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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

  • $42,404

    Average Salary

What Does A Design Technician Do

A Design Technician is responsible for designing products. They work as part of an engineering team that designs and implements many different types of projects.

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.


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.


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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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
Firmware Design-Tech Leader PMC-Sierra Us, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 01, 2014 $141,032
Solution Designer-BI Technical Lead The Clorox Services Company Pleasanton, CA Dec 26, 2016 $128,107 -
Senior Design Technologist Logitech Inc. Newark, CA Jan 11, 2016 $125,000
Technical Design Authority Orange Business Services U.S., Inc. New York, NY Sep 11, 2014 $119,000
Technical Design Authority Orange Business Services U.S., Inc. New York, NY Jan 30, 2015 $119,000
Structures & Steam Delivery Design Technical Leader General Electric Company (GE Energy) Schenectady, NY Apr 25, 2016 $107,000 -
Design Technologist Dow Jones and Company New York, NY Feb 22, 2016 $106,000
Design Technologist Dow Jones and Company New York, NY Jul 03, 2013 $106,000
Structures & Steam Delivery Design Technical Leade General Electric Company-Infrastructure Schenectady, NY Sep 07, 2014 $105,000
Technical Data Designer Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company Springfield, MA Sep 19, 2014 $95,000
Android Designer Technical Lead Xamarin, Inc. Boston, MA Aug 21, 2015 $95,000
Design Technologist Frog Design Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 10, 2015 $92,000
Senior Design Technologist Frog Design, Inc. New York, NY Jul 15, 2015 $91,104 -
Design Technologist Moonraft Innovation Labs Inc. Bellevue, WA Jan 22, 2016 $83,138
Designer Technical III Solomon Cordwell Buenz San Francisco, CA Oct 13, 2016 $80,787 -
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 -
Technical Designer Nexgen Technologies LLC Woodcliff Lake, NJ Nov 04, 2013 $75,000
Software Engineer for Design Technology Affinnova, Inc. Waltham, MA Sep 05, 2014 $75,000
Technical Designer Walter P. Moore & Associates, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 28, 2016 $72,500
Technical Designer M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. &Amp; Associates, Inc. Washington, DC Aug 05, 2016 $55,806 -
CAD Tech II Curtain Wall Design and Consulting, Inc. Dallas, TX Feb 15, 2016 $55,000
Designer Technical II Solomon Cordwell Buenz San Francisco, CA Apr 13, 2015 $55,000 -
Technical Designer M. Arthur Gensler Jr. and Associates Inc. Washington, DC Jul 01, 2016 $53,976
Technical Designer CB Engineers San Francisco, CA Dec 15, 2014 $52,175
Design Tech I FKP Architects Houston, TX Aug 22, 2016 $52,000
Designer/Technical Designer M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. & Associates, Inc. New York, NY Jul 07, 2014 $52,000 -
CAD Technician D&Z Structural Engineering, Inc. El Dorado Hills, CA Aug 09, 2016 $51,900 -

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Top Skills for A Design Technician


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Top Design Technician Skills

  1. Auto CAD
  2. Layout
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Gained proficiency in Auto CAD, a 3D modeling program.
  • Worked on the Powerhouse layout plans, sections and details for all concrete and reinforcement for Rocky Mountain Project U.S.A.
  • Provided technical support for design development.
  • Supervised and trained Assistant Technical Designers.
  • Designed patterns, Tech packs, flats from sketches to finished product.

Top Design Technician Employers

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