The Difference between Engineers & Scientists

Many people think there are no differences between a scientist and an engineer, whilst others think the two careers are completely separate from one another. Generally speaking, science is the study of the physical world, which engineering applies scientific knowledge to design processes, structures and equipment.

Both engineers and scientists need a strong knowledge of science, maths and technology, but engineers tend to apply these principles to designing creative solutions.

A scientist will undergo scientific training and work in the sciences whereas an engineer will be trained solely as that. The practical difference lies in the educational degree and the description of the job being performed. Scientists tend to explore the natural world and discover new things about the universe and how it works whereas engineers apply that knowledge learnt in order to solve practical problems, often focusing on cost, efficiency and other limits.

There is, however, a strong overlap between the two careers and industries. You are likely to find scientists who design and construct equipment, and you are also likely to find engineers who make important scientific discoveries in their day to day jobs. For example, information theory was founded by Claude Shannon, who was known as a theoretical engineer.

Engineering is a science, though there are several things that set it apart as an industry.

  • Scientists observe the world, while engineers focus on creating. Both field require observation and analysis, though engineering deals with creating and working on already existing creations.
  • Engineering is more specific than science. Engineering deals with a variety of issues and topics, but it is narrowed down to the study of how things work. Science is a much broader subject.
  • Science creates questions. Engineering creates answers. In general, science deals with observing and coming up with theories, whilst engineering helps to put these theories to the test.

Though science and engineering are ultimately two separate fields, they do go hand-in-hand and are under the same family of study. Therefore, those who are interested in science are probably going to be a fan of engineering, too.

Here at GET, we offer engineering apprenticeships in the mechanical, electrical, maintenance and welding & fabrication fields. If you’re interested in taking a look at our current vacancies, you can do so here.

For more information, feel free to contact a member of the GET team by visiting our contact page or calling us on 01452 423461.