Sims, Clarence A.
M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Management
Job analysis; Petroleum--Refining; Industrial technicians
PURPOSE OP THE STUDY: It has become more apparent, in recent years, that many repetitive and sub-professional tasks are being performed by professional individuals. This study evaluates the utilization of technical assistants presently employed in the design section of a Midwest Refinery and defines technical work requirements of the department. The criterion used for determining what constitutes technical work was a definition adopted by the Engineers' Council for Professional Development, National Society of Professional Engineers during their annual Meeting in 1953. Present opinions, regarding the need for technicians, place the requirement of technicians, at two or three for every engineer. This study calculated the technician to engineer ratio from data obtained and compared it to the present proposed ratio in an attempt to substantiate the proposed ratio with an actual case investigation. A cost comparison of salary expenses presently incurred and salary expenses required when the department work complement is correlated to technical and professional departmental work requirements was performed to determine the financial aspect of proportioning engineers and technicians to work requirements. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS: Work projects studied involved approximately, $750,000,00 and 1,200 man-hours of engineering or technical work. This study failed to substantiate the editorial of Illinois Engineer which stated that "informed estimates puts the ideal number of technicians at two to three for every engineer" The reasons for this inconsistency is probably two-fold. First, the engineer classifying his work has a human tendency to consider all work which requires a highly trained technician as professional work. Secondly, this study was done in a highly complex industry, where action and interaction of various processes and changes tend to affect a great number of functional dependent activities. It appears that the hypothesis made in this study is valid. The number of technicians employed is insufficient. A ratio of seven technicians to five engineers would handle most projects and flexibility of work load could allow this ratio to vary between 1.0 and 2.0 as the individual projects require. Analysis of data obtained indicates a ratio of less than 1.0 is not consistent with the work requirements. Cost comparison calculations indicate a $4,000.00 per year decrease in salary expense is possible should proposed changes in work force occur.
Kuban, Richard J., "A study of the utilization of engineers and engineering technicians in a midwest oil refinery" (1965). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 785.
v, 45 pages
Northern Illinois University
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