The Characteristics and Work Adjustment of Engineering Technicians

by Archie Kleingartner



In recent years, technical occupations have been expanding substantially faster than has the labor force generally and faster than many professional occupations. Year after year technical occupations are identified as areas where serious manpower shortages exist. Movement into these jobs is viewed by manpower planners as one of the most attractive and feasible channels for upgrading workers and for relieving the pressures caused by the high cost and shortage of professional personnel. Similarly, technical jobs are frequently viewed as the upper limit to which training and retraining programs among the unemployed can reasonably be directed. It is paradoxical that, despite the growth and importance of technicians as an occupational category, knowledge of where they come from, how they become technicians, their motivations, and their job and career expectations is very scanty. Academic researchers as well as managers have tended to slight technicians in favor of the more glamorous professional occupations ranking immediately above technicians and the more numerous production workers immediately below them.

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