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Jobs Outlook: Engineering Technicians




Opportunities will be best for individuals with an associate degree or extensive job training in engineering technology. As technology becomes more sophisticated, employers will continue to look for technicians who are skilled in new technology and require a minimum of additional job training. An increase in the number of jobs related to public health and safety should create job opportunities for engineering technicians with the appropriate certification.

Overall employment of engineering technicians is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2012. Competitive pressures will force companies to improve and update manufacturing facilities and product designs, resulting in more jobs for engineering technicians. However, the growing use of advanced technologies, such as computer simulation and computer-aided design and drafting will continue to increase productivity and limit job growth. In addition to growth, many job openings will stem from the need to replace technicians who retire or leave the labor force.

As is the case for engineers, employment of engineering technicians is influenced by local and national economic conditions. As a result, the employment outlook varies with industry and specialization. Growth in the largest specialty—electrical and electronics engineering technicians—is expected to be about as fast as the average, and there will also be many jobs created by the need to replace technicians who retire or leave the labor force. Employment of environmental engineering technicians is expected to grow faster than average, partly due to increased demand for environmental protection and partly due to recognition of environmental engineering technicians as a separate occupation.