Engineering Technology – Online Associate Degree | Penn Foster College

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Engineering Technology

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Associate Degree Program Overview

Develop your engineering skills and knowledge with Penn Foster College’s Associate Degree in Engineering Technology program. This program was designed to provide you with the in-depth training to help design, build, troubleshoot, and repair an endless variety of production systems and products. Learn the math, science, computer, and communication skills necessary to speak and understand the language of industry and technology as you get started on your career path in the technology engineering field.

This online Associate degree from Penn Foster College is awarded under licensing from the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The overall program goal for the A.S. in Engineering Technology Degree is to prepare students for entry-level positions as engineering technicians.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrate a high level of inquiry, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrate effective quantitative skills
  • Demonstrate proficient computer and information literacy skills
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the liberal arts, natural sciences, and social sciences
  • Recognize the work habits and characteristics that are demonstrated by successful technicians, including the codes and standards that technicians must know
  • Read and interpret various types of technical drawings, including those used in engineering applications, and understand the basics of computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Develop engineering graphics, utilizing orthographic projections, dimensioning, sectioning, tolerance, and threads
  • Identify the basic terminology, theories, and applications relating to electricity and electronics, including the components and operation of electrical and electronic systems
  • Identify various types of electric motors and describe how they are controlled; list the steps to use when troubleshooting electric motors and controllers
  • Explain the methods, laws, and procedures used in engineering mechanics, including the branches of statics, dynamics, kinematics, and kinetics
  • Identify manufacturing systems and processes, and recognize different materials used in manufacturing and engineering applications
  • Describe total quality management (TQM), materials and inventory management, inspection plans, measuring tools that collect quality data, and various statistical process control methods
  • List the steps and materials used in the tool design process, including the design of workholding devices, jigs, presses, dies, and gages
  • Understand the basic concepts of pneumatic systems and how they compare and contrast with hydraulic systems; identify the concepts related to the delivery of compressed air
  • Recognize important safety facts and practices associated with electrical, chemical, fire, material-handling, and machine hazards
  • Understand the fundamentals of designing machine elements, including developing an awareness of procedures and materials, identifying how forces and stresses affect materials, and recognizing machine components
  • Demonstrate common technical skills employed by engineers, such as the use of manufacturing processing equipment, measuring devices and quality control equipment, and skills in the testing of materials

Semester 1

Basic Skills Assessment

All degree applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

MET100 Orientation to Engineering Technology 1 credit

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program, and learn the basics of engineering technology.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
  • Use a scientific calculator.
  • Learn about the development of engineering and engineering technology.
  • Understand technical mathematics.
MAT100 Foundation Skills in Math 3 credits


  • Learn the basic math skills you’ll need to succeed in your program.
  • Practice math functions using real-life examples.
  • Use the metric system and formulas.
ENG101 Foundation Skills in Writing 3 credits


  • Review basic grammar.
  • Use action verbs.
  • Learn how to construct paragraphs.
CSC108 Essential Computer Skills 3 credits


  • Study the basics of computers and the Internet.
  • Manage files and digital electronics.
  • Use basic functions of Windows® and word processing.
  • Search the Internet successfully using helpful techniques and shortcuts.
EST100 Introduction to Technical Drawings 3 credits


  • Read and interpret technical drawings.
  • Interpret symbols and abbreviations.
  • Apply dimensioning and tolerancing to actual print reading.
  • Get an overview of computer-aided drawing and its role in modern technology.
SCI167 Physical Science 3 credits


  • Define the physical universe as you know it.
  • Get the foundation you need to understand chemistry, physics, and earth and space sciences.
Proctored Examination

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 2

EST110 Manufacturing Materials and Processes 3 credits


  • Cover a comprehensive collection of manufacturing and materials processing techniques.
  • Learn the historical perspectives and basic science of manufacturing and its related materials.
  • Read about specific manufacturing methods as they are applied to specific materials.
  • Study the theory of the automation of today’s manufacturing environment, productivity, and quality improvement systems.
MAT115 Intermediate Algebra 3 credits

This course introduces basic algebraic concepts that you'll need to be successful in your career.


  • Understand the systems of equations, polynomials, and radicals.
  • Factor polynomial expressions.
  • Simplify rational expressions.

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Intermediate Algebra

MET202 Drafting with AutoCAD® 3 credits


  • Draft using AutoCAD.®
  • Learn computer-aided drafting and design systems.
  • Use AutoCAD® menus and features.
  • Create files and entities.
  • Organize and annotate drawings.
  • Modify displays.
ENG100 English Composition 3 credits


  • Review English grammar.
  • Free write and brainstorm to come up with new ideas.
  • Edit and revise your writing.
  • Learn techniques for getting the reader’s attention.
  • Write descriptive essays, first-person narratives, reflective essays, persuasive essays, and effective thesis statements.
EET115 Electrical/Electronics Theory 3 credits


  • Get a foundation in electrical and electronics terminology, theory, and concepts.
  • Learn the basic principles of electricity and the fundamental applications of Ohm's law to circuit analysis.
  • Read about magnetism and electromagnetism, and alternating current theory and circuit applications.
  • Study theory and applications of most basic components, devices, and machines.
  • Explore capacitors, inductors, batteries, DC and AC motors, conductors, insulators, and basic rectification devices.
Proctored Examination

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 3

MET170 Engineering Mechanics 3 credits


  • Learn about the branches of engineering mechanics.
  • Study free-body diagrams, kinematics, force-mass acceleration method, impulse momentum, and the collision of two bodies.
MET221 Quality Control Systems 3 credits


  • Read about establishing quality systems.
  • Explore interpreting conventional and GD&T system drawings.
  • Learn about setting up and using inspection tools and equipment.
  • Discover how to develop part acceptance procedures.
  • Study the statistical process control (SPC) fundamentals and practical applications.
MAT222 Precalculus 3 credits


  • Learn about exponential and logarithmic functions.
  • Understand trigonometric functions and analytical trigonometry.
  • Explore systems of equations.
  • Read about inequalities.
Arts and Humanities Elective (Choose two) 6 credits

HUM102 - Art Appreciation

This course will provide you with the foundational knowledge needed to critique a variety of artwork.


  • Understand artistic media.
  • Identify historical periods and artistic movements.
  • Explain the roles of the artist and the viewer.

HUM104 - Music Appreciation

This course will allow you to understand and appreciate the art of music.


  • Identify the basic principles of music theory, including melody, harmony, dynamics, and timbre.
  • Name the main types of musical instruments.
  • Distinguish various styles of music.
  • Identify influential composers of various periods of musical history.

ENG115 - Introduction to Literature 

This course will allow you to develop your critical thinking skills and broaden your knowledge of literature.


  • Identify themes and forms of literature.
  • Define the main genres of literature—poetry, fiction, and drama.
Proctored Examination

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Semester 4

EST210 AutoCAD® Applications – Engineering Technology 3 credits


  • Get a broad introduction into 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Computer-Aided Design (CAD), focused on engineering technology.
  • Learn about specific applications.
  • Use AutoCad® in hands-on exercises, assignments, and projects.
Technical Electives (Choose two) 6 credits

EST200 - Fluid Power


  • Get a comprehensive overview of hydraulics and pneumatics.
  • Explore the basic scientific principles and concepts necessary for understanding the operation and applications of hydraulic and pneumatic components and systems.
  • Learn about power system controls, system schematics, and essential troubleshooting practices.

IET232 - Programmable Logic Controllers


  • Learn the hexadecimal and binary number systems.
  • Identify the role of computers in telecommunications systems.
  • Study programmable controllers found in motor-control and other industrial systems.

IET237 - Materials Management and Inventory Control


  • Learn about production scheduling and material planning.
  • Read about how each factors into production management and control.
  • Explore purchasing, ordering, and inventory control procedures.

IET243 - Industrial Safety


  • Learn the procedures for handling various materials.
  • Explore performing job tasks safely.
  • Survey the regulations designed to improve industrial safety.

MET231 - Mechanical Design 1


  • Learn about stress analysis.
  • Study work, energy, and power.
  • Explore design stress, moment diagrams, friction, lubrications systems, and ball and roller bearings.

MET232 - Mechanical Design 2


  • Study shaft design, seals, fasteners, and couplings.
  • Explore welding and weld designs.
  • Read about belting, power screws, gears, cams, flywheels, fluid power, and governors.

MET240 - Electro/Mechanical Control Technology


  • Learn how to recognize control system types.
  • Study various types of feedback loops.
  • Learn about designing digital and analog systems.
  • Explore the operation of controlled and sensing devices.
  • Read about system evaluation and troubleshooting.

MET241 - Tool Design 1


  • Explore single-point, multi-point, and rotary tools.
  • Study the types of work-holding devices.
  • Learn about tool wear and failure.
  • Read about shearing and die-cutting.

MET242 - Tool Design 2


  • Understand the principles of gauging.
  • Read about the tools for soldering and brazing.
  • Explore mechanical joining processes.
  • Learn about safety and tool materials.

MET248 - Industrial Plastics


  • Learn about basic chemical principles that are relevant to the plastics industry.
  • Understand the properties and uses for various types of plastics.
  • Discover how to test and identify the plastic's properties, and the effects of introducing certain additives.
  • Learn about manufacturing processes, such as molding, machining, finishing, process control, and extruding. 
Social Science Elective (Choose two) 6 credits

BUS121 - Economics 1


  • Identify the basic function of economics in our society
  • Examine various economic tradeoffs that people face
  • Explain the laws of supply and demand
  • Use the concept of elasticity to explain changes in a market
  • Discuss the pros and cons of trade restrictions
  • Calculate and interpret the unemployment rate and the labor-force participation rate
  • Describe the notion of deadweight loss and its relevance to taxes
  • Draw and interpret short-run and long-run Phillips curves
  • Explain why economists focus on GDP, inflation, and unemployment when assessing economic health
  • Describe how comparative advantage and specialization affect international trade
  • Describe how differences between world prices and domestic prices prompt exports and imports
  • Describe how changes in income affect consumption and saving

SSC125 - Introduction to Sociology


  • Describe deviance, crime, and social control.
  • Discuss the effects of stratification, racial and ethnic inequality, sex, gender, and sexuality.
  • Examine the role of health, family, education, and religion in human behavior.

SSC130 - Essentials of Psychology
This course will introduce you to the relationship between biology and behavior. You will learn about human development throughout the life span.


  • Identify major psychological theories.
  • Discuss consciousness, memory, thought, and language.
  • Define intelligence, personality, and stress.
  • Analyze the role of gender in psychology.
  • Explain how community influences behavior.
EST249 Resident Laboratory Training 3 credits

You’ll be required to complete a series of comprehensive practical experiments using various measuring instruments. Experiments are designed to provide familiarization with instrumentation, equipment, preparation of data, and laboratory reporting techniques. You may earn credit for this by completing the course at an approved school or by submitting a life/work experience portfolio demonstrating completion of similar skills to those emphasized in the laboratory training.

Proctored Examination

You will be required to complete a proctored exam on selected courses each semester. These assessments will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the semester. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete all 4 semesters.
  • Pass all courses.
  • Achieve a cumulative Quality Point Average (QPA) of 2.0 or higher.

NOTE: Advanced standing student shipments may vary from the above schedule.
Although this outline covers all four semesters of your program, you receive lesson materials for each semester as you enroll.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Credits earned in Penn Foster programs may transfer to some, but not all, learning institutions. If you are planning to continue your education with another school after you earn your degree from Penn Foster, you should check with that school regarding credit transfer policies.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
AutoCAD is a trademark of Autodesk, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view an Engineering Technology sample lesson, click here.

Engineering Technology Program Details

In this online program, you can take the first steps toward a career as an engineering technologist by studying topics such as:

Get started in the engineering technology field today. Contact Penn Foster College to learn more about this Associate degree program.

Online Engineering Technology Associates Degree

The Engineering Technology Program can help students take the first steps toward working at manufacturing plants, laboratories, construction companies, or engineering firms. Here are a few qualities that effective engineering technicians have in common:

  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Cooperative: You are pleasant, receptive, and work well with others.
  • Honest: Engineering requires integrity and a good sense of ethics.
  • Persistent: Your job requires focus and determination in the face of obstacles.

I have recently been hired at a new job. I am currently in my second semester and Penn Foster College is THE BEST online college for those of us who have full-time jobs and shift workers, because Penn Foster gives us the flexibility to study at our own convenience, at our own pace, and WITHOUT deadlines. And the cost is VERY inexpensive for a two-year Associate Degree.

- Todd L., Engineering Technology student

Having a degree will increase my chances of being put at the top of the promotion list. I suggest Penn Foster programs all of the time to my coworkers. I am in the military, and Penn Foster is a very military-friendly school. I got all of my materials shipped to me while I was overseas for deployment.

- Amy G., Penn Foster College graduate

After earning my degree I received a pay increase and a promotion to a supervisor position. The instructors are superb, helpful, and are there with you every step of the way. Also, the student services representatives are courteous and understanding; they are there to answer any questions you may have. After each assignment I completed, the staff of Penn Foster always had encouraging statements that helped me to stay on course. Congrats to Penn Foster College on being the best and bringing the best out of me.

- Shawn C., Penn Foster College graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Learning aids like a 3-year student version of AutoCAD® from Autodesk®
  • Goal-setting and progress-tracking tools
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Engineering Technology academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

Is there a difference between the Engineering Technology Associate Degree Program and the previously offered Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Programs at Penn Foster College?

The Penn Foster College Engineering Technology Program incorporates mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering principles.

What is the resident lab that Penn Foster College includes in its Engineering Technology Associate Degree Program?

Students enrolled in the Construction Technology, Engineering Technology, and Industrial Electronics and Electrical Maintenance Technology Associate Degree Programs are required to complete a 3-credit resident lab course. The resident laboratory training is two weeks long at the Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg Campus in Middletown, Pennsylvania. However, you may be able to take this training at a college or university near your home. Additionally, you may be exempt from having to complete the resident lab if you have previous experience in your field of study. At your request, Penn Foster College will conduct a review of life/work experience to determine if you are exempt. Your advisor will work closely with you to coordinate this part of your degree program, which will occur in Semester 4.

Will my Penn Foster College credits transfer to other schools?

Penn Foster College credits have been accepted for transfer into many colleges across the country. Students should check with a specific college to see if they accept our credits, as credit transfer can vary depending on the school. Also, the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated and recommended college credit for many Penn Foster College courses. No form of accreditation guarantees that any learning institution will accept credits from any school as transfer credits. For more information on transferring credits, click here.

More FAQs >

¹ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Mechanical Engineering Technicians, on the Internet here. Statements found in the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook are not a guarantee of any post-graduation salary, in part because the data used to create the Occupational Outlook Handbook includes workers from differing educational backgrounds, levels of experience, and geographic areas of the country.

As a student in the Engineering Technology Program, you’ll be required to complete a three-credit resident lab course in the fourth semester. The Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg offers a course annually in the spring that meets the requirements for this lab. All registrations are handled by Penn State University. You may receive transfer credit for this resident lab course from another institution, providing the coursework matches the criteria set by Penn Foster College. You may qualify to receive credit for this lab by submitting a life/work experience portfolio showing that you’ve acquired similar skills to those emphasized in the laboratory training.

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