What Do Civil Engineering Technicians Do?
A civil engineering technician applies the theories and principles of civil engineering to planning, designing and overseeing of construction and maintenance in structures and facilities. Normally they work under the direction of engineering staff and physical scientists.This type of position is expected to see a 1% growth annually across the United States. That could translate into about 1,560 new job each year.
Civil Engineering Technicians Skills and Abilities
A civil engineering technician should be knowledgeable about building, construction, mathematics, engineering and technology, design and public safety. They also have to be able to think critically in order to apply theories and principles of civil engineering. They have to be able to communicate with their peers through writing and speaking. Communication is important in this type of field because civil engineering technicians have to work with their peers to ensure that buildings follow appropriate safety codes.
Civil Engineering Technicians Duties
As a civil engineering technician, you would be expected to:
- Make detailed dimensional drawings and layouts for projects to make sure that they conform to specifications.
- Read and review blueprints and structural specifications to regulate dimensions of structure and material requirements.
- Discuss with peers and supervisors to define plan preparation, acceptance testing, evaluation of field conditions and other project details.
- Create plans and estimate costs for a variety of items including installation of systems, utilization of facilities and construction of structures.
- Inspect project sites and work to find any design malfunctions and make sure that it fits regulations and code.
- Prepare reports documenting project activities and data.
- Evaluate facilities in order to determine occupancy suitability and true square footage availability.
- Report maintenance problems on project site to manager.
- Analyze suggested site factors and design maps, tracing, diagrams and graphs to illustrate findings.
- Plan and conduct field surveys to find new sites and investigate details of project sites.
These duties show a few things that you might have to do in the position of civil engineering technician.
Civil Engineering Technicians Tools and Technology
In order to be able to draw maps, work on sites and record findings, you have to be able to use:
- Metal Cones
- Paving Sample Splitters
- Soil Sampling Tubes
- Soil Resistivity Test Kits
- Coordinate Geometry (COGO) or Other Analytical or Scientific Software
- Autodesk Land Desktop or Other Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software
- Digital Terrain Modeling or Other Map Creation Software
- Microsoft Excel or Other Spreadsheet Software
These are just a few tools and technologies that you would have to become familiar with in order to be a successful civil engineering technician.
Education and Training for Civil Engineering Technicians
In order to become a civil engineering technician, you have to have an Associate’s degree. Some civil engineering technicians have a bachelor’s degree, but very few have anything higher. Depending on the level of position, you may need prior experience in the field. You might want to take courses like:
- Building Construction Technology
- Civil Engineering Technology
- Construction Engineering Technology
These courses, along with others, will give you the technical knowhow you need to be a civil engineering technician.
Civil Engineering Technicians Salary
The average civil engineering technician in the United States makes about $48,300. This is the median salary, but someone in the lower 10% would make about $31,100 and someone in the upper 10% would make about $73,900. Your salary will of course depend on your experience and your location.
Civil Engineering Technicians Jobs by Geography
By population, there are more civil engineering technician positions in California, Texas and Florida than in any other state. However, there is going to be the most growth in Guam, Georgia and Utah. The average technician in Alaska, California and the District of Columbia make more money than the average technician elsewhere in the country. Make sure that you consider what kind of institution you’ll work for, where you’ll work and where you’ll go to school when you work towards becoming a civil engineering technician.