Career Development

What Does an Engineering Technologist Do?

Find out what an Engineering Technologist does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as an Engineering Technologist.

An Engineering Technologist plays a significant role in the practical application of engineering principles and technology, bridging the gap between innovative engineering theories and their real-world implementation. This position involves collaborating closely with engineers and other professionals to design, develop, and enhance products, systems, and processes. By leveraging their deep understanding of engineering technology and methodologies, Engineering Technologists contribute to the optimization of technical projects, ensuring they are efficient, sustainable, and meet the required specifications. Their work encompasses a broad spectrum of activities, from conducting detailed analyses to supporting the development of engineering solutions, all aimed at improving functionality and effectiveness within various industries.

Engineering Technologist Job Duties

  • Design and develop engineering projects, including drafting blueprints, creating 3D models, and selecting appropriate materials and technologies.
  • Perform complex calculations to analyze and evaluate the structural integrity of designs and the efficiency of systems.
  • Implement and oversee the installation of engineering solutions, ensuring compliance with project specifications, safety standards, and regulatory requirements.
  • Troubleshoot and resolve technical issues that arise during the project lifecycle, applying innovative problem-solving skills to ensure minimal disruption.
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including engineers, project managers, and clients, to ensure project objectives are met within budget and timeline constraints.
  • Test and validate the performance of prototypes and final products, using a variety of tools and methods to ensure they meet all operational requirements.
  • Document all phases of the engineering process, from initial concept through to final implementation, ensuring that all project details are accurately recorded.
  • Conduct environmental impact assessments for projects, proposing sustainable solutions and modifications to minimize negative effects on the ecosystem.

Engineering Technologist Salary & Outlook

Factors influencing an Engineering Technologist’s salary include industry sector (e.g., aerospace vs. software), years of experience, specialized skills in emerging technologies, and the size of the employer. Additionally, roles with leadership responsibilities or those requiring advanced problem-solving abilities typically command higher salaries.

  • Median Annual Salary: $69,825 ($33.57/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $121,000 ($58.17/hour)

The employment of engineering technologists is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

This growth is driven by the increasing complexity of engineering tasks, the need for innovation in product development, and the integration of new technologies across industries, requiring technologists to implement, maintain, and improve technological solutions.

Engineering Technologist Job Requirements

Education: An Engineering Technologist typically holds a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering technology or a related field, with coursework in mathematics, science, and specialized engineering disciplines. Some may have a Post-Secondary Certificate or an Associate’s Degree, focusing on practical engineering skills. Majors often include mechanical, electrical, or civil engineering technology. Advanced positions may require further education in a specific engineering technology specialization.

Experience: Engineering Technologists typically enter the field with a solid foundation of practical experience, often gained through a combination of on-the-job training and participation in specialized training programs. These professionals have usually spent significant time working directly in engineering environments, honing their skills in applying engineering principles and technical specifications to real-world problems. Their experience often spans various projects, allowing them to develop a broad understanding of different engineering processes, technologies, and methodologies. Continuous professional development through workshops and seminars is also common, ensuring they stay updated with the latest technological advancements and engineering practices.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications and licenses are not typically required for the job of Engineering Technologist. However, obtaining a Certified Engineering Technologist (CET) designation can be beneficial. Some positions may prefer or require Professional Engineering (PE) licensure depending on the job scope and jurisdiction.

Engineering Technologist Skills

CAD Software: Engineering Technologists leverage this software to design, simulate, and modify complex 3D models with precision, enhancing the development process from concept to final product. It also supports team collaboration by offering a shared platform for design review, real-time adjustments, and accurate specification adherence.

Prototyping: The creation of functional models or simulations is central to an Engineering Technologist’s role, enabling the refinement and optimization of designs prior to mass production. This iterative process involves collaboration with design teams and combines traditional techniques with advanced technologies to materialize concepts, ensuring the final product’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Systems Integration: Specialists in this field integrate hardware, software, and network systems to boost functionality and operational efficiency. They ensure seamless communication between disparate system components, addressing complex technical challenges to deliver cohesive solutions that align with organizational objectives.

Technical Documentation: The production of clear, detailed guides and manuals is critical, making complex engineering concepts understandable for both technical and non-technical audiences. This skill not only streamlines project execution but also enhances communication between the engineering team and other departments.

Material Science: Engineering Technologists select appropriate materials for product development and manufacturing, analyzing characteristics such as strength, durability, and cost to guarantee optimal performance. Keeping up with advancements in composites, polymers, metals, and ceramics, they innovate and refine product designs and manufacturing methods.

Quality Control Testing: Engineering Technologists conduct thorough tests and data analysis to ensure products meet established quality standards. Utilizing specialized equipment and software to replicate real-world conditions, they guarantee that each product is safe, reliable, and meets customer expectations before market release.

Engineering Technologist Work Environment

Engineering technologists often find themselves in diverse settings, from modern offices to industrial sites, reflecting the varied nature of their work. Their workspace is typically equipped with advanced tools and software necessary for design, analysis, and project management, ensuring they have the resources to tackle complex problems efficiently.

Work hours can vary, with some flexibility to accommodate project deadlines and meetings, while the dress code tends to align with the task at hand—casual or business attire for the office and protective gear for site visits. The environment encourages collaboration and continuous learning, with opportunities for professional development through workshops and conferences.

Health and safety are paramount, especially in fieldwork, where adherence to guidelines is strictly monitored. The pace can be fast, balancing multiple projects, yet the culture often supports a healthy work-life balance, recognizing the importance of downtime. Interaction with team members and clients is frequent, fostering a dynamic and supportive social environment.

Advancement Prospects

Engineering Technologists can advance into senior technical roles, project management, or specialized areas such as research and development. Progression often involves taking on more complex projects, leading teams, or focusing on innovative technologies within their field.

To achieve these advancements, gaining hands-on experience with cutting-edge tools and technologies is crucial. This may involve working closely with engineers to design, test, and improve products or systems. Demonstrating problem-solving skills, an ability to work under pressure, and a knack for innovation can set one apart.

For those aiming at management or leadership positions, developing strong communication and team management skills is essential. This could mean leading smaller projects or teams as a stepping stone. In specialized fields like aerospace, automotive, or renewable energy, staying abreast of industry trends and technological advancements can open doors to niche opportunities and higher responsibility roles.


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