Technician vs Technologist: Difference and Comparison

Technology is being leveraged everywhere, and many jobs have been created out of nowhere, thanks to technology. Two job titles that have surfaced due to technology are ‘technician’ and ‘technologist.’

Key Takeaways

  1. Technicians are skilled workers who perform specific tasks, while technologists are professionals who use their knowledge to solve complex technical problems.
  2. Technicians work under the supervision of technologists, while technologists work independently.
  3. While technicians focus on the practical aspects of technical work, technologists are responsible for the theoretical and conceptual aspects.

Technician vs Technologist

A technician is a skilled person who performs technical activities in a support capacity, such as fixing or maintaining equipment. A technologist is a professional who employs technology to solve complicated problems and is frequently involved in product or system design, development, or testing.

Technician vs Technologist

For example, a food technician will work towards assessing and examing food items, enhancing nutrition levels, and ensuring the food meets the Food and Drug Administration requirements. On the other hand, a technologist is someone who has a deeper and vast knowledge of a field.

For example, we have food technologists. A food technologist will work with a food technician, but she will be more focused on the research and innovation part.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonTechnicianTechnologist
Type of workMostly in laboratoriesVast, including innovation, research, and managerial roles
Required to attend business meetingsRarelyUsually
Degree neededYes, but a bachelor’s degree is not a necessity. A certificate/diploma works too.Yes, a bachelor’s degree is required
SalaryLower in comparisonHigher in comparison
Salary typeHourly or monthlyMonthy

What is a Technician?

A technician is somebody who is trained to work in a certain field. Examples of technicians are X-Ray lab technicians, Information Technology technicians, Food lab technicians, etc.

Technicians do not engage in business meetings.  A technician may be paid by the hour or hired and paid monthly.

Their main job is to keep the machines working. They are also expected to keep the equipment clean, maintain it, and ensure that the lab does not come to an unexpected halt.

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In some jobs, technicians can also take up the role of technologists. For example, a person who has graduated with a degree in cardiopulmonary technology will be able to work as a cardiopulmonary technologist. 

His responsibilities will be the same as a technologist; that is, he’ll have to assist patients who have cardiopulmonary conditions. He will have to use equipment to evaluate and diagnose patients, will be expected to keep their medical records, and assist with procedures.

He will also be required to clean and maintain the equipment. In summary, technicians work in the background and keep the process going.

They are responsible if any machine goes faulty. It will be their responsibility to fix the machine.

Technicians can also work as technologists if they have enough knowledge and experience.


What is a Technologist?

A technologist is trained to work in a certain field, plus they have an array of knowledge about their line of work.  Some examples of technologists are food technologists, Information Technology technologists, etc.

A technologist works with a technician and supervises him. A technologist is also required to engage in business meetings. 

A technologist is hired on a contract and paid monthly. Some jobs are listed as for ‘technologists’, but the work is suited for a technician. 

For example, a cardiopulmonary technologist. A cardiopulmonary technologist will do the work that is expected from a technician.

He/she will assist patients with medical problems in their blood vessels, heart, and lungs. The unexpected catch is that the title ‘Cardiopulmonary Technologist’ is justified.

A cardiopulmonary technologist must have an undergraduate degree in cardiovascular or cardiopulmonary technology; thus, a technician without the degree won’t be able to take up this job. Another example is that of a food technologist.

She will be expected to leverage her technical knowledge, combined with her domain knowledge, in this case, that of food. Her responsibilities will be to create new products, finalize the product’s flavours and colours, and ensure the product stays within legal limits. 


Main Differences Between Technician and Technologist

  1. A technician is somebody who works in the background and keeps things going. On the other hand, a technologist may also work in the background and keep things going, but she will be required to do more. She will be required to attend meetings, formulate plans with business heads, and work with the company to generate more revenue.
  2. A technician is responsible for cleaning machines, keeping requirements in stock, and even changing equipment when required. On the other hand, a technologist will be more focused on the business side of things. She may still be required to do what a technician does, but more will be expected.
  3. Technicians are mostly limited to the technical side of things. They are required to operate, clean, and maintain the equipment. On the other hand, a technologist’s role is wide. They must operate the technology and use their domain knowledge to research and innovate.
  4. A technician is not required to attend business meetings. On the other hand, technologists are required to attend business meetings.
  5. A technician’s salary can be paid by the hour or month. For example, an IT technician can be paid by the hour or month. On the other hand, a technologist’s salary is always paid by the month. An IT technologist will always be paid by the month.
Difference Between Technician and Technologist
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Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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22 thoughts on “Technician vs Technologist: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article could benefit from incorporating more contemporary examples to reflect the evolving nature of technician and technologist roles in modern industries.

  2. The definitions are well-defined, but the tone of the article is a bit condescending. More neutral language would be more appropriate.

  3. The detailed explanations of the responsibilities of these roles are commendable. It’s beneficial for those considering a career in these fields.

    • I completely agree. The article effectively outlines the intricacies of both technician and technologist positions.

    • This piece is a great resource for anyone who seeks to understand the differences between technicians and technologists thoroughly.

  4. This has been enlightening. The real-world examples used in this post have made it easier to understand the concepts.

  5. There seems to be some bias against technicians. It would be better to present both roles as equally important without any implied superiority.

    • I think the article successfully highlights the differences without necessarily belittling any position. The priority is on education rather than diminishing any job role.

  6. The comparison between the education requirements and salaries of technicians and technologists is quite insightful.

  7. This article doesn’t fully capture the diversity of tasks performed by those in technical roles. It’s too simplistic.

    • I see your point. The generalizations made in this article may not fully represent the scope of responsibilities for all technicians and technologists.

  8. The comparison table is quite helpful for understanding the variations between these job roles. I appreciate the detailed breakdown.

    • I found the examples provided to be particularly helpful. They give concrete illustrations of the differences in responsibilities.

  9. The descriptions provided for the roles of technicians and technologists are very thorough. This article definitely adds clarity in differentiating the two.

    • The extensive details about the responsibilities of both technicians and technologists make this article a valuable resource for anyone looking to understand these roles.


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