How to Become a Civil Engineering Technician

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Civil engineering is a discipline of engineering that focuses on the design, construction, and maintenance of the natural and man-made components of the environment such as dams, canals, roads, bridges, and buildings. Civil engineering technicians are trained professionals that assist civil engineers in the planning and construction of a variety of structures.

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What does a civil engineering technician do?

Civil engineering technicians provide help to civil engineers in planning and building of structures such as dams, buildings, highways, bridges, tunnels, airfields, and wastewater treatment systems. They conduct research and outline the stages of projects. Some civil engineering technicians estimate the costs of construction and specify the require materials. Some even help prepare sketches and perform land-surveying tasks. Others help set up and monitor equipment that is used to examine traffic conditions. Civil engineering technicians also schedule work tasks and check the construction to ensure it is being completed according to the building plans.

What kind of training does a civil engineering technician need?

Civil engineering technicians must have at least a high school diploma, but most employers prefer candidates with an associate degree in engineering technology. Many employers provide on the job training to enable new civil engineering technicians to learn the policies and procedures of the organization. New civil engineering technicians often start out performing simple tasks under the supervision of experienced workers. They move on to more advanced tasks as they gain the necessary skills and experience. Some civil engineering technicians gain professional certification to remain competitive in the field. Civil engineering technicians must complete regular continuing education and training to keep their skills current and keep up with technological advancements.

What are the prospects for a career as a civil engineering technician?

Employment of civil engineering technicians is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 17% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased need for civil engineering tasks will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good especially for civil engineering technicians with advanced training and extensive experience. Many job openings will result from the need to replace civil engineering technicians that retire, transfer, or leave the occupation for other reasons.

How much do civil engineering technicians make?

As of December 2009, the middle 50% of civil engineering technicians earn annual salaries between $33,197 and $51,401. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $60,327 (2).

A career as a civil engineering technician is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in civil engineering and assisting civil engineers with a variety of tasks. Civil engineering technicians must have a solid understanding of the policies and procedures of civil engineering and apply them to a variety of activities. Manual dexterity, good eyesight, and ability to pay close attention to detail are essential characteristics. Civil engineering technicians must have excellent communication and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.

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