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Civil Engineering Technician Career

Career Description

Civil Engineering Technicians apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

Common Work Tasks

  • Help civil engineers plan and oversee the building of highways, buildings, bridges, dams, wastewater treatment systems, and other structures and do related research
  • Estimate construction costs and specify materials to be used
  • Prepare drawings or perform land-surveying duties
  • Set up and monitor instruments used to study traffic conditions
  • Calculate dimensions, square footage, profile and component specifications, and material quantities using calculator or computer
  • Draft detailed dimensional drawings and design layouts for projects and to ensure conformance to specifications
  • Analyze proposed site factors and design maps, graphs, tracings, and diagrams to illustrate findings
  • Read and review project blueprints and structural specifications to determine dimensions of structure or system and material requirements
  • Prepare reports and document project activities and data
  • Confer with supervisor to determine project details such as plan preparation, acceptance testing, and evaluation of field conditions

Other Job Titles

Civil Engineering Technicians are also known by other titles, including:

  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians
  • Mechanical Engineering Technicians
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians

Education, Training, and Experience

Education and Training
Although it may be possible to qualify for certain engineering technician jobs without formal training, most employers prefer to hire someone with at least a 2-year associate degree in engineering technology. People with college courses in science, engineering, and mathematics may qualify for some positions but may need additional specialized training and experience. Prospective engineering technicians should take as many high school science and math courses as possible to prepare for programs in engineering technology after high school.

  Because many engineering technicians assist in design work, creativity is desirable. Good communication skills and the ability to work well with others also are important as engineering technicians are typically part of a team of engineers and other technicians.


The median annual salary for a civil engineering technician is $42,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $65,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $25,000. Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of civil engineering technicians are:

  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services  - $44,550
  • State Government  - $38,070
  • Local Government  - $48,720
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools  - $43,940
  • Non-residential Building Construction  - $47,090

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  10%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 9,200
  • Employment 2006 : 91,000
  • Employment 2016:  100,000
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