Difference between Technicians and Engineers

Key difference: Engineers plan, design and supervise engineering projects from concept to completion. Technicians are the doers; they support the systems and projects that the engineers design.

At times, the technicians and engineers are used synonymously; however there are some significant differences between the two. Basically, an engineer is the team leader of an engineering team, while, technicians are the doers and implementers. Technicians focus on the practical elements of the job and are the support team for the engineers.

The main difference between technicians and engineers is the accreditation. Engineers need at least a bachelors engineering degree, which is 4-years of study. Whereas, technicians usually only have an associates degree, a 2-year program. Some technicians, depending on the field that they work in, might not even have an associated degree. They might be able to get away with some vocational training, which focuses the area of study on just enough of what they need to know to perform their tasks.

Engineers are in charge of developing and designing systems. They plan, design and supervise engineering projects from concept to completion. They invent new technologies, design and develop tools and new systems. Engineers are the team leader of an engineering team. They can legally approve plans for projects that affect public safety and commerce. Engineers solve problems and design new products by relying on their creative and academic skills. The engineer's training usually includes more mathematics, analytical methods and advanced training in the applicable sciences.

Technicians, on the other hand, support the systems that the engineers design. They are doers and implementers. They perform the day-to-day tasks required in carrying out a project. They are highly trained to perform specific tasks. They generally follow procedures developed by doctors or engineers.

Technicians focus on the practical elements of the job and provide technical assistance in specialized area. Technicians work as part of a team for a particular project or operation, which is usually headed by an engineer. There are various different types of technicians, including medical, pharmacy, mobile, mechanical, automobile technician, etc. Technicians are usually classified as either skilled workers or semi-skilled workers.

Technicians and engineers work side-by-side to ensure that a project is successful. Basically, technicians aim for practical design and production work, while, engineers require theoretical, scientific and mathematical knowledge of engineering. However, their job functions often do overlap.

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