Civil Engineering Technician

Civil Engineering Technicians assist Civil Engineers in designing bridges, highways, and other projects. They might also assist in the development of commercial and residential land. As part of their jobs they are required to be able to read blueprints, inspect project sites, and evaluate conditions. They are required to test the materials needed for projects, ensure the projects are up to code, estimate project costs, decide which materials to be used and prepare reports. They might also prepare drawings or do land surveys.

Civil Engineering Technicians are not licensed Civil Engineers. The must work under the direction of a Civil Engineer on all projects. The do most of the same work that a Civil Engineer would do, however, because they aren’t licensed, they cannot supervise or approve designs.

Work Environment
Civil Engineering Technicians typically work in an office environment helping to design and plan projects. It is required that they visit job sites on occasion to survey the land, test materials or do inspections. This is to ensure the project plans are being followed correctly.

Because of the nature of the work, Civil Engineering Technicians have work hours similar to Construction Workers. Weather can change plans, or determine the length of the project.

How to Become a Civil Engineering Technician
Although it isn’t always required, employers prefer Civil Engineering Technicians to have an associate’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology or a certificate or diploma through a technical or vocational school. Students working toward a career in this field should take courses like chemistry or calculus. Courses in other sciences and liberal arts will also be needed.

Associate’s degrees are preferred, however, work experience in a related field (such as drafting) can sometimes be substituted for education. Drafters can advance into a Civil Engineering Technician position as they become more experienced in design.

Specialized certifications can help a Civil Engineering Technician advance more quickly in their career. It is not required to become certified, however it does increase the student’s skills and knowledge and makes them more likely to be promoted over someone that is not certified.

According to a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civil Engineering Technicians typically earn between $30,000 and $72,000 per year. This same report suggests the median wage for these techncians is $48,000 per year.

Job Outlook
The need for Civil Engineers is projected to stay steady over the next decade. Bridges, roads, and dams continue to need maintenance, rebuilding and upgrading. In addition, as the population continues to grow, there is a greater need to upgrade water systems to maximize the amount of drinkable water that is available to the public. As Civil Engineers work to design the maintenance projects, and the rebuilding and upgrading of these important infrastructures, Civil Engineering Technicians will be there assisting them on their projects.

Civil Engineering Technicians will also find more and more work available on renewable energy projects. The increased use of wind and solar energy opens up doors for all kinds of new projects.

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