Is the Engineering Technology Profession Ready for a Name Change to Applied Engineering?

  • John R. Rwright (Millersville University of Pennsylvania)
  • Walter W. Buchanan (Texas A&M University)
  • Joseph Robert Wright orcid logo (Drexel University)


This paper focuses on whether better branding would be good for the field of “engineering technology,” specifically if it would be better to call it “applied engineering.” The stakeholders of the field were surveyed, and the majority felt that the field should be called applied engineering as engineering technology is confused with the term engineering technician. It was reported that most companies give the title “engineer” to four-year accredited engineering technology graduates. It was also found that most of those who were surveyed felt that the term “applied engineering” better described what these graduates did as opposed to the term “engineering technology,” which would better be used for two-year associate degree engineering technology graduates. It was recommended that the rebranding of “engineering technology” to “applied engineering” be considered as industry has rarely used the job title “engineering technologist,” and in 2020—new Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes will exist for the emerging field of applied engineering. Associate degree graduates were found to be typically called “engineering technicians.” Most of those surveyed felt that industry/employers should be the ones to define what constitutes an engineer.

Keywords: engineering technology|applied engineering|survey|research

How to Cite:

Rwright, J. R. & Buchanan, W. W. & Wright, J. R., (2020) “Is the Engineering Technology Profession Ready for a Name Change to Applied Engineering?”, The Journal of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering 36(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2020