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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.

Originally posted to laser100 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by The KETI Program.

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Comment Preferences

  •  NSA pick up lines. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

     photo wiretap-that_zps179990b7.jpg

    If the Lord can see His way clear to bless the Republican Party the way it's been carrying on, then the rest of us ought to get it without even asking. -Will Rogers

    by Gordon20024 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:12:44 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure what to make of this diary (2+ / 0-)

    As some one who was channeled into an ill defined two-tiered wage system program myself, I can relate.

    The way the diary is written (It sounds more like something someone would write for a professional society publication) and the fact that you published it the same day you joined may have earned you the donut.

    I think a little more analysis relating this particular two-tiered system to labor issues in general would have made it more appropriate for DKos.

    At any rate, I don't think you deserve to be hide-rated, so uprated.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:30:01 PM PDT

    •  Engineering Technology (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It was pre-written but it still represents an issue of inequality.  I have an intern that was slated for a position as a Transmission Engineer by my Supervisor.  The HR department of my Fortune 500 company decided to change the corporate structure to block Engineering Technologist from any Engineering position and he was passed up for the position.  He attended Purdue University and has 3 kids.  He is now accepting a Technician position to put food on the table.  His whole family is now paying the price.

  •  I've no clue what an engineering technologist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueMississippi, kurt

    is or does.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:32:31 PM PDT

  •  Not sure what an Engineering Technologist does. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It appears to me that you are complaining about the difference in salary between an engineer and an engineering tech. I don't understand why someone who goes for a 4-year degree in engineering would go for a "tech" degree rather than an "engineering" degree. Same four years. I have worked with many talented, hard-working engineering techs (with and without degrees), and as an engineer with a BS (and an MS), the difference in education between engineers and techs is clear to me. Were you perhaps taken in by one of these scamming, for profit schools?

    The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right. Mark Twain

    by BlueMississippi on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:07:56 PM PDT

  •  I went to an undergraduate school that offered (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OrganicChemist, BlueMississippi

    an engineering technology degree a few decades ago. I never understood why, if one were interested in engineering, one would choose a school that didn't offer a fully-fledged engineering program.

    Now that I work in an engineering firm with engineers (I'm a hydrogeologist), I see how important it is for engineers to pass their Professional Engineering test and be registered by the states in which they practice as P.E.s (much the same as P.G. for geologists).

    A question: do engineering technology degree holders have the academic credentials to allow them them to take and pass a P.E. exam, or are they forever relegated to "not quite an engineer" status?  If so, then technician seems to be an appropriate classification, though perhaps (depending on capability) with greater responsibility and greater pay than associates degree holders.

    •  Engineering Technology Occupation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Why would someone not attend a full Engineering program?  It is simple because they want more to do in their career than design work.  Engineering Technologist are a unique occupation that is trained in Project and Process Management skills in addition to Engineering methodologies.  They are occasionally employed as a supervisor of Technicians and they breakdown designs into managable segments where they can be process.  There are 3500 universities with Engineering Technology programs.  They out number Engineers and they deserve to be recognized as unique.   Asking an Engineering Technologist to sit for the PE license is equivalent to asking a Nurse or Accountant to sit for the exam.

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