Professional Designations

The New Brunswick Society of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (NBSCETT) was originally formed by a handful of technicians and technologists meeting in Saint John; as an association to generate recognition of the role in the workplace of certified engineering technicians and technologists, and to assist the post-secondary training facilities of the province to produce the highest standard of graduate possible for work in the engineering and applied science technology fields.

The Society’s “Letters Patent” were received January 12, 1968; and the New Brunswick Legislature on June 18, 1986, assented to the Engineering Technology Act, which provides legal recognition of the Society; and gives the authority for accreditation of training, certification, protection of titles, and powers of discipline for members. The Engineering Technology Act , considered by many as a national benchmark in legislation for technicians and technologists, gives a new enhanced status to the “Occupation of Engineering Technology”. NBSCETT is a Member of Technology Professionals Canada (TPC) and a participant in the Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC). The Society’s Accreditation Board and Certification Board function under guidelines agreed to by all TPC Member associations across the country, and support the Transfer Endorsement Agreement, allowing for the unequivocal national mobility of certified members.

People outside the engineering/applied science field, and even some of those inside it, are not always clear on the distinctions between a technician and a technologist. By themselves, these are not two titles but simply words, they are not owned or copyrighted by anyone. Increasingly, and unfortunately for all publics, many other jobs are becoming titled Technician; such as Accounting Technician, Inspection Technician, or Brake Technician.

There is however, a distinct difference between those names and a Certified Technician or a Professional/Certified Technologist, especially as these two designations relate to NBSCETT and the Engineering Technology Act; and to the engineering / applied sciences community. The titles Certified Engineering Technician (CET), Certified Technician (CTech), Certified Engineering Technologist (CET), Professional Technologists (PTech),and Applied Science Technologist (AScT) are formal professional designations which are copyright and are granted to, and may only be used by the members of NBSCETT, and are controlled by the Engineering Technology Act.

Employers naturally have the right to call their employees whatever they wish, and some title all “technical” positions as technician, while others use both technician and technologist. Many employers have implemented the use of both titles using NBSCETT’s certification system as a guideline, a move which the Society wholeheartedly supports, since it directly relates to the certification of the individuals themselves.

How does NBSCETT differentiate between a technician and a technologist? Why do some applicants receive technician status and others technologist?
The following profiles have been developed by NBSCETT to answer many of these common questions. An important point to remember about certification by NBSCETT in any category is that the requirements include both academic training and related experience. An acceptable combination of these two elements is essential — in other words, a wealth of experience is not sufficient, by itself, for certification. Academic training (preferably from an accredited Community College engineering/applied science program) in the form of a diploma, certificate or proof of equivalency, is absolutely essential. In addition, the differences between technician and technologist include both academic training and type of work experience, as the profiles will illustrate. It is especially important to reach young women with the message that they too are capable of and entitled to a career in one of the engineering or applied science technologies. Technology is creating new challenges and demanding new skills from workers. Without the necessary skills and knowledge, women will be unable to take advantage of new, well paid opportunities in the global workplace.

NBSCETT membership categories are; Student, Technology Graduate In Training (TGIT); Associate member; and Certified member. The TGIT member has acquired the academic pre-requisites for certification, but not the required twenty-four months of relevant work experience. The Associate member is employed in an engineering/applied science field, yet lacks some of the required academic credits for certification.