Civil engineering technicians generally have a couple years of college
training in applied technology. They help with gathering data, preparing maps
and plans and doing inspections. They also help with design, using computer-aided
drafting (CAD) programs.
The engineering team, headed by the civil engineer -- who is involved in
theory, design and planning -- also includes civil engineering technologists.
Technologists tend to have one to two years more education than a technician.
They may do similar work as a technician, but they also may work more closely
with the engineer in the design phase of projects.
"They [technologists] have that much more added responsibility on the job,"
says Tim Collins. He is the dean of a school of technology in Houghton, Michigan.
In general, civil engineering technicians are a link between civil engineers
and craftsmen, says the Michigan Technical College website. They work as inspectors
and estimators, do land surveys, prepare drawings and plans and test building
For example, civil engineering technicians may be at a site collecting
soil samples, or they may be doing actual land surveys with surveying equipment.
In the office, technicians use CAD programs to draw infrastructure designs,
such as roadways and sewer lines.
"We can be at the office drawing up plans for a sanitary sewer system or
be at the site supervising the construction of a roadway," says Max LeSueur.
He is a civil engineering technician.
Civil engineering technicians can work in a variety of settings, according
to the Seneca College website. These include highway departments, municipal
governments and public utilities. They can also work for building product
manufacturers, general contractors and consulting engineers.
Civil engineering technicians tend to work regular weekday hours, alongside
Being a technician is generally hands-on work. It may require some physical
strength. However, because the range of employers and work opportunities is
so varied, it's possible for people to find a niche that requires more or
less physical activity. "It depends on the nature of the work, but it is a
broad field," says Collins.