Civil Engineering Technician

What Does a Civil Engineering Technician Do?
Civil engineering technicians assist civil engineers in the planning and construction phases of building highways, bridges, buildings, dams, wastewater treatment systems and other public-use structures. Technicians perform much of the behind-the-scenes work for construction projects. Some technicians will estimate construction costs, based on their knowledge of the project and the specific materials being used in construction. Others prepare project drawings and fill in any gaps after the engineer or architect. Technicians may also do land-surveying tasks, as well as set up and manage instruments used for studying traffic conditions. Civil engineering technicians may work in a team environment, where they can offer their research, creativity and development skills to project planning. They may also have more technical duties, such as developing or approving techniques, construction plans and monitoring engineering standards. Technicians use problem-solving skills and their applied knowledge in mechanics, hydraulics, structures, materials and engineering techniques to resolve engineering problems and handle complex assignments.

What Is the Employment and Salary Outlook for a Civil Engineering Technician?
The employment outlook for civil engineering technicians is expected to be positive, with a 17 percent employment growth by 2018. This surge in employment will create 15,500 more technician jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, population growth and a need to improve the country’s public structures and transportation will increase the demand for civil engineering technicians. Their services will be needed to expand transportation, increase water supply, manage pollution control systems and create new buildings that serve the public’s needs. Civil engineering technicians also will be needed to fix and replace existing roads, bridges and build new, sustainable structures. In addition to an increased employment rate, civil engineering technicians will see satisfactory salary rates in the years to come. According to the Bureau, civil engineering technicians made an average salary of $44,290 in 2008. Architectural, engineering and related services, as well as state and local governments had the highest levels of employment for technicians. For a more complete listing of wage estimates and industry profiles for civil engineering technicians, check out the Bureau’s Occupational Employment Statistics.

How Can I Become a Civil Engineering Technician?
In order to become a civil engineering technician, you will want to first earn the necessary credentials that teach you the basic principles of engineering technology. Most civil engineering technicians enter the field with an associate degree or other postsecondary training in engineering technology. An associate degree in engineering technology takes about two years to complete, and provides a comprehensive education in science, math and engineering principles. During your program, you can expect to take college algebra, trigonometry and one or two general science courses. Some civil engineering technology programs may require students to take more science or math courses before graduation. After you complete your associate degree program, you’ll be eligible to enter the technical field of civil engineering technology. In order to nail a technician job, you’ll want to promote your technical knowledge, as well as your problem-solving skills and creativity, all of which makes you a professional, reliable candidate.