Mechanical Engineering Technology vs. Engineering Science - Page 2 - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2009, 20:29
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This thread was a real interesting read for me. I'm currently a semester away from getting my MET degree from Penn State Harrisburg. I started in mechanical engineering at Ohio State and even spent some time on the Formula SAE team out there. But after a couple years of struggling in my calculus classes, and paying the extra $10,000 a year for out of state tuition, I came back to PA and decided the MET program was a better option for me. I wish I had read a thread like this before I decided to switch, it might have changed my mind. But then again I don't think I was mature enough when I started school to handle the course load. Are those with engineering technology degrees considered this less regarded as described here than a normal engineer in the field? What about the FE certification? I was under the impression that an MET after passing the FE exam would be on par with an ME. I know that not all states allow MET students to take the exam, but it is allowed in PA. I'll be taking it in the fall. What are your thoughts?
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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2009, 22:42
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What's FE Cert? Is that like a Professional Engineer Cert?
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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2009, 01:12
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I was wondering the same thing?

In my experience, sometimes a non degreed engineer can eventually carry engineering level responsibilities. But, in aerospace, this won't happen until the end of your career. . . But, working as a tech in my field is still pretty damned challenging and fun so its not the end of the world!

I hated math too ... but gutted it out ... so I can identify with your pain.

All the best,
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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2009, 09:01
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The FE is the fundamentals exam. You can take that as early as your senior your in school. I need that with 5 years experience in the field before I can take the exam for PE cert. I'm pretty eager to get out of school and start working, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility of going back to school to get an ME. I guess it all depends on how satisfied I am with my work at my first job. Thanks.
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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2009, 11:53
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Oh Yeah, I forgot about the FE exam (I never took mine). I don't think taking the FE will get on you equal footing. If you are allowed to get a PE cert, then you might be on equal footing, but you might want to talk to the human resources departments of various companies in your area that hire ME's to see.
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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2009, 11:58
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Sounds like the FE is what we would call an EIT in CA. That is the first exam here you need to pass before you can take a PE. In my experience, unless you want to do HVAC work, a mechanical PE is not the most useful thing in the world...

When we hire here (I sit interviews), we don't care about an ME PE ... but we don't do work that needs it. . .

My Two Cents,
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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2009, 12:03
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I think to become and engineering manager a PE is required, or if not required, its preferred.

in Oregon, they called the engineeing test that you take after graduating, the EIT as well.

The PE can only be applied for after you have been working for a while, and IIRC, you had to work or get sponsored by an existing PE

Last edited by cbulen; May 6th, 2009 at 23:23.
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2009, 22:18
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FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) is the exam you get to obtain an EIT. I think thats pretty universal, at least within the US. Having a PE license is of limited use. It depends on the field you are in if it makes a difference. It makes a huge difference for civil engineers, it makes very limited difference for most electrical engineers.

The bottom line is, if you want an engineering job, you should get an engineering degree from a school that has ABET EAC accredidation. Its really that simple. All of these MET and EET and so on so forth are not engineering degrees, they are high end technician degrees and are probably at best ABET TAC accredited. Personally, if you are going to spend 4 years in school I figure you may as well get the more prestigious degree.

Math is important to engineering and you better get used to it if you want to do engineering. You may not constantly be doing calculations (there are computers for that after all), but you do need to understand the math involved. Even if a computer can do calculations, you need to be able to know when they are screwing up, and they do screw up. So if you are having trouble with the math, you need to either buckle down and do whats needed to learn it, or in all honesty, switch majors.
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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2009, 22:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbulen
I think to become and engineering manager a PE is required, or if not required, its preferred.

in Oregon, they called it the EIT as well.
Everyone I know (industry and school) has always called it the PE. At work we aren't required to get PEs (municipal/government related SCADA), but we do get raises if we do. My dad had to go back and get his Oregon PE when he started his own consulting company, he designs integrated circuits.
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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2009, 23:23
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edited my last post.

My memory of these things is 13 years old, so may be incorrect or incomplete.
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post #31 of 39 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2009, 22:54
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Originally Posted by bentheswift
Everyone I know (industry and school) has always called it the PE. At work we aren't required to get PEs (municipal/government related SCADA), but we do get raises if we do. My dad had to go back and get his Oregon PE when he started his own consulting company, he designs integrated circuits.
We call it FE in Maine, I don't think I have heard it refered to as PE's before.
Most people I have met didn't feel the need to take it. However; it is a great way of decerning yourself from the rabble when a juicy 6 fig job pops up.
Just like ANSI "$500 a year" AWS "$400 per cert class" and some other cert I can't remember. It's like having a manual drafting and blueprinting class or two under your belt. You may not see the need for it, but it will make your work "and resume" stand out when compared to others.
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post #32 of 39 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2015, 20:15
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So this thread was started obviously several years ago. I am curious as to where the OP is now and what they are doing? I was thinking of getting my BS Degree in and Engineering of sort but decided on Automotive Technology. A degree not many universities will offer. I am also minoring in Industrial Design. The reason being what I want to do with my education. I guess what I am curious about is How many of those with the engineering degree got where they wanted in the Automotive Industry and how they got there.
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post #33 of 39 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2015, 22:47
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well, I can't speak for the OP, however, I have posted in this thread previously, and have done a lot of engineering related stuff since i last posted in this thread.

Also, IMHO, I would not want to work directly for a large OEM as an engineer. I have been monitoring the Engineering Salary Survey that ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers, of which I am a member) does every year. Of particular interest is the salary vs. area in the USA. Consistently, Michigan and surrounding areas have low pay.

In addition, working for an OEM, you will typically start out working on a very small part or small assembly. Its gonna be a long time before you have a meaningful contribution to designing the whole car. In addition, you will probably never design the majority of the car. It will be a large team effort.

That said, there are ways to work as an engineer in Automotive related areas. A friend/colleague of mine, that I met at my first engineering job out of college, is currently the lead designer at a company that manufactures truck hubs. Since he is in the Pac Northwest, his pay is higher than he would get if he working in Detroit. As an aside note, and going back to prior side discussions in this thread, he is a licensed P.E.

I am in Reno, where Tesla is building their new "Gigafactory" in partnership with Panasonic, to manufacture batteries for their cars (and as of recently, it appears for homes as well). They are hiring every engineer they can get their hands on my area.

Though, I doubt much car design work will be done at this factory, but you never know as you might be able to move sideways within the company. May require moving to CA, which I am unwilling to do. I doubt I will apply to Tesla, however, as the hours sound too long for my taste. Also, they use CATIA, as they found Solidworks was not powerful enough for their needs. CATIA is more difficult to learn/use than Inventor, Solidworks or Pro/E/CREO.

Perhaps something more of interest to a Engineer wanting to have a "cool" or "sexy" job in the automotive world might be working for a racing team.
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post #34 of 39 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2015, 19:53
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Interesting to know. As it is I'm not doing an engineering degree but this section intrigued me. I'm fortunate enough to have connections through both my Advisor and other areas to land various jobs in the automotive industry besides going to a dealership and doing tech. The problem for me also is moving to somewhere else in the states most likely Southern California or Seattle area. I can't do that until my kids are out of high school. so by the time I graduate I'll have to spend a few years in my current city before I can progress. Which means I may for lucrative reasons want to pursue the industrial design part of my degree so I can get more into the automotive design world at some point in the future. From what I've heard from one of my old roommates is that the percentage of engineers that do actual designing for companies is actually quite low. Any input on this?
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post #35 of 39 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2015, 21:04
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Could always consider work and career overseas. I'm a ME and drifted elsewhere to seek a rewarding career. 30 years later I'm still here and enjoy every day working at a hydro dam. Am also involved with building race cars on a social level with the many engineers and techs I work with.

Jim
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post #36 of 39 (permalink) Old May 15th, 2015, 22:42
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From what I've heard from one of my old roommates is that the percentage of engineers that do actual designing for companies is actually quite low. Any input on this?
designing for car companies? Or doing engineering design work for companies in general?

Also, it might help if you define what you mean by "design". This means different things for an industrial designer vs. a design engineer.

For an engineer, design is a subset within the of the field of specialization. For example, I consider myself a design engineer within mechanical engineering. My current employer considers me to be an "Applications and Design Engineer".

In the past, I've designed car parts, firearms, sports bottles, airplane parts, molded components for electronics, and injection mold sets. Within some of the above experience, I had to step up and do a little "industrial design" at the same time.

Lately, I have been messing around with designing consumer products that I will manufacture, market and sell myself.

Note that an engineer could spend his/her entire career doing engineering without doing much design work. Many use engineering as a springboard to management. Or they could, like me, put more emphasis on design. Its just all in how an engineer wants to focus his/her career. This is also true for Electrical Engineers. Some engineers, focus more on process such as chemical engineers, manufacturing engineers, etc.

Last edited by cbulen; May 15th, 2015 at 22:44.
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post #37 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2015, 15:24
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Just make sure your degree is ABET accredited.
The Boeing Company where I work will not hire you unless this requirement is met.
Not sure how picky the automotive world is, but if you are currently in school and contemplating an Engineering career, you might want to aim higher than a non-accredited program. The ABET peple have a website with a list of accredited programs. Perform due diligence.
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post #38 of 39 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2015, 15:46
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Just make sure your degree is ABET accredited.
The Boeing Company where I work will not hire you unless this requirement is met.
Not sure how picky the automotive world is, but if you are currently in school and contemplating an Engineering career, you might want to aim higher than a non-accredited program. The ABET peple have a website with a list of accredited programs. Perform due diligence.
This is sound advice. I would also add to that: avoid "technologist" degrees. For example, I started at Oregon Tech studying mechanical engineering technologies. Because I did not research it carefully enough (I was 17 when I decided to go to OIT), I spent 2 years in this program. My uncle (EE from Berkely) was talking to me and when he found out I was studying MET and not ME, he advised me to switch. So, I switched to OSU.

Why? You can get an ABET certified technologist degree (see http://www.oit.edu/faculty-staff/pro...ing-technology) but will still make less than the Engineering equivalent, though they study much of the same material. Its harder to get a job with a "T" degree, and you will make less money. They are considered Technicians, in spite of going to school for 4 years. However, "T" degrees are easier to get.

see http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-...echnicians.htm
vs.
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-...-engineers.htm

Also see http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

Last edited by cbulen; May 17th, 2015 at 16:09.
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post #39 of 39 (permalink) Old October 22nd, 2015, 12:33
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In my industry, Power Generation, the engineering techs work under the engineers... Hands on application or not, having your "BSME" (or higher) out weighs the tech degree, regardless of who actually "knows" more.

I work with a guy who has his 2 year engineering tech degree with 9 years experience (hes 29) and has applied to multiple engineering jobs here and has never gotten it. The same answer is given every time, get your BSME and reapply. He knows more and has done way more than I have personally in this field, however I am the one sitting in my office making double what he is. I know one day he will finish and get his BSME, but until then, he is out in the shop busting hump every day.

This is the sad nature of the beast. I didn't read all the answers above, but like I said, from what I see, BSME @ accredited university > any ME tech degree.

*edit* in addition, your job will TEACH you what you need to know. They wont send you in blind. If your hands on at all (car related) then you can get by with your BSME for most jobs.

With the EIT, FE, PE... Civil Engineers depend on these certifications. Mechanicals, not so much. I am not saying its useless, but most careers don't seem to make it a big deal. Having it is good and a great sense of personal accomplishment. I have my FE but I do not work with any PEs therefore I cannot get my PE.


And for reference I am 5 years in the industry, BSME, FE and titled "Mechanical Engineer Level 2".

Last edited by RedPhoenix; October 22nd, 2015 at 12:49.
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