How to Become a Civil Engineering Technologist or Technician
Civil engineering technicians prepare reports and document project activities and data.
An associate’s degree, preferably in civil engineering technology, is typically required to enter the occupation.
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.
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
Certification is not required to enter this occupation, but it may help technologists and technicians develop in their careers. For example, the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) oversees certification for civil engineering technicians who pass an exam and provide supporting documentation. NICET requires technicians to update their skills and knowledge through a recertification process that encourages continuing professional development.
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.
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.