Design Technician: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Design technicians are any type of engineering technicians that are responsible for designing products. They may be electronic or mechanical designers, or they may work with civil engineers in the creation of bridges, highways or buildings. A design technician aids an engineer in data collection, experimenting and drafting and revising reports. An associate's degree in a relevant engineering field is required to become a design technician.
Job Description of a Design Technician
Design technicians work as part of an engineering team that designs and implements many different types of projects. A design technician is a specific type of engineering technician who works with engineers who create designs for electrical or mechanical products or large structures such as buildings, highways and bridges.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), salary information for engineering technicians will vary depending upon the type of design on which a technician works. As of 2012, the BLS reported the median annual wage was $47,560 for civil engineering technicians, $51,980 for mechanical engineering technicians and $57,850 for electrical engineering technicians.
The job outlook of design technicians will vary greatly depending upon whether a technician is in a civil engineering field or working with electronic or mechanical designs. The BLS predicts demand for civil engineering technicians to increase by 3% between 2012-2022, which is slower than average. This growth is attributed to the population growth requiring more public infrastructure projects like roads and bridges and a need for both residential and industrial buildings. The BLS predicts little to no employment growth between 2012-2022 for both electrical and electronics engineering technicians due to foreign competition and increased automation.
Duties of a Design Technician
Design technicians play a large role in assisting engineers in many steps of the design process. They are expected to help collect and interpret data, research ideas, run complex functions and equations, create cost estimates, create models and help fact-check and review reports. The role of a technician may also include inspecting and repairing products and setting up and executing experiments on potential designs.
Requirements for Design Technicians
The job of a design technician requires knowledge of complex mathematics, physics and often chemistry. Many employers prefer an applicant to have completed an associate's degree in a relevant field. Community colleges, trade schools and vocational schools offer many degrees that are relevant to all types of design technicians including engineering technology, design drafting, electronics and mechanical engineering technology.
In addition to earning an associate's degree, potential design technicians must possess good problem-solving abilities, strong communication, creativity and knowledge of mathematics. Design technicians are initially given routine duties and are closely monitored. As they gain experience, they are given more challenging tasks and more creative freedom. Design technicians may also have room for advancement into supervisory roles.
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