Engineering technicians may work in diverse environments related to automobile components, heavy machinery, construction sites and medical equipment. Such environments are likely to dictate relevant job duties as well. A mechanical engineering technician, for example, may create and improve machinery components, while civil engineering technicians may assist with the design of community infrastructure. An electrical technician may work at construction sites or in quality control laboratories to test equipment, while a technician in electronics may test small-scale electrical systems. A biomedical engineering technician may repair medical equipment in hospitals or long-term care facilities.
Mechanical engineering technician jobs are often available in a variety of industries that includes automobiles, tools and machinery. These positions are likely to work closely with engineers in creating or improving products. As such, mechanical technicians may review detailed drawings of a product's components. Examples of components may include nuts, bolts and screws.
Some technicians in this field may work in plants and factories, while others may be found in governmental agencies or consulting firms. In many cases, these technicians use testing equipment and measuring instruments to validate products or create new drawings. This job may also estimate the cost of a product’s development and determine how well it will perform.
Civil engineers are likely to need assistance with planning and development. Unlike mechanical engineering, this industry often designs community infrastructure, including highways, bridges, sewers and tunnels. Civil engineering technician jobs may thus be available with project management firms and governmental agencies.
This type of technician may be responsible for researching and planning a new project. On a highway overpass, for example, he or she may arrange equipment that monitors traffic flow to determine the needs of that area. Project materials, labor crews and budget costs may be estimated by the technician and provided to the engineer for final approval. Technicians may also help the engineer create scale models or drawings of a project and monitor daily progress at the work site.
Industrial or commercial building sites, quality control labs and engineering firms may provide opportunities for electrical engineering technician jobs. The tasks of these positions are likely to vary depending upon a project’s needs or the employment environment. In a quality control lab, for example, the technician may purchase and validate analytical equipment and software. This person may also maintain all quality control instruments and develop new analytical methods.
At a job site for new construction, this technician may assemble electrical systems, provide assistance and resolution when electrical problems arise and install electrical control systems. This person may also conduct equipment tests, make repairs and help an engineer design electrical hardware or software. In both instances, the electrical technician is likely to work under lead engineering staff.
Whereas electrical engineering is likely to focus on large-scale systems, electronic engineering may concentrate on small-scale systems such as computers and integrated circuits. In this sense, electronic engineering technician jobs may be concerned with informational output. These positions may thus assist engineers with testing components, identifying layout problems and assembling circuitry to improve equipment. Technicians are likely to analyze and interpret test results, work with drawing charts and diagrams and utilize such equipment as voltmeters and transistor testers. Electronic manufacturers may hire these technicians for developmental projects with new and existing devices.
People who prefer to work in medicine or clinical care may find biomedical engineering technician jobs to be rewarding. These positions often work with medical equipment technicians, hospitals or long-term care facilities. Their primary function is likely to maintain and repair medical equipment. Technicians may thus need to diagnose and correct malfunctions in a variety of products, including patient beds, imaging equipment and electronic surgical tools.
Biomedical technicians are likely to interact with clinical staff for the arrangement and operation of equipment. Technicians may thus need to have some knowledge of biology, anatomy and physics. If a tool or equipment piece cannot be repaired, technicians may also need to dispose of toxic, radioactive or hazardous components.
In many cases, engineering technicians are required to hold two-year degrees in engineering technology. Degrees may be available from community colleges, technical institutes and vocational training schools. Technicians may need professional or academic experience in their specialized field as well. Some employers may be willing to substitute on-the-job training for this requirement.