Civil Engineering Technologist or Technician

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Job Outlook:
Little or no change
Education: Associate's degree
High: $85,740.00
Average: $61,480.00
Average: $29.56

What they do:

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.

On the job, you would:

  • Calculate dimensions, square footage, profile and component specifications, and material quantities, using calculator or computer.
  • Read and review project blueprints and structural specifications to determine dimensions of structure or system and material requirements.
  • Draft detailed dimensional drawings and design layouts for projects to ensure conformance to specifications.

Important Qualities

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.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

90% Integrity  -  Job requires being honest and ethical.
88% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
87% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
84% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
81% Initiative  -  Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
78% Adaptability/Flexibility  -  Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
77% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
76% Self-Control  -  Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
76% Persistence  -  Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
74% Stress Tolerance  -  Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
72% Leadership  -  Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
71% Achievement/Effort  -  Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
69% Concern for Others  -  Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
69% Innovation  -  Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
A3 Your Strengths Importance


83% Realistic  -  Work involves designing, building, or repairing of equipment, materials, or structures, engaging in physical activity, or working outdoors. Realistic occupations are often associated with engineering, mechanics and electronics, construction, woodworking, transportation, machine operation, agriculture, animal services, physical or manual labor, athletics, or protective services.
72% Conventional  -  Work involves following procedures and regulations to organize information or data, typically in a business setting. Conventional occupations are often associated with office work, accounting, mathematics/statistics, information technology, finance, or human resources.
67% Investigative  -  Work involves studying and researching non-living objects, living organisms, disease or other forms of impairment, or human behavior. Investigative occupations are often associated with physical, life, medical, or social sciences, and can be found in the fields of humanities, mathematics/statistics, information technology, or health care service.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

72% Support  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
61% Independence  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

72% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
72% Written Comprehension  -  The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
72% Deductive Reasoning  -  The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
72% Mathematical Reasoning  -  The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
72% Near Vision  -  The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
69% Oral Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
69% Problem Sensitivity  -  The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
66% Visualization  -  The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
66% Written Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Job Details

Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
Create graphical representations of civil structures.
Create maps.
Review technical documents to plan work.
Prepare operational reports.
Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
Inspect facilities or sites to determine if they meet specifications or standards.
Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
Estimate operational costs.
Prepare detailed work plans.
Confer with other personnel to resolve design or operational problems.
Test characteristics of materials or structures.
Inspect facilities or sites to determine if they meet specifications or standards.
Prepare project budgets.
Negotiate prices or other sales terms.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

99% Face-to-Face Discussions  -  How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
95% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
89% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
88% Indoors, Environmentally Controlled  -  How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
86% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
82% Telephone  -  How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
76% Frequency of Decision Making  -  How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
75% Deal With External Customers  -  How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
75% Importance of Being Exact or Accurate  -  How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
73% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
70% Coordinate or Lead Others  -  How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
68% Spend Time Sitting  -  How much does this job require sitting?
68% Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions  -  How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
66% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
66% Responsibility for Outcomes and Results  -  How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers?
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

87% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
86% Working with Computers  -  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
83% Processing Information  -  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
80% Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards  -  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
78% Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events  -  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
78% Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates  -  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
75% Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work  -  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
71% Making Decisions and Solving Problems  -  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
70% Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings  -  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
70% Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge  -  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
68% Analyzing Data or Information  -  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
68% Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships  -  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
67% Communicating with People Outside the Organization  -  Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
67% Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment  -  Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
67% Documenting/Recording Information  -  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
66% Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information  -  Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
66% Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others  -  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

What Civil Engineering Technologists and Technicians Do

Civil engineering technicians
Civil engineering technicians confer with project supervisors to determine details of a project.

Civil engineering technologists and technicians help civil engineers 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.


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

Civil engineering technologists and technicians held about 64,800 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of civil engineering technologists and technicians were as follows:

Engineering services 43%
State government, excluding education and hospitals 23
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 20
Construction 2

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.

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.

Getting Started

Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)
Some College Courses

How to Become a Civil Engineering Technologist or Technician

Civil engineering technicians
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.

Other Experience

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.

Job Outlook

Employment of civil engineering technologists and technicians is projected to show little or no change from 2022 to 2032.

Despite limited employment growth, about 5,900 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.


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. In addition, more waste treatment plants will be needed to help clean the nation’s waterways, and water systems must be maintained to reduce or eliminate loss of potable water. Civil engineers 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 developing a wind farm by helping engineers minimize project costs associated with the sizeable dimensions and weight of wind turbines.

However, employment in this occupation may be limited as improved drafting tools, such as computer-aided design (CAD) software, increase worker productivity.

Contacts for More Information

For more information about summer apprenticeships in civil engineering, visit

Pathways to Science

For more information about accredited programs, visit


For more information about certification, visit

National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET)

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of civil engineering technologists and technicians.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2022
Civil engineers Civil Engineers

Civil engineers plan, design, and supervise the construction and maintenance of building and infrastructure projects.

Bachelor's degree $89,940
Drafters Drafters

Drafters use software to convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings.

Associate's degree $60,400
Surveying and mapping technicians Surveying and Mapping Technicians

Surveying and mapping technicians collect data and make maps of the Earth's surface.

High school diploma or equivalent $47,180
Surveyors Surveyors

Surveyors make precise measurements to determine property boundaries.

Bachelor's degree $63,080

Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

CareerFitter, LLC has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.