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Become A Design Technician

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Working As A Design 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

  • $67,640

    Average Salary

What Does A Design 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 Design 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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Design Technician Jobs

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Design Technician Career Paths

Design Technician
Project Manager President Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Drafter Computer Aided Design Designer Designer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Project Engineer Product Manager
Director Of Product Development
11 Yearsyrs
Designer Design Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Security Officer Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
GIS Analyst GIS Coordinator GIS Specialist
GIS Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Surveyor Field Engineer Assistant Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Designer Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Designer Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Engineer Architect Drafter
Lead Drafter
5 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Application Engineer Product Manager
Product Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Design Designer Design Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Aided Drafter Designer Project Engineer
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Instructor Case Manager Case Manager Supervisor
Supervisor And Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Surveyor Survey Project Manager
Survey Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Cadd Technician Engineering Technician Surveyor
Survey Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Design Drafter Engineering Technician Field Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Design Technician?

Design Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

69.3%

Female

28.5%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

61.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.8%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

9.0%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.9%

German

7.5%

French

7.1%

Chinese

5.8%

Mandarin

4.9%

Cantonese

4.4%

Italian

3.5%

Portuguese

3.5%

Russian

3.1%

Arabic

2.2%

Carrier

1.8%

Romanian

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Ukrainian

1.3%

Polish

1.3%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Dutch

0.9%

Tagalog

0.9%

Japanese

0.9%

Swedish

0.4%
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Design Technician Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

31.7%

University of Phoenix

7.2%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

5.7%

Iowa State University

5.1%

Pittsburgh Technical Institute

4.9%

Parsons the New School for Design

3.4%

Pennsylvania State University

3.4%

Utah Valley University

3.4%

University of Wisconsin - Stout

3.2%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.2%

Kent State University

3.2%

North Carolina State University

3.2%

Austin Community College

3.2%

Purdue University

3.2%

Wake Technical Community College

3.0%

Drexel University

3.0%

Oklahoma State University

2.7%

University of Central Missouri

2.5%

Savannah College of Art and Design

2.5%

Eastern Kentucky University

2.5%
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Majors

Drafting And Design

28.5%

Graphic Design

13.9%

Business

7.5%

Mechanical Engineering

5.9%

Architecture

5.6%

Civil Engineering

4.5%

Electrical Engineering

4.2%

Computer Science

3.3%

Engineering

2.9%

Information Technology

2.7%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Industrial Technology

2.4%

Engineering Technology

2.3%

Interior Design

2.3%

Fine Arts

2.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Architectural Technology

1.9%

Management

1.9%

Project Management

1.7%

Apparel And Textiles

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.3%

Associate

27.1%

Other

21.3%

Masters

8.5%

Certificate

7.0%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

0.2%

License

0.1%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Design Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Firmware Design-Tech Leader PMC-Sierra Us, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 05, 2015 $152,759
Technical Solution Designer Axis Specialty U.S. Services Inc. Berkeley Heights, NJ Jun 26, 2015 $138,750
Application Technical Designer AIG Claims, Inc. Jersey City, NJ May 23, 2016 $130,000
Solution Designer-BI Technical Lead The Clorox Services Company Pleasanton, CA Dec 26, 2016 $128,107 -
$152,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Claims, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 07, 2015 $127,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Global Claims Services, Inc. Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Mar 14, 2015 $125,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Global Claims Services, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 16, 2015 $125,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Global Claims Services, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jan 02, 2015 $125,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Claims, Inc. Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Feb 20, 2015 $125,000
Application Technical Designer Chartis Global Claims Services, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jan 13, 2015 $125,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Employee Services, Inc. Charlotte, NC Jul 11, 2016 $120,037
Application Technical Designer American General Life Insurance Company Houston, TX Oct 10, 2016 $117,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Employee Services, Inc. Charlotte, NC Apr 18, 2016 $100,000
Application Technical Designer AIG PC Global Services, Inc. Charlotte, NC May 18, 2015 $100,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Claims, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 17, 2016 $98,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Claims, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 17, 2015 $98,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Employee Services, Inc. Charlotte, NC Apr 19, 2016 $95,000
Application Technical Designer AIG PC Global Services, Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 09, 2016 $95,000
Application Technical Designer AIG Employee Services, Inc. Charlotte, NC Apr 18, 2016 $95,000
Design Technologist Moonraft Innovation Labs Inc. Redmond, WA Sep 06, 2015 $80,000
Designer Technical III Solomon Cordwell Buenz San Francisco, CA Apr 01, 2015 $75,200 -
$86,500
Technical Designer Walter P. Moore & Associates, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 28, 2016 $72,500
Designer Technical III Solomon Cordwell Buenz San Francisco, CA Apr 01, 2015 $72,000 -
$86,500
Designer Technical II Solomon Cordwell Buenz San Francisco, CA Apr 13, 2015 $66,700 -
$70,000
Designer/Technical M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. & Associates, Inc. San Francisco, CA Nov 01, 2015 $66,643 -
$85,500
Designer/Technical M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. & Associates, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 14, 2015 $66,643 -
$95,000

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Top Skills for A Design Technician

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  1. CAD
  2. CAD Tech
  3. Layout
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided CAD documentation for all ongoing telecommunications and base upgrade projects.
  • Worked as primary CAD technician on design and revision of architectural renderings in preparation for residential and commercial developments.
  • Worked on the Powerhouse layout plans, sections and details for all concrete and reinforcement for Rocky Mountain Project U.S.A.
  • Create tech pack using a PLM system, Adobe Photoshop Adobe illustrator Create spreadsheets and track sample using Excel.
  • Oversee and facilitate production of duplicate samples, making sure all details and changes were communicated and updated in tech packs.

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Top 10 Best States for Design Technicians

  1. North Carolina
  2. Alaska
  3. Oregon
  4. North Dakota
  5. Connecticut
  6. Minnesota
  7. New Jersey
  8. Washington
  9. Maine
  10. Indiana
  • (483 jobs)
  • (30 jobs)
  • (247 jobs)
  • (98 jobs)
  • (191 jobs)
  • (354 jobs)
  • (345 jobs)
  • (388 jobs)
  • (84 jobs)
  • (322 jobs)

Top Design Technician Employers

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Jobs From Top Design Technician Employers

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