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Opportunities will be best for individuals with an associate degree or extensive job training in engineering technology. As technology becomes more sophisticated, employers will continue to look for technicians who are skilled in new technology and require a minimum of additional job training. An increase in the number of jobs related to public health and safety should create job opportunities for engineering technicians with the appropriate training and certification.
Overall employment of engineering technicians is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014. Competitive pressures will force companies to improve and update manufacturing facilities and product designs, resulting in more jobs for engineering technicians. In addition to growth, many job openings will stem from the need to replace technicians who retire or leave the labor force.
Growth of engineering technician employment in some design functions may be dampened by increasing globalization of the development process. To reduce costs and speed project completion, some companies may relocate part of their development operations to facilities overseas, impacting both engineers and the engineering technicians that support themparticularly in electronics and computer-related areas. However, much of the work of engineering technicians requires on-site presence, so demand for engineering technicians within the US should continue to grow.
Because engineering technicians work closely with engineers, employment of engineering technicians is often influenced by the same local and national economic conditions that affect engineers. As a result, the employment outlook varies with industry and specialization. Growth in the largest specialtyelectrical and electronics engineering techniciansis expected to be about as fast as the average, while employment of environmental engineering technicians is expected to grow faster than average to meet the environmental demands of an ever-growing population.