The Bureau of Labor Statistics has delayed the creation of the Standard Occupational Code for Engineering Technologist. The field is therefore not acknowledged channeling students into different fields.
Engineering Technologists are sometimes subjugated to the level of Technician in many organizations effectively reducing the salaries of the individuals. This has a profound effect on their livelihoods. It is especially apparent with young graduates. When this occurs it nullifies the junior and senior years of academia and the individuals are left with student loan payments that command a higher percentage of their paycheck. The individuals are paid at the Associate degree level rather than if they have achieved a Baccalaureate degree.
The absence of acknowledgement for Engineering Technologist by the U.S. corporate world has perpetuated for many years. The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system is a critical component for the lack of recognition in Engineering Technology. The following explanation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is given for the omission in Docket No. 08-1158.
“Docket No. 08-1158 requested a new minor group for "Engineering Technologists" that would include 14 new detailed occupations, such as Chemical Engineering Technologists and Electromechanical Engineering Technologists. The SOCPC did not accept this recommendation, based on Classification Principle 1 which states that occupations are assigned to only one occupational category and Classification Principle 2 which states that occupations are classified based on work performed. The job title "engineering technologist" is used by workers who are classified in 17-2000 Engineers and by workers who are classified in 17-3000 Drafters, Engineering Technicians, and Mapping Technicians. The title is more appropriately used to identify educational background rather than occupational duties, and the duties performed by Engineering Technologists vary widely. (BLS, 2014).
Docket No. 08-1158 contradicts the previous statements published in the 2006 Occupational Outlook Handbook under the title of “Engineering Technicians.” The 2006 statement is as follows:
“Many 4-year colleges offer bachelor’s degrees in engineering technology, but graduates of these programs often are hired to work as technologists or applied engineers, not technicians." (BLS,2006).
It is therefore inappropriate to consider Engineering Technologist in any practice that is classified as an Engineer Technician (17-3021, 17-3022, 17-3023, 17-3024, 17-3025, 17-3026, 17-3027, 17-3028, 17- 3029, 17-3000, etc.)
Employers are confused by the ambiguous tasks of determining if the glass is half empty or half full. There is a missing rung in the career ladder for Engineering Technologists. Firms must choose to acknowledge a new Engineering Technologist graduates as either an Engineer or as a Technician. Usually, the slang term “Tech” is assigned to Engineering Technologists. Consequential, this incorrectly subjugated Engineering Technologist as technicians rather than a distinct field of Applied Engineering.
The situation is a critical concern for Engineering Technologist today because they are directed into Technician positions that pay significantly less. Students of Engineering Technology programs are effectively finding their junior and senior years of educations are dismissed because they are deemed irrelevant when placed in Technician positions. They are left in positions of paying huge student loans with limited funds from salaries as Technicians.
This petition requests the creation of an SOC classification for the recognition for Engineering Technologist. The SOC classification should include the acknowledgement of all valid accreditations that have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education (CHEA).
• The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (formerly known as the National Association of Industrial Technology),
• The Distance Education Training Council (DETC)
• The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology
• The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
• The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
It is emphasized that the central control of recognition should not reside with one accreditation or corporate entity that is either non- profit or for profit. It is also recommend that this recognition should be a separated from any influence made by the NSPE due to the following quote.
“NSPE opposes efforts to establish legal competency criteria for engineering technicians and technologists. “ (NSPE, 2014).
The following signature are submitted as consideration for the support for this cause and it is recommend that prompt action should be taken to include the SOC in the next revision of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Please Sign the petition at the link below:
Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014) Standard Occupational Classification
Retrieved from United States Department of Labor website on March 18, 2014 at
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor - Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Engineering Technicians - visited August 7, 2006.