Engineering technology

Engineering technology

Engineering Technology (ET) is a field of study which focuses on the applications of engineering and modern technology, rather than the theoretical.


In the United States, Engineering Technology programs are accredited through the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Depending on the institution, associate and/or bachelor degrees are offered, with a few institutions also offering advanced degrees. The type, length, and quality of education offered can vary greatly depending on the educational institution and the specialty pursued within Engineering Technology.

Worldwide Perspectives

The Sydney Accord is an agreement among the signatory nations acknowledging the academic equivalence of accredited Engineering Technology programs.

The Engineering Technologist Mobility Forum is an international forum held by signatories of the Sydney Accord to explore mutual recognition for experienced engineering technologists and to remove artificial barriers to the free movement and practice of engineering technologists amongst their countries.

Engineering versus Engineering Technology Programs

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology describes the difference between engineering and engineering technology as:"Engineering and technology are separate but intimately related professions. Here are some of the ways they differ::*Engineering undergraduate programs include more mathematics work and higher level mathematics than technology programs.:*Engineering undergraduate programs often focus on theory, while technology programs usually focus on application.:*Once they enter the workforce, engineering graduates typically spend their time planning, while engineering technology graduates spend their time making plans work.:*At ABET, engineering and engineering technology programs are evaluated and accredited by two separate accreditation commissions using two separate sets of accreditation criteria.:*Graduates from engineering programs are called engineers, while graduates of technology programs are often called technologists.:*Some U.S. state boards of professional engineering licensure will allow only graduates of engineering programs—not engineering technology programs—to become licensed engineers." [ [ ABET FAQ] ] The National Society of Professional Engineers describes the difference between engineering and engineering technology::"The distinction between engineering and engineering technology emanates primarily from differences in their educational programs. Engineering programs are geared toward development of conceptual skills, and consist of a sequence of engineering fundamentals and design courses, built on a foundation of complex mathematics and science courses. Engineering technology programs are oriented toward application, and provide their students introductory mathematics and science courses, and only a qualitative introduction to engineering fundamentals. Thus, engineering programs provide their graduates a breadth and depth of knowledge that allows them to function as designers. Engineering technology programs prepare their graduates to apply others' designs." [ [ Engineering Technology] ]

Professional Engineer Licensure

Many U.S. states allow Engineering Technology graduates from accredited programs to sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam to become an Engineer Intern (E.I.), and the Principles and Practices of Engineering (PP) exam to become a Professional Engineer (P.E.), but they require several additional years of experience before doing so.

However, this is controversial [] and against the formal policies of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). [ [ Engineering Technology ] ] The NCEES Model Law, [] would allow only engineering graduates to sit for these exams, and movement is underway to require a master's degree or equivalent for licensure as a Professional Engineer. [ [ Microsoft Word - ASCE Policy Statement 465_ 05-13-04.doc ] ]

Typical Positions

Positions vary according to the degree received. Graduates acquiring an associate's degree or lower typically find careers as Engineering Technicians. Those acquiring a bachelor's degree or higher “...often are hired to work as technologists or engineers, not technicians.” [ [ Engineering Technicians ] ] Entry-level positions such as product design, testing, development, systems engineering, field engineering, technical operations, and quality control are all common positions for Engineering Technology graduates. Often the title engineer can be put on an individual with no formal education, but a long history of doing engineering work.


See ABET for a list of accredited Engineering Technology [ programs] .

External links

* [ ABET] – Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
* [ NCEES] - National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
* [ Northeastern University] – What is Engineering Technology?
* [ NSPE] – National Society of Professional Engineers
* [ Old Dominion University Engineering and Technology]
* [ Purdue University] – A comparison between Electrical Engineering Technology and Engineering

Notes and references

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