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Technicians Vs. Engineers: Key Differences

Brent Peterson June 7, 2022

technicians vs. engineers

When you notice technical problems or development issues with your online store, time is of the essence. It’s crucial to find the right professional as soon as possible to avoid facing significant downtime, high bounce rates, or other negative impacts of a broken website. However, knowing who to call can be a little confusing when it comes to eCommerce and online technology. If you’re experiencing trouble with your store or eCommerce platform, the very first thing you should figure out is whether a technician or engineer is the right person for the job.  

Main Differences Between Technicians and Engineers 

In a nutshell, technicians are primarily focused on fixing problems diagnosed by their clients or superiors. In most cases, technicians don’t even talk directly with their clients! Instead, they’re informed about the issue and are given the resources necessary to get in, resolve the problem, and report back with their results. 

Engineers, on the other hand, are more involved with their clients from the beginning. They can diagnose and fix complex issues, recommend additional solutions, and offer advice to help clients avoid similar issues in the future. 

Although several job responsibilities overlap between engineers and technicians, there are three key things to keep in mind before choosing a professional to work with: 

  • Education. Since engineers are required to diagnose issues, resolve problems, and formulate long-term plans for their clients, they likely hold four-year degrees. Technicians don’t have these same job responsibilities and may only have an associate’s degree. 
  • Efficiency. If you’ve already diagnosed the problem with your site or platform, you probably don’t need an engineer to take the time to explain their solutions and plans. A technician will be able to quickly jump in, complete the task, and then hand things back to you.  
  • Future plans. A technician is best for shorter projects that have clear objectives and detailed plans. If your business plans are more nebulous or you’re thinking about expanding in any major areas, an engineer will be able to offer sound advice and set you on the right track for success. 

Technician Job Description and Duties 

“Technicians are commonly seen working on engineering jobs, which is why some people associate the job title of technician with engineer,” states a report from the Indeed Editorial Team. “However, technicians support engineers rather than perform actual engineering duties.” 

Generally speaking, technicians fix problems that have already been identified and diagnosed, but these professionals may not refer to themselves as “technicians.” eCommerce and tech workers can have a wide range of different titles and specialties. Software developers, for instance, are considered to be technicians since their job responsibilities usually include: 

  • Installing updates  
  • Troubleshooting common bugs or problems  
  • Testing and measuring website performance 
  • Performing routine updates  
  • Following the instructions and plans created by the engineering team 
  • Assisting engineers with research or solution development 

Engineer Job Description and Duties 

Engineers, on the other hand, always have to keep the bigger picture in mind throughout a project. They’re the ones orchestrating the plan, coming up with solutions, identifying roadblocks, and advising other team members and clients.  

Technicians are fully capable of fixing known issues by adhering to the instructions provided to them, but engineers are the ones who are responsible for creating these instructions, guides, and methodologies. Additional job duties of an engineer include: 

  • Preparing budget estimates for various projects 
  • Coordinating project teams  
  • Overseeing production 
  • Working closely with clients to fully understand their long-term needs 
  • Designing and implementing engineering experiments 
  • Creating specific solutions based on their analysis of an issue 
  • Maintaining detailed records of project progress to keep team members, customers, and stakeholders on the same page 
  • Developing and implementing website maintenance solutions 

Should You Call a Technician or Engineer? 

Now that you’re familiar with the distinctions between technicians and engineers, it should be easier to choose the right professional for the job. Regular site maintenance, updates, and basic troubleshooting requests can typically be resolved by a technician, whereas more complicated issues might require the expertise and guidance of an engineer.  

In a nutshell, if you need someone to complete a job quickly and don’t require additional advice, call a technician. If you’re hoping for professional expertise and a longer-term plan for your business, contact an engineer. 

More Resources 

Still not quite sure who to call for your company’s unique challenges and issues? Wagento’s team of expert developers is available to help you through any part of your eCommerce goals, whether it’s upgrading to a new platform, redesigning your website, or setting up cross-border capabilities. Schedule a call with a Solutions Expert today to get started! 

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