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Engineering Technology Careers

photo of a female engineering tech at work on site

Many engineering technicians assist engineers and scientists, especially in research and development. Others work in quality control, inspecting products and processes, conducting tests or collecting data. In manufacturing, they may assist in product design, development or production.

Engineering technicians who work in research and development build or set up equipment; prepare and conduct experiments; collect data; calculate or record results; and help engineers or scientists in other ways, such as making prototype versions of newly designed equipment. They also assist in design work, often using computer-aided design and drafting equipment.

About 35 percent of all engineering technicians work in manufacturing, mainly in the computer and electronic equipment, transportation equipment and machinery manufacturing industries. Another 25 percent work in professional, scientific and technical service industries, mostly in engineering or business services companies that do engineering work on contract for government, manufacturing firms or other organizations.

Most engineering technicians work 40 hours a week in laboratories, offices, manufacturing or industrial plants or on construction sites. Some may be exposed to hazards from equipment, chemicals or toxic materials.

What Skills Do I Need?

  • A strong foundation in science and math
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • The ability to be a flexible, self-directed team player
  • Solid computer literacy
  • Excellent communication skills
  • The desire and ability to stay current in work skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • A sense of responsibility to get the job done right
  • An aptitude for technology and electronics
  • Good hand-eye coordination

Salaries and Projected Job Growth

According to America’s Career Infonet, these occupations include the following salaries across Texas:

Job Hourly Rate Annual Salary Projected Growth Through 2020
Architectural and civil drafters $23.20 $48,300 +1%
Civil engineering technicians $19.72 $41,000 +1%
Electro-mechanical technicians $23.38 $48,600 +4%
Engineering technicians $28.00 $58,200 +1%
Environmental engineering technicians $21.30 $44,300 +18%

Engineering-Related Careers Requiring Further Education

If you plan to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering, please ask your academic advisor about ensuring that you follow a transferrable associate degree plan.

Salaries and Projected Job Growth

America’s Career Infonet gives detailed information about the skills, abilities and work activities of the following engineering-related careers in Texas:

Job Hourly rate Annual Salary Projected Growth Through 2018
Architects $34.46 $71,700 +17%
Civil engineers $42.02 $87,400 +20%
Electrical engineers $44.11 $91,700 +5%
Electronics engineers $44.01 $91,500 +3%
Industrial engineers $44.12 $91,800 +5%
Mechanical engineers $43.23 $89,900 +5%