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What is an "engineer"?
  • batman
  • Pennsylvania, United States
I've been reading posts and was just wondering why in European countries tech's are called engineers and in the US called technicians.

Is it different training? Do you have engineering degrees? Do all of you use PDA's?

This could be a dumb question but it is something I've been wondering about for awhile.
  • Posted 11 Feb 2009 12:34 PM
Total replies: 20. Showing items 1 - 20 of 20 results.
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
it's a 'translation" thing...
and in the EU they all wear a lab coat and have pocket protectors in their shirt pocket.

  • Posted 11 Feb 2009 09:41 PM
In Europe, they commonly refer to service technicans an "engineer" & it is very common in the UK. Maybe other parts of the world too - especially those countries that were under British rule at a point in time & they even taught some of them to drive on the wrong side of the road.

"Have An Exceptional Day!"
  • Posted 11 Feb 2009 11:53 PM
  • DaveUK
  • BERKSHIRE, United Kingdom
The title was originally "service engineer" but it seems to have been shortened to just engineer, and as you say that is normally a guy with a degree. More often now in the UK the term technician is used these days. And as for driving on the wrong side while wearing a lab coat, we kidded the ozies to do it and somhow they still do it in Japan. I always drive on the left when I visit the US or Canada, but the other drivers just wont take my lead! Oh yeah, and I fill up with petrol. Have a good day across the pond. And we all use PDA's

Who bravely dares must sometimes risk a fall.
  • Posted 12 Feb 2009 12:54 AM
  • • Modified 12 Feb 2009 12:54 AM by poster
Dave - I like your humor. I have visited your country London, Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard. Thoroughly enjoyed everything but "kippers". Visited Sir Neville Bowman Shaw's company - Lancer Boss. He wasn't knighted at that time. I recall my first 2 days in London walking around and continually reminding my self to look for traffic coming from my right side when I crossed a road. I did that effectively until I reached the middle of the road adn immediately revert to my USA habits. My you have a lot of horn blowers in a short period of time - especially those on a "lorrie". After the first day that I took a cab.

You know I'm in Georgia, USA many of the locals here have roots going back to the days of King George (don't recall what Number) when he sent them here for a good reason I'm told. But when thay have too many pints of bitters (which I prefer) or ale they will drive on the LH side of the road for sure.


"Have An Exceptional Day!"
  • Posted 12 Feb 2009 03:47 AM
  • DAMO
  • DUBLIN, Ireland
Just reading your posts [url removed] youse nothing better to talk about ,,,,is it getting to a stage were theres no technical questions being asked because there is no work [url removed] not [url removed] kidding
  • Posted 12 Feb 2009 06:16 AM
Haven't worked in almost 2 years - retired - after 41 years.

"Have An Exceptional Day!"
  • Posted 12 Feb 2009 06:56 AM
  • DAMO
  • DUBLIN, Ireland
Fair play enjoy the [url removed]
  • Posted 12 Feb 2009 07:07 AM
up here in NY and im sure all over
the mechanics and drivers of heavy equipment and forklifts are in the "int union of operating engineers " local 15 and 14 for NYC
15 is mostly mechanics
and 14 is the operators

good union to get into too

New York, New York its a heluva know that The Bronx is up..and I'm Brooklyn down
  • Posted 12 Feb 2009 03:09 PM
Engineers in the forklift industry is just a fancy name to impress customers thats all were all mechanics or technician same thing
  • Posted 14 Feb 2009 10:12 AM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
hey, Justin_m, can you confirm something for me, I have heard that in the operating engineers unions, the operators get paid MORE than the the mechanics, is that true?
  • Posted 15 Feb 2009 01:45 AM
  • roadrat
  • North Carolina, United States
He's that guy wearing a gray and white striped hat driving the locomotive on a [url removed]

  • Posted 15 Feb 2009 08:24 AM
well if youre in a major union like 15 or 14 youll be doing a lot of "prevailing wage" work on public works projects (like the new Yankees Stadium)
those locals are in NYC (5 boroughs)

the pay is based on a "schedule"
basically a list of pay broken down by county and actual job classification

of course NYC is the highest paid, almost double compared to a lot of other counties

it covers a lot of jobs
but an example for NYC heavy construction
this is all straight time
a tower crane operator makes $67.83 per hour
a forklift operator makes 47.31
the mechanics are about the same for forklift operators
but at those wages whos gonna complain

not to mention whats known as your "stamp"
thats your benefits, pension, etc
thats usually close to what youre making an hour
benefits are 100% paid except for union dues (which are well worth it)

OT is after 8 hours in a a day not 40 in a week holidays and sundays are OT usually

but there is a lot of different schedules and its very tough to read (kinda like stereo instructions lol)

o yeah if you work at night
theres "night differential" which will add 10-20 an hour

New York, New York its a heluva know that The Bronx is up..and I'm Brooklyn down
  • Posted 15 Feb 2009 11:54 AM
  • • Modified 15 Feb 2009 11:55 AM by poster
In most states you cannot use engineer in a persons title, without them being a licenced professional engineer qualified to do work in that [url removed] can't even put it in your company name without having the same kind of person employed full time, and the state really would prefer that you were an engineering company.
Yes we do have a lot of regulations in the USA just like the UK but not as talked about.
  • Posted 20 Feb 2009 02:22 PM
As a former maintenance supervisor at a customer once said "he's just a DA@# Grease MONKEY. What are you giving him a fancy name for, so you can charge me double?"

and by thge way what is up with you americans and your facination with a Public Display of Affection anyhow???

Have a great day and "Keep a Stiff Upper Lip"
  • Posted 26 Feb 2009 10:50 AM
In my time I have found that there are many 'grease monkeys' in our field but I feel about a third are fine engineers. I am a UK 'engineer' and I quite like the title. I have engineering qualifications from college but no degree but have the 'engineering' mindset. [url removed] a curious tinkerer. There's many in our field who are basically 'fitters'and it is a job to them.
An open and curious mind is the best engineer or tech or whatever the translation..!
  • Posted 28 Feb 2009 10:01 PM
I am an engineer and a technician and a mechanic.

As well of one of the best!


Lift Trucks all the same, just painted different colors.
  • Posted 30 Mar 2009 11:01 AM
Hey Doc!

As it was once said in a song "It is hard to be humble!" or as Joe Willie Namath wrote in his book "I can't wait for tomorrow because I get better looking every day."

"Have An Exceptional Day!"
  • Posted 30 Mar 2009 09:30 PM
Still one of the best, just ask around.

Lift Trucks all the same, just painted different colors.
  • Posted 31 Mar 2009 10:52 AM
Engineers are only good at **** up good ideas and over engineering. **** LOOK AT CLARK
  • Posted 13 Mar 2010 10:09 AM
"Grease Monkey", "Mechanic", "Technician" or "Service Engineer", no matter what we are called, it pays the bills. I have been in the service side of the industry since 1 June, 1977 and have always enjoyed the job (not always who I worked for !!), regardless of the terminology of the day. Wether they call you GM, M, T or SE,,,, I always wanted to be referred to as the best and requested for by name when a customer called the dealership.

JustinM - nice 359 in your photo

EdwardT - MinPin in your photo ?? we had 8 of the little terrors at one time a few years back.
  • Posted 26 Mar 2010 09:25 PM
Total replies: 20. Showing items 1 - 20 of 20 results.

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