Differences Between Engineering & Engineering Technology

Engineering instructional programs hold a Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code of 14, with the following definition: Instructional programs that prepare individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the solution of practical problems. 

Engineering technology/technician instructional programs have a CIP Code of 15, and the following definition: Instructional programs that prepare individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineering and related projects or to prepare for engineering-related fields

While the two classifications may seem confusing, Celeste Bain’s book,  Is There an Engineer Inside You?  A Comprehensive Guide to Career Decisions in Engineering, provides an excellent resource for students considering a career in engineering.   

Moreover, Chapter 2 of this text provides one of the best discussions of the differences between degrees in engineering and degrees in engineering technology available.

Engineering career functions span from early to mature technology development. Engineers normally perform the functions of early technology development, while engineering technologists normally perform the functions associated with mature technology production and sales.

EngineeringEngineering Technology
Engineers fundamentally perform career functions at the early stage of technology research and development. They discover and prove out technology for specific applications.Engineering technologists take the developed technology and produce it for the outside world.
Example: Engineers designed and developed the first cell phone.Engineering technologists developed the ability to produce millions of cell phones and the area coverage and data networks that connect them.
Engineering students: Math heavy, theoretical instruction into the engineering sciences with an additional focus on design.Engineering technology students: Laboratory-heavy, applied instruction for solving engineering problems with additional focus on reliability, quality control, and manufacturing.