Gain information about Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in engineering technology and its educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.
A.A. Programs in Engineering Technology
Students enrolled in an Associate degree program in engineering technology are trained to become engineering technicians who are adept at installing, repairing and maintaining electronic and computerized mechanical systems. Students can also become expert at using the applied aspects of engineering and science in various construction or industrial settings. They become adept at the interpretation of schematic drawings, analysis of controls for proper machine function and application of computer software in meeting the requirement. Typically, technical schools and community colleges offer these two-year programs.
Admission criteria typically require students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. The math-intensive nature of the degree program requires students to demonstrate fluency in basic algebra before joining the program. Passage of an academic skills assessment test may be an additional requirement.
Courses in mechanics, components of engineering, and mathematics dominate the curriculum relating to this program. A general program in engineering technology is offered by some schools; in some other programs students can aspire to become systems specialists involved in the design and installation of systems to serve specific purposes. Coursework may include subject areas such as:
•Applications of algebra
•Technical problem solving
•Fundamentals of hydraulics
Job and Wage Outlook
A job increase of one percent has been projected for electro-mechanical technicians during the decade from 2010 to 2020; (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). The pessimistic projection is owed to the fact that many technicians are currently employed in industries that are on the decline. However, future job growth could emerge on the back of new industries that would raise the demand for technicians adept at designing and installing equipment thereby leading to better job prospects. In May 2011, electro-mechanical technicians earned an average annual wage of $51,220 (BLS).
Continuing Education Choices
Engineering technicians may pursue continued education by earning bachelor’s degrees in engineering technology to become engineering technologists. Collaborations with universities by some vocational schools and community colleges allow students enrolled in these schools to transfer credits earned in associate programs to bachelor of engineering technology programs.