About the Program
Wallace State Community College’s Engineering Technology program provides a pathway to give you opportunities to see exactly where you fit in the engineering world. There are many career options for those interested in a degree in engineering technology. There are careers where your office is the site of a new road, bridge, building, utility installation, or other major infrastructure projects. There are careers where you work in the comfort of an air-conditioned office.
Engineering technicians prepare technical drawings and plans used by production and construction workers to build everything from manufactured products such as toys, toasters, industrial machinery, and spacecraft to structures such as houses, office buildings, and oil and gas pipelines. Engineering technicians’ drawings provide visual guidelines, show the technical details of the products and structures, and specify dimensions, materials, and procedures. Most engineering technicians use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to prepare drawings.
Many engineering technicians work for architectural, engineering, and related services firms that design construction projects or do other engineering work on a contract basis for other industries. Jobs are also found in manufacturing industries such as machinery, fabricated metal, computer and electronics, and transportation equipment, including aerospace products and parts manufacturing, ship and boat building. Others are employed in construction, government, wholesale trade, and utilities, or are self-employed.
Opportunities are best for individuals with at least two years of postsecondary training in engineering technology and considerable skill and experience using CAD systems, along with well-developed drafting and mechanical drawing skills, knowledge of drafting standards, mathematics, science, and engineering technology.
Industrial growth and increasingly complex design problems associated with new products and manufacturing processes will increase the demand for engineering technician’s services. Engineering technicians with CAD expertise have broken out of the traditional drafting role and increasingly do work traditionally performed by engineers and architects, thus also increasing demand for engineering technicians.
Earnings for engineering technicians vary by specialty and level of responsibility. Annual earnings of architectural and civil technicians reached more than $47,560 in 2012, with similar numbers of mechanical engineering technicians earning more than $51,980, and electrical and electronics technicians earning more than $57,850. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)