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Electrical Engineer vs Electrical Engineer Technologist

  1. Apr 21, 2013 #1
    Ok I know there will be a life long battle between EE's and EET's. This thread is not about the Pros and Cons of the two programs. I am well aware of what each program has to offer and how they differ academically. I understand there will always be some people who look down on EET's.

    I want to get facts from people who are working in the field. Not academics or inspiring students who have not worked in the field yet. Of course if you know someone of personal experience and are getting the facts from them, please post it.


    At your job or previous jobs, what was the ratio of EE's vs EET's. Please state the kind of work your company was doing as well, this will give us a better idea of why the ratio is what it is. If you also wanted to mention how the EE's performed vs the EET's; please state this as well.

    I will go first.

    My company is a manufacturing based company that builds heavy machinery. Currently we have 3 EET's and 2 EE's. Our top performer is a EET and our only license PE is a EET. I currently work for the company as a designer and I asked the electrical manager which he would perfer; he said EET. On the flip side we arn't doing much ground breaking research. We are just trying to make the most effective and realiable machines.

    I am majoring in EET at a ABET accredited program. I plan on getting my FE and PE. I also want to continue on to get my masters and possibly get a minor in programming. I have been in the industry for 8 years as a industrial electrician, electrical assembler, and now electrical designer. I wouldn't mind being a manufacturing engineer deep in electrical roots. I choose EET because it was the fatest way to becoming a engineer for me. My computer aided drafting and design degree already had me taking the physics and other lower end courses that were required for EET. My dream job would be a 50% desk job that involves design and pushing paper, and 50% building, prototyping builds, or solving build problems. Right now it is 90% desk job doing 3d models and 10% going out to see what went wrong with a design.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2013 #2
    To me I think that question is for the technologist.
    I'll invite my EE TECHNOLOGIST to this forum.
  4. Apr 21, 2013 #3
    I've never met a EET as far as I know. I've worked closely with probably 40 or 50 EEs in my career in various jobs and met 100s. Is the EET a common degree in some industries? I 've worked for semiconductor manufacturers and design houses. I've worked with some technicians but they had AS degrees, I think.
  5. Apr 25, 2013 #4


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    My brother is an EET......really smart guy and makes the same money as a typical EE.

    I don't look down at EET's. I just figure they wasted a lot less time on overly complex math and had more hands on experience in school. (Oh, I know I'll get some lash back on that statement!)What type of person you are and how you perform at work is really what matters in my opinion.

    I'm on the power side of things at work. I'm pretty sure we don't have any EET's out of the 30 electrical engineers. We also have a few guys with no education. Interestingly enough, one of these guys with no education is one of our top electrical designers. His attention to detail, speed, innovation and research is second to none. Education doesn't always translate. His pay will never equal the pay of a P.E....but his work often out performs several PE's.
  6. Apr 25, 2013 #5
    I think it is a good idea to mention that I, a European, have never heard the term EET. From the names I can't really distinguish what the difference is... can somebody please explain the difference in terms of education? (Here I mean, what subjects are covered).
  7. Apr 26, 2013 #6


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    EET = Electrical Engineering Technology. Very similiar to EE....but less math and calculus based.....it focuses less on theory and proofs. EET has a lot more "hands on" labs.

    A lot of the exams are almost identical....equally tough.

    Genrerally, consulting firms have 3 billing rates. Non engineer, engineer and P.E. Pretty sure EET is still going to fall under the category of engineer.

    One other thing, I believe you need more time in the field to qualify for the P.E. test when you are EET.....but not totally sure on that. It's 4 years experience for EE's....

    It's also important to realize that some firms prefer the P.E over masters....and some firms prefer masters over P.E. Obviously, having both is even better. When I say "prefer", I mean they will recognize it and pay you for it. Consulting firms generally prefer the P.E. because they can bill you out for more. My buddy who works with the Air Force has a different story. They want him to get his masters.....they don't care about him getting his P.E.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  8. May 6, 2014 #7
    I have been in research & development my whole career of 36 years. I work mostly with EE's. An EET is more geared towards application, EE more toward innovation, but groundbreaking research usually requires a full EE with at least a masters degree. The BSEE (or BEEE) is a good start towards R&D, but generally it isn't enough. An MSEE is needed, and for many companies, a Ph.D. is expected in ground breaking research.

    A BSEE is a good start towards the MSEE. A BSEET will need some additional courses if they wish to pursue an MSEE. If leading edge R&D is one's goal, then I urge them to go for the full EE right away. The EET courses do not transfer to EE, most of the time. If math is your forte, then EE is the right major. If not, an EET can offer a lot to a company, since most companies are not leading edge innovators, but rather, applying existing technology. Of all my sub-ordinates I reviewed when I was EE manager, the only one to get a perfect 5-star review from me was a technician with an AAS-EET (2 year program).

    He was very valuable to the team and company. A wiz with schematic capture and pcb place & route software, a great builder/solderer, amazing trouble shooter, with a good business sense. He was not a circuit designer, but the world has plenty who live to do nothing but circuit design. The support functions are very valuable, but most tech types don't want to do them. There are only so many R&D jobs, industry needs support personnel.

    If support work is ok with you, then AAS or BSEET should work. If R&D leading edge work is what you want, go for BSEE, then go after the MSEE. Down the road, I recommend Ph.D. if you can do it. I recommend that all go as far in school as their chops can take them.

  9. May 6, 2014 #8


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    While I agree with Claude's description of EE vs. EET (both in and out of the job) I must say that more and more support jobs are being filled with BSEE candidates because they are available. When I started my career, most IC Layout positions were filled with AS level candidates. More and more the companies are expecting entry-level people to have a BSEE. I don't agree with this but it is the reality. My strong recommendation is to get the BSEE if you have the opportunity.

    If you like thinking creatively, an MSEE would be a great degree as it is the most flexible and is fast becoming the entry-level degree for design engineers. Also, in my experience the majority (but not by any means all) of the researchers in an R&D dept would have a Ph.D. in EE. If you work in an R&D dept with a BSEE you will most likely end up doing the bidding of the Ph.D. staff. This isn't always the case, and I have seen amazing technical leaders with a BS but for people coming out of school today that is becoming rare.
  10. Oct 21, 2014 #9
    An EE is a time honored degree and an EET is relatively new and a lot less intensive. It is a degree offered by trade schools and for profit online schools. The company I work for will only hire electrical as well as mechanical and chemical Engineers. Anyone I've encountered that got hired with an EET or tech degree was hired on as an Operator with a higher starting Hourly wage. The Engineers are salary with Job bonus. So it matters about the degree and the intensity of your studies. So you know some program and had hands on experience with circuitry and such. The big thing is can you learn new programs and can you be a leader and innovative. The intensity of your studies and accomplishing the Engineering degree proves it.
  11. Oct 21, 2014 #10


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    I must have missed this thread from last year. But for me ... Should have went for a PhD.
  12. Oct 22, 2014 #11
    You can always go back and do that. I plan to after I pay off all I owe now.
  13. Oct 22, 2014 #12


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    Thanks for this. :) The reason I became a member here, 11 years ago come November, was to learn some of the Physics that wasn't around when I was in college; the quark had only been theorized back then. Now I'm just trying to remember what I did learn. :D So now, it's best for me and my desire to promote the sciences, to give support and pass on my experiences (and what I do remember). Giving support for EEs like YOU is my calling now.
  14. Oct 22, 2014 #13
    In my case, there's almost no difference. At my university I was trained to due both (EE and EET stuff)
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