Although engineering positions often require advanced degrees, you may be able to land a job as an engineering technician with just an associate degree. Engineering technicians assist scientists and engineers, typically on research and development projects. They collect data, troubleshoot mechanical and electrical problems, and assist in product design and construction for manufacturers. They may also build or set up equipment, conduct experiments, collect data, and build prototypes of newly designed equipment.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most engineering technicians get into the workforce with an associate degree in engineering technology. Most 2-year degrees accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) include coursework in algebra, trigonometry, and basic science. Your technical training may vary depending on your specialty. If you're into mechanical engineering, your coursework should include fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and technical design. On the other hand, if you're into electronics, your coursework may focus on electrical circuits, microprocessors, and digital electronics.
Because the quality and focus of an associate degree in engineering can vary widely--depending on the college and curriculum--you'll want to ensure the program fits your career goals before enrolling. You might even consider pursuing an online associate degree in engineering. If you're already working forty hours a week, commuting to a college campus and chasing a class schedule may not be practical--especially if you're juggling family commitments. While earning an online degree, you can attend class from your home computer, accessing lecture notes, homework assignments, and class discussions through an online interface. Check out online associate degrees in engineering today.
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