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Engineer vs Technician


Author: Charli K. Matthews

I would have liked to be an engineer, though when I read through my blogs, I probably would have been better suited for a technician’s role. After all, I am a ‘doer’ and seldom like to spend enough time thinking of all the different possible outcomes; I just want to find the solution and get it working! So do I really want to be an engineer? I know that I love the idea of creating something, but I also like to see and understand how things work and how I could make them work better and longer.

Traditionally, Engineers rely more on the theories and science, while a technician is a person with a more practical understanding. Basically Engineers are the problem solvers while technicians are doers who resolve problems and keep things working… I think I may actually fall between the lines here (I never was one to color inside the lines ;D ).

I find myself promoting engineering, but is this where it ends or is it really just the start?

In reality, one can’t exist without the other. Engineers need technicians to make the stuff they design work and keep working in the real world, and technicians need engineers to create the next world changing thing…it’s the perfect relationship.

So as you can imagine, this got me in a spin, after all the time spent celebrating the amazing engineers in our industry, I realized I may have overlooked an equally important group of experts!!

One of the best examples I read talked about pumps, but it also applies to valves, compressors, and motors. The engineer designs the pump, the manufacturing engineer designs the process and makes sure it gets made correctly, and then once it leaves the factory, the field service technician keeps it running the way the engineer designed it. They even may make changes to improve its performance and then feed the information back to the engineer so that they can make the next pump operate more efficiently…this is very cool!

Our industry needs both these experts and they need each other; they may not be as “sexy” as similar roles in other industries, but they have a very big impact on our lives, each and every day. So if you know someone, man or woman, with an interest please encourage them to think about a career in our industry. Also STEM and Project Lead the Way in our schools is a perfect place for our kids to develop an interest in either of these fields (I wish I’d had this chance!).

Does all of this make me more like a technician or an engineer? I guess it doesn’t really matter now because I have found a career where I can promote the great works of engineering and manufacturing. I love both and I will continue to raise awareness of how much we owe to the amazing things you are doing!  They are vital to life and we appreciate you!

Tell me your story! Did you choose to become an engineer or a technician?



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