diligence, you’ll be able to create a plan that helps you work toward becoming an engineering technologist.
Develop Your Engineering Technology Skills at DeVry
At DeVry, we offer multiple programs that can help you hone your skills in engineering technology, with hands-on learning experiences built right into the curriculum. Explore our Bachelor's Degree in Engineering Technology, our Associate Degree in Engineering Technology and our Undergraduate Certificate in Engineering Technology programs to find the one that's right for you.