Engineering Technology: Bachelor, Associate & Online Degree Info

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An associate's and bachelor's degree in engineering technology can lead to careers in the engineering field. Get the truth about the requirements, courses and career options, and find out what you can do with your degree in engineering technology.
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Study Engineering Technology: Undergraduate Degrees at a Glance

Undergraduate degree programs in engineering technology will educate and train students to take on diverse roles, working as engineers or aiding engineers and scientists with research and development. Earning a degree in engineering technology may qualify students to work in a variety of industries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment of electrical and materials engineers and engineering technicians is projected to increase slower than the average for all occupations from 2010-2020. However, employment growth varies depending on the specific field.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who desire to work in supportive roles in the engineering field People with exceptional science and math skills who seek to work as engineers and focus on product testing, development and research and collecting data
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Civil engineer technician ($48,000)*
- Mechanical engineer technician ($53,000)*
-Electrical engineer ($89,000)*
- Materials engineer ($87,000) *
Time to Completion 2 years full-time 4 years full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Approximately 60 units of coursework
- Hands-on projects
- Approximately 120 units of coursework
- Advanced-level science, math, technology, and engineering courses
- Senior Seminar
Prerequisites - High school diploma - High school diploma
- Satisfactory college admission exam scores
Online Availability Yes No

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Associate's in Engineering Technology

Students who graduate with an associate's degree in engineering technology will be equipped with the analytical and concrete skills for identifying, testing, documenting, activating, selling and maintaining engineering systems. Engineering technology associate's degree programs also strive to prepare graduates for advanced studies in their field and for challenging positions in public and private industries. Students will apply their training and education to resolve scientific, technological and social problems related to the engineering field. Advancement opportunities with an associate's degree may be limited, unless technicians continue their education at the bachelor's degree level.

Pros and Cons


  • Ready to work after graduation
  • Opportunity to work in a variety of engineering fields
  • Engineering technology associate degree programs seek to provide a balanced mix of skills and experience*


  • Depending on your specialization, some of the job growth is projected to be slower than average for all occupations*
  • The job growth in civil engineering technology, for example, will be affected by the economic challenges faced by the government*
  • May be exposed to hazardous chemicals and working conditions

Source: *

Common Coursework and Requirements

Engineering technology associate's degree programs require students to have a variety of academic and technical skills that will aid engineers and scientists in their vast job duties. While enrolled in an associate's degree program in engineering technology, students will take courses in engineering technology, written communication, oral communication, social sciences, computer literacy, math and science.

Online Degree Options

Online associate's degree programs in engineering technology prepare students for engineering technician positions through the use of Internet-based programs and components. These online degree programs give students the opportunity to earn their associate's degree in engineering technology in convenient and flexible settings, and without the need of attending a traditional class.

Getting Ahead with this Degree

To get ahead with your engineering technology associate's degree, you should consider what specific engineering field you would like to specialize in, and then find ways to gain valuable knowledge, experience and training. Taking professional development classes, enrolling in continuing education courses and joining professional organizations are ways to increase your expertise in a particular engineering field and stay up-to-date in the latest technological advancements.

Bachelor's in Engineering Technology

Engineering technology education focuses on evaluating, applying and improving existing technologies. Bachelor's degree programs in engineering technology are aimed at preparing graduates to work as engineers and apply knowledge of scientific, mathematical and engineering principles to solve technology problems. Engineering technology programs also seek to prepare students to effectively work as part of an engineering team in a variety of areas such as research and developments, sales, manufacturing and construction. Depending on the specialty, some engineers may have to earn licensure.

Pros and Cons


  • Employers in a variety of industries need well-trained engineers
  • Higher salary opportunities*
  • Opportunity to oversee projects


  • Some engineering fields may experience limited job growth in upcoming years*
  • Slower growth in manufacturing will affect employment*
  • Employment of more technicians may reduce the need for engineers

Source: *

Common Coursework and Requirements

Engineering technology programs require students to use their knowledge of applied math and natural science towards the improvement of technological advances. Furthermore, students must learn to apply creativity in the design of products, demonstrate competency when solving problems and translate theoretical designs into actual products. Some engineering technology bachelor's degree programs may require foreign language and a class in algebra prior to admission into the program.

Once enrolled in an engineering technology bachelor's degree program, students will take courses in the areas of communications, mathematics, sciences, humanities, behavioral and social sciences, health, business and history.

Online Degree Options

Distance learning programs that offer bachelor's degrees in engineering technology are not available because of the hands-on requirements. However, off-campus programs may be available for working adults who want to attend classes at night or on weekends. It's important that any prospective school that offers this type of program is accredited.

Stand Out with this Degree

There are ways to stand out as you pursue your Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology degree. For instance, you may consider becoming an active participant in student engineering organizations on your college's campus. Also, if you meet the qualifications, you may be invited to join honor societies, such as the Tau Alpha Pi. The Tau Alpha Pi is an engineering technology honors organization that offers its members access to possible internships, resume tips, networking and career opportunities.

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