When I were t'lad the various denominations were quite clear and unequivocal.

Engineers designed bridges, space rockets and planes and never touched a spanner in their working lives,

Technicians fixed faults on things like radar and avionics equipment,

Fitters (of all disciplines) were extremely highly skilled and kept plant and industry running

apprentices did four or five years training including day/block release at college.

Now,

engineers are the people who service your boiler or fix the washing machine

technicians are the little Thai girls who stick on false nails in every High St

fitters are people who install kitchens, carpets and windows,

apprentices are office juniors who spend a year filing paperwork on minimum wages.

Then again many people in 2020 do like to fool themselves with their chosen job titles..

I think the definition of an engineer varies between countries, e.g most engineers in nz would be fitter/turners/mechanics/technicians in the UK.

I did a UK engineering degree in the 70’s (then didn’t use it much) and back then we were required to study maths to an semi-advanced level as the “foundation” part of the course, so in the first year, 3 hours a week on integration, 3 hours a week on differentiation, 3 hours on pure maths and 3 hours on statistics, from memory. The other 10 hours a week or so were spent on more engineering type subjects, like fluid dynamics, metallurgy, stress analysis etc.

Maths subjects continued to be a significant part of the course content until the last year of 3 years of full time study. Very few hours of study were spent on “practical work” which I guess is where the criticism comes from about newly qualified engineers being useless in the shop.

Nowadays I guess the need for good maths knowledge is reduced by existence of CAD and software applications that do the calculations for you, but I bet the students today still get the background in maths.....

I reckon the topic of engineering is so broad that most degree level engineers will specialise and learn what their education didn’t cover subsequently e.g. “on the job”, which is another source of criticism I suspect.

So a degree level engineer won’t know “everything” but at least, as a minimum, has shown that they can absorb a vast amount of information in a relatively short period of time (and remember it many months later..... at exam time), will know what they don’t know (but know where to look it up), and they will be pretty good at maths too.

PS - maths is NOT the same as arithmetic.......