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Become A Civil Engineering Technician

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Working As A Civil Engineering Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Processing Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $67,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Civil Engineering Technician Do

Civil engineering technicians help civil engineers to plan, design, and build the highways, bridges, utilities, and other infrastructure projects. They also help to plan, design, and build commercial, industrial, residential, and land development projects.

Duties

Civil engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Read and review project drawings and plans to determine the sizes of structures
  • Confer with engineers about preparing plans
  • Use computer aided design software under the charge of engineers
  • Evaluate pre-construction field conditions
  • Observe project sites and evaluate contractors’ work to detect problems with a design
  • Test construction materials and soil samples in laboratories
  • Help to ensure that project construction conforms to design specifications and applicable codes
  • Develop plans and estimate costs for constructing systems and operating facilities
  • Prepare reports and document project activities and data
  • Collect data and prepare analyses
  • Set up and help maintain project files and records

Civil engineering technicians typically work under the charge of licensed civil engineers. These technicians generally help civil engineers, performing some of the same tasks as the engineers. However, because they are not licensed, civil engineering technicians cannot approve designs or supervise the overall project.

Civil engineering technicians assume varied duties on the job. They sometimes estimate construction costs and develop specifications. Other times, they prepare drawings or survey land. They also may set up and monitor various instruments for traffic studies. These technicians’ duties often require familiarity with and use of various computer programs to design projects, collect and analyze data, prepare correspondence and reports, and manage file systems.

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How To Become A Civil Engineering Technician

Although not always required, an associate’s degree in civil engineering technology is preferred for employment as a civil engineering technician.

Education

To prepare for programs in engineering technology after high school, prospective civil engineering technicians should take science and math courses, such as chemistry, geometry, and calculus. They should also have basic knowledge of the use of computers.

Employers generally prefer engineering technicians to have an associate’s degree from a program accredited by ABET, although a degree is not always required. Engineering technology programs are also available at technical or vocational schools that award a postgraduate certificate or diploma.

Courses at technical or vocational schools may include engineering, design, and computer software. To complete an associate’s degree in, students also usually need to take other courses in liberal arts and the sciences.

Important Qualities

Critical-thinking skills. As assistants to civil engineers, civil engineering technicians must be able to help the engineers identify and solve problems to develop infrastructure plans and to help agencies avoid wasting time, effort, and funds.

Decisionmaking skills. Pressures from deadlines mean that technicians must be able to quickly discern which types of information are most important for the work at hand, and which plan of action will help keep the project on schedule.

Math skills. Civil engineering technicians use math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Observational skills. Civil engineering technicians sometimes have to go to jobsites and assess a project for the engineer. Therefore, they must know what to look for and how best to report back to the engineer who is overseeing the project.

Problem-solving skills. Like civil engineers, civil engineering technicians help design projects to solve a particular problem. Technicians must be able to understand and work with all the related systems involved in building a project.

Reading skills. Civil engineering technicians carry out plans and designs for projects that a civil engineer has approved. Thus, they must be able to understand all the reports, plans, and documents describing these designs.

Writing skills. Civil engineering technicians often are asked to relay their findings in writing. They must be able to write reports that are well organized and clearly written.

Other Experience

Although an associate’s degree is preferred by most employers, prospective civil engineering technicians may enter the occupation after gaining work experience in a related occupation, particularly as a drafter or CAD operator. A worker who begins as a drafter or CAD operator for an engineering firm may advance to a civil engineering technician position as his or her knowledge of design and construction improves.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is not needed to enter this occupation, but it can help technicians advance their careers. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) is one of the primary organizations overseeing certification for civil engineering technicians.

Certification as a technician requires passing an exam and providing documentation, including a work history, recommendations, and, for most programs, supervisor confirmation of specific experience. NICET requires technicians to update their skills and knowledge through a recertification process that encourages continuing professional development.

Advancement

Civil engineering technicians can advance in their careers by learning to design systems for a variety of projects, such as storm sewers and sanitary systems. It is also useful for civil engineering technicians to become skilled at reading plans and profiles—the graphical depiction of proposed projects.

Civil engineering technicians can also benefit with increasing knowledge of computer systems and application, in particular familiarity with word processing and spreadsheet programs, as well as geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS).

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Civil Engineering Technician Career Paths

Civil Engineering Technician
Civil Engineer Project Engineer
Senior Project Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Civil Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Civil Engineer Project Engineer Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Civil Engineering Designer Project Manager Owner/Operator
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Civil Engineering Designer Project Manager Owner
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Civil Designer Structural Designer Senior Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Civil Designer Structural Designer Structures Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Civil Designer Structural Designer Design Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Design Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Design Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Designer Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Engineer Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Cadd Technician Designer Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Cadd Technician Designer Production Manager
Product Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Cadd Technician Senior Designer Senior Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineering Assistant Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineering Assistant Field Service Technician Crew Chief
Survey Party Chief
6 Yearsyrs
Engineering Assistant Mechanical Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Construction Inspector Senior Engineering Technician Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Civil Engineering Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Civil Designer 4.2 years
Design Technician 3.5 years
Autocad Technician 3.4 years
Civil Draftsman 3.2 years
Civil Technician 2.7 years
Civil Drafter 2.6 years
Top Careers Before Civil Engineering Technician
Surveyor 10.0%
Draftsman 9.8%
Inspector 4.1%
Internship 3.9%
Drafter 3.2%
Owner 3.0%
Top Careers After Civil Engineering Technician
Surveyor 6.0%
Engineer 4.0%
Designer 3.5%
Technician 3.4%
Owner 3.2%
Estimator 3.1%
Inspector 3.1%
Drafter 2.6%

Do you work as a Civil Engineering Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$67,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$38,000
Min 10%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$119,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
GEI Consultants
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
4.4 years
How much does a Civil Engineering Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Civil Engineering Technician in the United States is $67,458 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $38,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $119,000.

Real Civil Engineering Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Civil Engineering Technicians Rider Hunt International Houston, TX May 08, 2009 $95,000
Civil Engineering Technicians OVE ARUP and Partners California Limited San Francisco, CA Aug 17, 2010 $85,200
Civil Engineering Technician Mistras Group Princeton Junction, NJ Nov 21, 2009 $83,200
Civil Engineering Technician Civil 1, Inc. Woodbury, CT Sep 16, 2016 $77,500
Civil Engineering Technician Civil 1, Inc. Woodbury, CT Sep 01, 2015 $77,500
Civil Engineering Technician Hunsaker & Associates San Diego, Inc. San Diego, CA Feb 09, 2015 $75,132
Civil Engineering Technician Davis Tile & Marble Inc. Kailua, HI Aug 05, 2010 $73,000
Civil Engineer Technicians Pinnacle Environmental Corporation NY Mar 06, 2009 $72,800
Civil Engineer Technician The Interfield Group, LLC Houston, TX Nov 01, 2013 $71,500
Civil Engineering Technicians Prime AE Group, Inc. Owings Mills, MD Aug 31, 2014 $70,000 -
$76,340
Civil Engineering Technicians North Core Corp Fargo, ND Feb 21, 2014 $67,000
Civil Engineering Technicians Myers & Co. Architectural Metals Basalt, CO Jun 16, 2010 $65,000
Civil Engineer Technician American Civil Constructors West Coast LLC Benicia, CA Jan 06, 2016 $65,000
Civil Engineering Technician C A Group, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Oct 01, 2011 $54,000 -
$64,000
Civil Engineering Technician Mc Squared Inc. Olympia, WA Oct 01, 2011 $54,000
Civil Engineering Technologist RDH Building Sciences Inc. Portland, OR Mar 14, 2008 $53,186 -
$74,000
Civil Engineer Technician Kaderabek Company Miami, FL Apr 30, 2012 $53,000
Civil Engineer Technician MEX-America Entertaiments Group, Inc. Indio, CA Jan 03, 2016 $52,175
Civil Engineer Technician MEX-America Entertainment Group, Inc. Indio, CA Sep 01, 2014 $52,175
Civil Engineering Technicians Smartech Communications Carson, CA Apr 23, 2009 $52,175
Civil Engineering Technician Municipal Testing Laboratory Inc. Hauppauge, NY Jun 02, 2012 $52,175
Civil Engineering Technician Design Concepts Consulting, Inc. Pacifica, CA Sep 26, 2012 $46,958
Civil Engineering Technicians Forrest Excavating, Inc. Holiday, FL Mar 12, 2010 $46,862
Civil Engineering Technician Evanco Environmental Technologies Inc. TX Jan 16, 2012 $46,791
Civil Engineering Technicians AQX Engineering, Inc. Santa Ana, CA Sep 22, 2014 $46,300
Civil Engineering Technician Northern Geotechnical Engineering, Inc. Anchorage, AK Oct 01, 2013 $46,164
Civil Engineering Technician Terminal Construction Corporation Woodbridge, NJ Sep 21, 2009 $46,164
Civil Engineering Technicians Aw Solutions Inc. Longwood, FL Aug 29, 2016 $46,000 -
$56,000
Civil Engineering Technicians Double R. Engineering Service, Inc. Lake Havasu City, AZ Dec 17, 2007 $45,872

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Top Skills for A Civil Engineering Technician

  1. Topographic Surveys
  2. CAD
  3. Sewer Lines
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conduct topographic surveys for design purposes utilizing Total Station and Automatic Leveling equipment.
  • Provided AutoCAD drafting and technical support for Civil Engineering/Landscape Architecture firm.
  • Inspected utility construction including water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer lines as well as junction box and meter station structures.
  • Work to inspect, document, review, and track new construction projects ranging from roadways to buildings.
  • Performed civil engineering calculations for storm-water management and drainage design.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Civil Engineering Technicians

  1. Alaska
  2. Oregon
  3. Washington
  4. North Dakota
  5. Texas
  6. Minnesota
  7. Connecticut
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Maine
  10. New Hampshire
  • (30 jobs)
  • (182 jobs)
  • (241 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (693 jobs)
  • (151 jobs)
  • (70 jobs)
  • (42 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)

Civil Engineering Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

75.8%

Female

17.8%

Unknown

6.4%
Ethnicity

White

62.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

10.6%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.5%

French

10.0%

German

7.5%

Portuguese

5.0%

Chinese

5.0%

Arabic

5.0%

Ukrainian

2.5%

Dakota

2.5%

Greek

2.5%

Russian

2.5%

Carrier

2.5%

Tagalog

2.5%

Mandarin

2.5%

Polish

2.5%

Chickasaw

2.5%

Bosnian

2.5%
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Civil Engineering Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.2%

Community College of the Air Force

8.8%

Pennsylvania State University

6.1%

Hinds Community College

5.4%

Montana State University - Bozeman

4.8%

Youngstown State University

4.8%

New Mexico State University

4.8%

Lake Land College

4.8%

University of New Hampshire

4.1%

Trident Technical College

4.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.1%

Ferris State University

4.1%

University of Washington

4.1%

University of Maine

4.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.1%

University of Florida

4.1%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

4.1%

Purdue University

4.1%

More Tech Institute

4.1%

University of Wisconsin - Platteville

3.4%
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Majors

Civil Engineering

29.4%

Civil Engineering Technologies

13.0%

Drafting And Design

12.1%

Business

8.6%

Construction Management

5.9%

Engineering

3.9%

Construction Engineering Technologies

3.1%

Environmental Science

2.6%

Architecture

2.2%

Mechanical Engineering

2.1%

Management

2.0%

Project Management

2.0%

Electrical Engineering

1.9%

Surveying, Mapping, And Hydraulic Technologies

1.9%

Engineering Technology

1.8%

General Studies

1.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.7%

Industrial Technology

1.5%

Natural Resources Management

1.3%

Geology

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.5%

Associate

23.4%

Other

22.8%

Masters

10.3%

Certificate

4.6%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.2%
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