Similar careers

How to become a Civil Engineering Technician

civil engineering technician careers

What does a Civil Engineering Technician do?

Civil engineering technicians provide technical support to civil engineers, working on engineering construction projects. Projects can fall into several categories, including:

  • structural – bridges, dams, buildings, offshore platforms and pipelines
  • transportation – roads, railways, tunnels and airports
  • environmental – public water supply networks, irrigation, drainage, waste disposal and sewerage treatment
  • maritime – ports, harbours and sea defences.

A technician's duties vary depending on the nature of the project but may cover:

Research and design – assisting with initial site surveys, arranging for lab analysis of soil, rock and materials samples, and developing engineering design plans, by hand or with computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Planning and estimating - preparing detailed estimates and specifications on the quantity and type of materials required; the materials and labour costs; and drawing up schedules and timescales for delivery of supplies, equipment and labour with completion dates for each stage of the project.

Buying – negotiating with suppliers to purchase resources, ensuring best value for money.

Monitoring – supervising progress, inspecting construction projects, reporting problems to site managers and preparing reports for senior engineers.

What's the working environment like working as a Civil Engineering Technician?

Most civil engineering technicians work in offices and on construction sites. Office work is normally 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. On-site there may be shiftwork, weekends and nights. Technicians may be on-hour call in case problems arise.

Site work takes places in all weathers and may be at heights. Safety wear would be provided.

What does it take to become a Civil Engineering Technician?

To be a civil engineering technician you should:

  • have an aptitude for maths and science
  • have excellent numeracy skills
  • have good analytical skills
  • understand engineering drawings and principles
  • be computer literate, particularly for CAD work
  • be well organised and able to organise others
  • work well in a team
  • have good communication, presentation and negotiating skills.

Civil Engineering Technician Career Opportunities

There is a wide range of opportunities for technicians in civil engineering; examples include public and private sector building works, power and water distribution networks, transport and mining.

Opportunities for qualified technical staff are good and exist in most parts of the country. Progression routes normally involve movement into supervisory or site management roles; or specialising in aspects of the role, such as construction design or estimating. With additional academic training, technicians may be able to become fully qualified civil engineers. See Civil Engineer profile.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Civil Engineering Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
1 Great George Street
Tel: 020 7222 7722

Institution of Structural Engineers
11 Upper Belgrave Street
Tel: 020 7235 4535

SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0808 100 3682

The Engineering Careers Information Service (ECIS)

Women into Science and Engineering
22 Old Queen Street
Tel: 020 7227 8421

Engineering Training Council (Northern Ireland)
20-24 York Street
BT15 1AQ
Tel: 028 9032 9878

Engineering Council
10 Maltravers Street
Tel: 020 7240 7891

Courses to help you become a Civil Engineering Technician