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Information on Associate Degree Program in Engineering Technology

Higher Education Articles April 18, 2013

Engineering technology applies principles of science and math to repairing and designing structures or devices. Associate degree programs are available in different engineering technology disciplines, which train prospective technicians in entering a particular field. In this article, we will concentrate on programs in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering technology.

Civil Engineering Technology Associate Degree Program

Civil engineering technology associate degree program will train engineer assistants to construct, design, and plan national and local transportation infrastructure, water systems, buildings. Students are exposed to engineering, math, and science concepts and how to apply them to massive building projects. Techniques in testing materials, mapping, computer-aided drafting, surveying, and other civil engineering technology functions are also covered.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria require students to hold a general educational development (GED) or high school diploma, as well as one year of high school algebra. Colleges and universities seek candidates with a strong background in communications, science, and math. Surveying, drafting, and computer experience is helpful, but not generally required.

Program Course Topics

Civil engineering associate degree program coursework teaches students to conceptualize a project considering structural, geographic, and environmental factors, providing for future growth. Several curricula offer sufficient training in land analysis and surveying to allow graduates to become eligible for licensure as surveyors, if applicable. Program course topics may include the following:

•Principles of hydrology and hydraulics
•Steel, concrete and other construction materials
•Study of geographical properties in soils
•Advanced and basic surveying
•Computer-aided design for civil engineering projects

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

Between 2008 and 2018, there will be a job growth of seventeen percent for civil engineering technicians due to the need of compensating for growing suburban areas and cities, along with an update to national roadways, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2009; civil engineering technicians earned an average annual salary of $47,420. In addition to engineering technician positions, other job opportunities for individuals who have earned an associate degree include design technician, inspector, and engineering surveyor.

Continuing Education

A majority of universities admit associate degree credits toward a bachelor degree in engineering. Civil engineering bachelor degree programs might include advanced studies in land surveying, various construction materials, and soil analysis. Individuals may find additional education to be helpful, if they are planning on advancing in their career field.

Mechanical Engineering Technology Associate Degree Program

Students who aspire to work in the field of manufacturing, testing, and designing machines and mechanical systems may select from different mechanical engineering technology associate degree programs. Courses expose individuals to concepts in computer science, math, and physics, as well as engineering technology education in machine design, such as fluid power, electromechanical systems, machine control systems, and computer-aided design.

Program Course Topics

Along with general education, the basic premise of technical courses concentrates on how machinery operates. Often, the course syllabus will include lab design projects. Program course topics may include:

•Advanced and beginning computer-aided design
•Operation of electrical devices
•Elements of machines and mechanisms
•The laws of thermodynamics
•Mechanical engineering design principles

Career Options

Mechanical engineers combine design, technology, tooling, and electronics concepts to develop improved machines, manufacturing processing, and energy generation used in everyday living. Mechanical engineers can work in the following industries:

•Federal and local government
•Alternative and traditional energy

Continuing Education

A majority of associate degree programs are meant to transition into a bachelor degree program. In addition, students who have graduated from an associate degree program can join professional organizations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, to earn optional certification and participate in advanced academic opportunities. States that require mechanical engineers to have licensure might allow credits from an online and classroom coursework offered through such organizations to be applied toward continuing education requirements.

Electrical Engineering Technology Associate Degree Program

Electrical engineering technology associate degree program will provide a foundation of training and education in electrical technologies, such as industrial automation, microprocessors, and digital electronics. Aspiring electrical engineering technicians will gain skills in repairing, testing, and designing electrical systems, such as instrumentation, controls, communications, and computers through the associate degree program. Typically, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits degree programs in electrical engineering technology.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Prior to enrollment, applicants might be required to take technology aptitude testing. Students might be required to take prerequisites coursework in technical math.

Program Course Topics

Associate degree curricula include significant science and math coursework. Common professional studies include:

•Digital circuits and systems
•Technical writing for electrical technology
•Statistics in engineering
•Programmable controllers
•Advanced and basic circuit analysis

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

Students who have earned an associate degree in electronic or electrical engineering technology will be prepared for entry-level jobs as electrical engineers, the largest engineer technicians group. Between 2008 and 2018, electrical engineers’ employment outlook is predicted to increase at two percent due to foreign competition as a hindrance to domestic job growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – According to the BLS, in 2009, the average annual salary for electrical technicians and engineers was $55,410.

Continuing Education

The majority of associate degree programs are designed for continuation toward a bachelor degree program in electrical engineering technology or related major. Students might be able to apply credits from an associate degree program to a four-year bachelor degree program, in some cases. Generally, students who have earned a bachelor degree will qualify to apply, design, and research new electrical technology.

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