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Civil Engineering Technicians

Civil engineering technicians help civil engineers with planning and overseeing the construction of highways, bridges, water treatment systems, harbors, tunnels, buildings and other structures. They also conduct related research. Some civil engineer technicians are involved in community planning and urban renewal. They work under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

Civil engineering techs go to the project site and assist the engineers lay out the position of the structure's foundation. They also help with drafting and making scale drawings of the structures to be built. They inspect the site during the construction process to ensure the work is following the building plans. Some civil engineering technicians determine the materials to be used and estimate construction costs.

Some sample job titles include civil engineering designer, engineering technician, engineering assistant, civil designer, civil engineering assistant, design technician and engineering specialist.

Responsibilities

  • Review project blueprints and structural specifications to determine dimensions of structures or systems and materials needed
  • Develop detailed drawings and design layouts
  • Consult with supervisor to determine details of the project
  • Prepare plans and estimate costs for construction of structures and installation of systems
  • Create reports and document project data and activities
  • Inspect project site and evaluate the work of contractors
  • Report project site maintenance problems to their supervisor
  • Help research a project

Job Characteristics

Since a large number of engineering technicians are involved with design work, creativity is beneficial. Engineering technicians are usually part of a team, thus the ability to work well with others is important. Good communications and mathematics skills are also important.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted a 17 percent employment growth for civil engineering technicians during the 2008 to 2018 timeframe. In addition, the median annual earnings for civil engineering technicians in 2008 was $44,290.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Most employers prefer to hire people that have at least an associate degree in engineering technology. Associate degrees in civil engineering technology are also available. Most associate degree programs that have been accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) include at least college algebra and trigonometry along with one or two basic science courses.

Graduates of ABET accredited programs are typically recognized as having an acceptable level of competence in the subjects of science and math and also technical courses that are required of the occupation.

Technical institutes usually offer a lot of technical training through application and practice, however they usually offer less general education and theory than community colleges. Many colleges offer bachelor's degrees in engineering technology, however graduates of these programs often are employed as applied engineers or technologists and not as technicians.

Many private and public schools offer technical training and the type and quality of training varies significantly. Students may want to ask perspective employers for their school preferences. They should also ask a school representative about the types of jobs their graduates have acquired.

Employers typically don't require engineering technicians to be certified, however those with certification may have a competitive advantage. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies offers certification programs for several engineering technology specialties.

Resources

Major Employers

The primary job providing industries are architectural, engineering and related services; state government, local government, nonresidential building construction; and colleges, universities and professional schools.

Civil Engineering Technicians Skills

Below are the skills needed to be civil engineering technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Critical Thinking3.883.62
Active Listening3.754
Reading Comprehension3.754.12
Mathematics3.623.38
Speaking3.383.5

Civil Engineering Technicians Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be civil engineering technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Deductive Reasoning3.884
Mathematical Reasoning3.883.75
Near Vision3.883.88
Oral Comprehension3.884.12
Written Comprehension3.884

Civil Engineering Technicians Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be civil engineering technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Engineering and Technology4.475.07
Mathematics4.244.93
Building and Construction4.184.74
Design4.154.92
Clerical3.654.25

Civil Engineering Technicians Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being civil engineering technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Getting Information4.483.61
Interacting With Computers4.453.4
Processing Information4.34.81
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards4.24.15
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events4.124.29

Civil Engineering Technicians Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being civil engineering technicians according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Integrity4.61
Attention to Detail4.51
Dependability4.47
Cooperation4.36
Initiative4.23

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Civil Engineering Technicians

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Civil Engineering Technicians jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim3,340 $70,320
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land2,690 $63,860
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington1,830 $53,160
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward1,260 $65,070
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn1,170 $49,470
Austin-Round Rock1,140 $52,760
San Diego-Carlsbad1,100 $52,550
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell1,090 $53,600
San Antonio-New Braunfels1,080 $55,860
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue950 $67,760

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Civil Engineering Technicians

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Employment
Salary

Total employment and salary for professions similar to civil engineering technicians

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Civil Engineering Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.