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Difference Between Technicians and Engineers

Technicians vs Engineers

There’s a lot of talk about the disparity between an engineer and a technician which usually leads to one side trashing the other. Some may proclaim themselves as engineers or technicians, but they should understand that there are certain requirements that must be met first for one to be called as such. The problem is that the distinction of an engineer and a technician has been blurred because of the fusion of these two separate roles.

But if you take a look at the big picture, engineers are the ones who solve the problems. They use all of the basic sciences and theories they’ve learned in their education to solve mathematical riddles and even design fresh products. Most engineers tend to revolutionize how humans live by finding technologies that can help make living and working much easier. It is even said that engineering is the second largest profession in America today. Most of this is attributed to the ever growing demand for professionals who are akin to today’s evolving technologies.

Technicians are very related to engineers. Their work often overlaps and goes hand in hand with the latter. If the engineers are considered as the problem solvers, then the technicians are the actual doers that resolve the problem. Most of them follow what the engineers or medical doctors instruct them to do. For example, technicians operate very complex equipment and machinery to help diagnose illnesses.

The usual connotation for the term “technician” appears to be the automotive technicians who are equipped with the skills to fix and diagnose car-related issues. This is the common conception of tier 1 technicians. Nevertheless, some technicians already belong to tier 2 who receive as much or even more education and training compared to engineers.

With regard to the level of education, engineers usually complete a degree of four years at an accredited institution. Technicians, on the other hand, usually complete a diploma course that spans for two years only. Engineers tend to study more on the theory behind their discipline. Technicians focus more on its practical application. That’s why it is actually safe to say that engineers are often, but not always, brainier while technicians are often more skillful.


1.Engineers rely more on the theories of their sciences while technicians focus more on its practical application.
2.Engineers are the problem solvers while technicians are the actual doers.
3.Although not applicable to all situations, the engineers are those who have obtained a degree which often requires a four-year course while technicians only need a shorter diploma course and additional training.
4.Because of the level of education, engineers are often better paid than technicians.

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  1. i like the engineering spirit in this work

  2. Being A Technician There Are Numerous Job Opportunities

  3. So in essence, Technicians are doers while Engineers are thinkers. Am I on the correct track here?

    • Well I would rather say that both are doers and thinkers.
      I am a stormwater engineer and this is my opinion.

      for example, if there is something that need to be solved.
      the engineer will be given the task to solve this technical problem.
      he will do so with tools available to him, such as math, physics, legislation (what is allowed to do), specifications and experience.
      All this work is usually done mainly in front of the computers and a bit in meetings.

      Once the problem is solved from the engineer point of view, the task goes to the technician to actually build it.
      the technician will also use tools available to him to build it, and they are quite the same do a different level, because most of the knowledge come with experience. for example you need physics (even though you don’t need to lay it on paper, you need to know if a 50t digger can stand there without collapsing anything below…), legislation (what should be done if oil is spilled on the ground…), specifications (if you need to build something that need to last in time, what is the good practice…), and of course always the most important, experience.
      And this work is done usually mainly on site, in meetings and a bit on the computer as well.

      they are both dependant on each other from the idea to the final product.

  4. Would I be correct if I said:
    “Engineers are the designers, developers/builders of solutions, while Technicians are the operators, maintainers/troubleshooters of those solutions.”

    I stand to be corrected.

    FYI: By the term “solutions” I mean, products, technologies, etc.

  5. I was a electro-mechanical technician for 20 years and and engineer for the last 12 years. There is a blurring of the lines. I was a technician for 10 of those years with a B.S. in Physics. I think engineers have more administrative responsibilities than technicians. More meetings, more paperwork, more interactions with clients and management, more leadership responsibilities. Engineering is also more of an organized. defined profession with conferences, academic journals, societies etc. for every branch of engineering. There is a more of a path to your career goals. You can achieve certification by aquiring the coveted PE. I had a shift in thought when I became an engineer focusing more on innovation and solving problems. As a technician I was focused more on getting the job done in the most practical way. There is a fair amount of animosity between the two depending on what industry you are in. If I were to make a choice I would say be an engineer but learn from the technicians. They can make your life a whole lot easier.

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