- Plural of technologist
A technologist is a specialist that is trained to peform work in a field of technology. In some countries there is a clear distinction defined in law and only individuals who have graduated from an accredited curriculum in technology, and have a significant amount of work experience in their field may become registered technologists. Depending on the country, a technologist's recognition may be in the form of a certification or a professional registration. Canada has Certified Technologists and the United Kingdom has a professional registration for technologists, known as Incorporated Engineers. The Sydney Accord and the Engineering Technology Mobility Forum (ETMF) are two international efforts to improve cross border recognition for technologists.
Sydney AccordInternational technology organizations from six nations signed a mutual recognition agreement called the Sydney Accord. The Sydney Accord represents an understanding that the academic awards of Technologists can be recognized in all signatory states. The United States will sign the Sydney Accord in June 2007 and will be represented by the organization known as ABET/TAC.
CanadaIn Canada, the new occupational category of Technologist was established in the 1960s in conjunction with an emerging system of community colleges and technical institutes. It was designed to effectively bridge the gap between the increasingly theoretical nature of engineering degrees and the predominately practical approach of technician and trades programs. Provincial associations may certify individuals as Certified Engineering Technologist (C.E.T.), Registered Engineering Technologist, Applied Science Technologist (AScT) or Technologue Professionel [T.P.]. These provincial associations also are constituent members of the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT) which nationally accredits technology programs across Canada through its Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB). Nationally accredited Engineering Technology programs range from 2 to 3 years in length, depending on province.
United StatesBeginning in the 1950s and 1960s, some post-secondary institutions within the United States began offering degrees in Technology (or Engineering technology). This was to address a need within the scientific, manufacturing, and engineering communities, as well as other industries, for professionals with hands-on and applications-based engineering knowledge. Depending on the institution, associate and/or bachelor degrees are offered, with some institutions also offering advanced degrees.
Technologist registration in the United States is conducted by many independent societies and organizations. The lack of a unified registration for Technologist has left the profession in disarray. A government sponsored registration is opposed by the NCEES and NSPE. As a result, a true technologist registration has been prevented from maturing and the profession is often not seen as an independent field separate from design engineering. However, this status could change in the future now that the United States' ABET accreditation signed the Sydney Accord in June 2007. Sydney Accord nations have a distinct role for Technologist that is separate from the status of Technician or design engineering.
United StatesIn the United States the hierarchy of educational structure and acknowledgement start at the US Department of Education or The Council for Higher Education (CHEA). The U.S Department of Education acknowledges regional and national accreditations and CHEA recognizes specialty accreditations. Two technology accreditations are currently recognized by CHEA: the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT) and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). It is important to note that these accreditations are acknowledged in separate but equal roles and therefore the academic standing or stature of the two is equal.
In addition to the above mentioned specialty technology accreditations, there are two national technology accreditations: the Distance Education Training Council (DETC) and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technologies (ACCSCT). DETC and ACCSCT are both acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education.
Certification of Technologists
In general, an engineering technologist receives a broad range of applied science and applied mathematics training, as well as the fundamentals of engineering in the student's area of focus. A technologist is also expected to have had some coursework in ethics.
In the United States of America, Technologist certification requires a bachelor's degree in an engineering technology program accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (TAC/ABET). One may also obtain a technology degree from an accredited industrial technology program. Industrial Technology programs are accredited through The National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT).
Industrial technology is primarily involved with the management, operation, and maintenance of complex technological systems while Engineering and Engineering Technology are primarily involved with the design and installation of these systems.
Information technology is primarily involved with the management, operation, and maintenance of computer systems and networks, along with an application of technology in diverse fields such as Architecture, Engineering, Multimedia Design, Telecommunications, Computer Science and Network Security.
Work Experience ComponentA certified engineering technologist must apprentice for a term, usually two years, before being able to apply for certification through a local governing body. In that time the technologist must have completed tasks which directly apply to their area of study.
The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) awards certification at two levels depending on work experience: the Associate Engineering Technologist (AT) and the Certified Engineering Technologist (CT).
In Canada, technology program certification is done through the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB), often in conjunction with provincial associations that are affiliated with the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists. Graduated technologists are certified by their provincial bodies.
The National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT) awards two levels of certification in Industrial Technology: (1) Certified Industrial Technologist (CIT) and (2) Certified Senior Industrial Technologist (CSIT). While the CIT certification is obtained through examination, the CSIT requires a minimum of five years of industry experience and continuous improvement demonstrated every five years via the obtainment of professional development units (PDUs).
Many employers suggest that a Technologist take the job title of a Technician. However, the title of Technician does not reflect the superior education that a Technologist has obtained. Technicians typically hold a two year associates degree, while Technologists usually hold bachelors degrees.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: "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."
OccupationsIn simplest terms a technologist can perform most of the functions of an engineer or scientist and is usually working as part of a team with them. In some jurisdictions a technologist may even be able to sign and take responsibility for engineering work. A technologist can expect to become employed as an "applied engineer" or a "practical engineer." Technologist are employed in Manufacturing Engineering, Construction Engineering, Quality Engineering, Production Management, Broadcast Engineering, or as a Sales Engineer.
Industrial technologists may also serve an organization well in a mid-level technical management capacity, due to their required management coursework component.
References and notes
- National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) (USA)
- National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT) (USA)
- Applied Science Technicians and Technologists of British Columbia (ASTT) webpage (Canada)
- The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) webpage (Canada)
- Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists of Prince Edward Island (ACETTPEI) (Canada)
- Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT)
- Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) (Canada)
- The Association of Engineering Technicians and Technologists of Newfoundland and Labrador Inc. (AETTNL) (Canada)
- Society of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists of Nova Scotia (TechNova) (Canada)
- New Brunswick Society of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (NBSCETT) (Canada)
- Ordre des technologues professionnels du Quebec (OTPQ) (Canada)
- Certified Technicians and Technologists Association of Manitoba (CTTAM) (Canada)
- Saskatchewan Applied Science Technologists and Technicians (SASTT) (Canada)
technologists in Italian: Tecnologo
technologists in Portuguese: Tecnólogo