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Industrial Technology - Helpful Information

Things to know

You need good communications skills to succeed in this field. A writing course, and probably a public speaking course, should be part of your program even if they are not required.

Consider taking some business courses. Industrial engineering technologists work closely with management. In addition, the skills you learn in these courses may later help you make a career shift into management. This can be a logical and fulfilling career path, especially if you are uninterested in becoming a licensed engineer (or if your state does not allow it).

A lot of people are unclear about the differences among an engineer, an engineering technologist, and an engineering technician. All work as part of an engineering team. Together, they solve practical problems by applying principles of science and math. The engineer tends to work more in theoretical terms and is more concerned with design. The engineering technologist tends to work more in practical terms and is more concerned with putting the design into practice. The technician gathers data and works with equipment to make the implementation work.

With a bachelor's degree in an engineering technology, you may be able to work either as an engineer or as a technologist. Your options depend on where you live. About one-third of the states do not allow engineering technology graduates to be licensed as engineers. Other states allow the license but restrict what you can do. Without a license, you still can have a rewarding job as part of the engineering team.

If you want a license and you are allowed by your state to seek one, you usually must have a bachelor's degree from an engineering technology program recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. (In this field, there are fewer than 10.) Then, you need several years of work experience and must pass an exam. Often you can take the exam in two stages. Your best bet is to take the first exam when you graduate or soon afterward.

You also should consider getting certification from the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies. Try to determine how important this certification is to local employers.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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