Difference Between Technician and Technologist

The interest to find the difference between technician and technologist arises due to the appearing similarity in the two terms and because both, the technician and Technologist, are involved in the development and innovation of new and existing technology. These two terms, technician and technologist, are correlated with each other and one cannot exist without the other. They only differ in their respective roles and the level of knowledge pertaining to their job roles. Therefore, one should pay more attention to the difference between technician and technologist to understand what each term exactly refers to.

Who is a Technician?

A Technician only possesses the basic knowledge on certain things and has minimal understanding of the technology. He is only knowledgeable on the basic know-how of troubleshooting. A technician often works under a technologist. They need the technologist’s leadership ability and skills to guide them and teach them what to do and what to work on. Generally, a technician needs only a certificate or diploma which requires two years of study. In some countries, technicians are known as Associates or Skilled Workers.

Another definition for technician can be presented following the Oxford Dictionaries as “a person employed to look after technical equipment or do practical work in a laboratory.”

Who is a Technologist?

In order to be qualified as a technologist, one requires the minimal qualification of a degree of which four to five years coursework is mandatory (usually an engineering course). Their knowledge on technology is usually specialized, vast and wide, and in-depth. They are mainly responsible for the development, enhancement, innovation and evolution of technology. Most of the technologists end up in laboratories and research facilities designing and creating innovations that improve the life quality of human beings. Language vise, technologist is a word the was formed from the noun technology.

What is the difference between Technician and Technologist?

There will be no technicians if there are no technologists and vice versa. Even though technicians are only knowledgeable of the basic principles and troubleshooting, they play an important role in the process of improving and creating better things for the future generations. While technologists design new things, technicians, on the other hand, turn their designs and ideas into reality. Technologists possess the intellectual skills whereas technicians put their whole being in practical techniques and applications. Technologists do the intricate work and technicians manage the order and maintenance of their work. One can think of a technologist as the general of a military unit who conducts plans and studies enemy territories while technicians are private officers who battle the enemies in accordance with the general’s plans. 


Technician vs Technologist

• Technologists design, plan and create better things while technicians execute the plans and do all the manual labor.

• Technologists use their intellectual capacity to develop new things whereas technicians depend on their practical skills to maintain and troubleshoot problems with the technologist’s works.

• Technologists are like the general of an army that plans the battle and technicians are the private officers that execute the general’s plan in battling the enemies.


Photos By: Official U.S. Navy Page (CC BY 2.0), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CC BY 2.0)