Civil Engineering Technician Job Description
Civil engineering technicians help design bridges, highways, and other infrastructure projects. They work under the supervision of a licensed civil engineer.
Civil engineering technicians do many of the same tasks that civil engineers do. But because they aren’t licensed, they aren’t able to supervise projects or approve designs.
Some common responsibilities for civil engineering technicians include estimating construction costs, diagnosing problems with designs, surveying land, and preparing technical drawings.
Most civil engineering technicians work in an office environment, where they work closely with a civil engineer to design and plan engineering projects. Most people in this occupation are employed by architecture and engineering firms, but there are also many employment opportunities with local and state government agencies.
Sometimes, civil engineers need to travel to a construction project so they can check on its progress and ensure that the designs are carried out to specifications. Depending on where the construction site is located, traveling long distances may be required.
Civil engineering technicians are often able to work a regular schedule during normal working hours, but overtime is sometimes required as deadlines approach or when trying to solve a problem that occurs during construction.
How to Become a Civil Engineering Technician
Most employers prefer to hire candidates with an associate’s degree in civil engineering technology. Before you enroll in a program, you should make sure that it’s accredited by ABET. If it isn’t accredited, you may have a hard time finding employment — and the credits you earn probably won’t transfer to a four year school if you later decide to attend one.
Not all civil engineering technicians earn an associate’s degree, though. Some earn a certificate from a vocational school or technical school. These programs normally include more hands on training than you would get from an associate’s program, but the credits rarely transfer to a four year program.
Whether you choose to pursue an associate’s or a certificate should depend on what your long term goals are. If you plan to get a four year degree at some point, then an associate’s would probably be best for you.
The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies offers some certifications for people in this occupation. Certifications are not required to work in this field, but they can help demonstrate competency and sometimes lead to advancement opportunities.
To become certified, you need to pass an exam and provide documentation that includes a verified work history and recommendations from supervisors.
- Electrical engineering technician
- Industrial engineering technician
- Environmental engineering technician
There are currently 79,000 civil engineering technicians in the United States, with 2,460 new civil engineering technician job openings created each year.
Civil Engineering Technician jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Civil Engineering Technician Salaries
Civil Engineering Technician salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most civil engineering technicians make between $36,000 – $58,400 per year, or $17.30 – $28.07 per hour.