Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Civil engineering technologists and technicians help civil engineers plan, design, and build infrastructure and development projects.

Work Environment: Civil engineering technologists and technicians work in offices, helping civil engineers plan and design projects. They also visit construction jobsites to collect or test materials or to observe activities as a project inspector.

How to Become One: An associate's degree, preferably in civil engineering technology, is typically required to enter the occupation.

Salary: The median annual wage for civil engineering technologists and technicians is $58,320.

Job Outlook: Employment of civil engineering technologists and technicians is projected to grow 2 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of civil engineering technologists and technicians with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a civil engineering technologist or technician with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Civil Engineering Technician Jobs

  • Civil Engineering CADD Technician - WSP USA - Federal Way, WA

    Civil Engineering CADD Technician Req ID 6056 Civil Engineering CADD Technician Who We Are At WSP, we are driven by inspiring future-ready pioneers to innovate. We're looking to grow our teams with ...

  • CAD Technician, Civil Engineering - Land Development - Atwell, LLC - Mesa, AZ

    ... D Technician works under minimal supervision to support a project team by drafting detailed ... Civil 3D and related engineering software packages to complete assignments such as preparing ...

  • Senior Civil Engineer - Water and Wastewater Resources - Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers - Santa Rosa, CA

    ... engineering technicians tackle some of the toughest civil engineering projects in the North Coast region, with a reputation of developing effective and innovative solutions. A career with us is an ...

See all Civil Engineering Technician jobs

What Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians Do[About this section] [To Top]

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

Duties of Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Civil engineering technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Read and review project drawings and plans to determine the sizes of structures
  • Confer with engineers to prepare plans
  • Develop plans and estimate costs for constructing systems and operating facilities
  • Use computer aided design (CAD) software to draft project drawings
  • Conduct field surveys to collect data on site conditions and inspect structures
  • Test appropriateness of construction materials and soil samples
  • Observe project sites to ensure that construction conforms to design specifications and applicable codes
  • Prepare reports and document project activities and data
  • Set up and help maintain project files and records

Civil engineering technicians typically install, troubleshoot, and maintain designs created by engineers. They may work under the direction of engineers or engineering technologists.

Civil engineering technologists typically help licensed engineers improve designs or incorporate new technology. They may be team leaders, instructing civil engineering technicians on installing equipment, systems, or structures.

These technologists and technicians observe progress on a jobsite, collect data, and complete reports to document project activities. Because they are not licensed, civil engineering technologists and technicians cannot approve designs or supervise the overall project.

In addition, civil engineering technologists and technicians sometimes estimate construction costs, develop specifications, and prepare drawings. They also may set up and monitor various instruments for traffic studies. Their duties often require use of software to design projects, collect and analyze data, prepare reports, and manage files.

Work Environment for Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Civil engineering technologists and technicians hold about 68,800 jobs. The largest employers of civil engineering technologists and technicians are as follows:

Engineering services 44%
State government, excluding education and hospitals 27%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 17%
Construction 4%

Civil engineering technologists and technicians work in offices, helping civil engineers plan and design projects. They also visit construction jobsites to collect or test materials or to observe activities as a project inspector. They may work at several sites, using cars or trucks as a mobile office.

Civil engineering technologists and technicians frequently work on teams with civil engineers, surveyors and surveying technicians, construction workers, and others involved with projects.

Civil Engineering Technician Work Schedules

Civil engineering technologists and technicians usually work full time. When working at construction sites, their schedules may be subject to factors that affect construction, such as weather. Their schedules also may be tied to those of the construction projects they are involved with.

How to Become a Civil Engineering Technologist or Technician[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians near you!

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

Education for Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Prospective civil engineering technologists and technicians should take courses in science and math, such as chemistry, physics, geometry, and trigonometry.

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

Degree and nondegree programs may include coursework in subjects such as engineering, design, and sciences.

Some employers require a bachelor's degree in engineering technology for civil engineering technologists.

Other Experience for Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Some civil engineering technologists and technicians enter the occupation after gaining work experience in a related occupation, particularly as drafters or CAD operators. Drafters or CAD operators working for an engineering firm may advance to civil engineering technologist or technician positions as their knowledge of design and construction increases.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians

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 for Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Civil engineering technologists and technicians may advance in their careers by learning to design systems for a variety of projects, such as storm sewers, and to become skilled at reading graphical drawings of proposed projects.

Technicians who obtain appropriate education or certification may advance to become technologists.

Important Qualities for Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Critical-thinking skills. Civil engineering technologists and technicians carry out project plans and designs that engineers have approved. They must be able to understand and interpret the reports and documents describing these projects.

Decision-making skills. Civil engineering technologists and technicians must be able to discern which information is most important and which actions will help keep a project on schedule.

Math skills. Civil engineering technologists and technicians use math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting.

Observational skills. Civil engineering technologists and technicians sometimes visit jobsites to assess a project and report back to the engineer.

Problem-solving skills. As assistants to civil engineers, these technologists and technicians must be able to help engineers identify problems and design projects to solve them.

Writing skills. Civil engineering technologists and technicians must be able to prepare reports that are well organized and clearly convey information.

Civil Engineering Technician Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for civil engineering technicians is $58,320. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,550, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $79,650.

The median annual wages for civil engineering technicians in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals $61,190
Construction $59,110
Engineering services $59,110
State government, excluding education and hospitals $46,330

Civil engineering technologists and technicians usually work full time. When working at construction sites, their schedules may be subject to factors that affect construction, such as weather. Their schedules also may be tied to those of the construction projects they are involved with.

Job Outlook for Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of civil engineering technicians is projected to grow 2 percent over the next ten years, slower than the average for all occupations.

Despite limited employment growth, about 6,500 openings for civil engineering technologists and technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire

Employment of Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians

The need to preserve, repair, and upgrade the country's infrastructure continues to increase. Bridges, roads, levees, airports, and dams will need to be rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced. Also, a growing population means that water systems must be maintained in order to reduce or eliminate loss of drinkable water. In addition, more waste treatment plants will be needed to help clean the nation's waterways. Civil engineers must plan, design, and oversee this work, and civil engineering technologists and technicians will be needed to assist the engineers in these projects.

Civil engineering technologists and technicians also will find work assisting civil engineers with renewable-energy projects. For example, these technologists and technicians may assist in the development of a wind farm by helping engineers devise solutions to minimize project costs while accommodating the sizeable dimensions and weight of wind turbines.

Employment projections data for Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians, 2020-30
Occupational Title Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30
Percent Numeric
Civil engineering technologists and technicians 68,800 70,000 2 1,200


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


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