When the British use the term "engineer," they often refer to the people we call "mechanics" or "technicians." In AE, we don't call people who tend boilers "engineers."
In the U.S., we use the term "engineer" generally to refer to somebody who designs things - and I note that your question specifically refers to an American. (The "engineers" who drive railroad locomotives is a separate meaning, however)
The answer to your question is that "it's impoossible to say."
As a retired journalist, I feel compelled to mention one of the cardinal rules of reporting, i.e. "If you don't understand what somebody says, ask the person him- or herself what is meant by that and don't rely on asking somebody later."
As a side note, "engineer," in AE is sometimes used sarcastically or jokingly. For example, a character on a now-defunct television show was a garbage collector, but called himself a "sanitation engineer."