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Civil Engineering Technicians
SOC Code: 17-3022.00

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Civil Designer, Civil Engineering Assistant, Civil Engineering Designer, Civil Engineering Technician, Design Technician, Engineer Technician, Engineering Assistant, Engineering Specialist, Engineering Technician, Transportation Engineering Technician


  • 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 and to ensure conformance to specifications.
  • Confer with supervisor to determine project details such as plan preparation, acceptance testing, and evaluation of field conditions.
  • Analyze proposed site factors and design maps, graphs, tracings, and diagrams to illustrate findings.
  • Prepare reports and document project activities and data.
  • Report maintenance problems occurring at project site to supervisor and negotiate changes to resolve system conflicts.
  • Inspect project site and evaluate contractor work to detect design malfunctions and ensure conformance to design specifications and applicable codes.
  • Conduct materials test and analysis using tools and equipment and applying engineering knowledge.
  • Develop plans and estimate costs for installation of systems, utilization of facilities, or construction of structures.
  • Develop project budgets by estimating the cost of project activities.
  • Evaluate facility to determine suitability for occupancy and square footage availability.
  • Plan and conduct field surveys to locate new sites and analyze details of project sites.
  • Respond to public suggestions and complaints.
  • Negotiate prices for new contracts or for modifications to existing contracts with contractors.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - Coordinate geometry COGO software
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD ; Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D ; Bentley Microstation ; Computer aided design and drafting software CADD (see all 6 examples)
  • Development environment software - Microsoft Visual Basic ; National Instruments LabVIEW
  • Electronic mail software - Email software; IBM Notes ; Microsoft Outlook
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Graphics software
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Map creation software - Bentley Systems InRoads Suite; Digital terrain modeling software; ESRI ArcGIS software ; Geographic information system GIS software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Analytical balances
  • Augers - Bucket augers; Hand augers
  • Boring or sinking machinery - Hand-operated boring machines
  • Compression testers - Compression testing machines
  • Concrete or cement testing instruments - Metal cones; Paving sample splitters; Slump cones; Stabilometers
  • Densitometers - Nuclear densometers
  • Digital image printers - Blueprint machines
  • Dropping pipettes
  • Drying cabinets or ovens - Drying ovens
  • Filter papers
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver - Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Handheld thermometer - Handheld digital thermometers
  • Heating or drying equipment or accessories - Dessicators
  • Hydraulic rock drills - Rotary rock drills
  • Hydrometers
  • Laboratory balances
  • Laboratory beakers - Glass beakers
  • Laboratory burets - Glass burets
  • Laboratory dishes - Evaporating dishes
  • Laboratory funnels - Wide-mouthed funnels
  • Laboratory graduated cylinders - Graduated glass cylinders
  • Laboratory mechanical convection ovens
  • Laboratory vials
  • Land drilling rigs - Small-gauge surface drilling rigs
  • Level sensors or transmitters - Transit levels
  • Levels - Precision levels
  • Loadcells - Load cells
  • Machetes
  • Magnetic stirrers
  • Measuring rods - Surveying rods
  • Moisture meters - Soil moisture meters
  • Open stream current meters - Stream flow gauges
  • Orbital shakers - Mechanical sieve shakers
  • Penetrometers - Pocket penetrometers
  • Permeability testing apparatus - Soil density testers
  • Personal computers
  • pH meters - pH testers
  • Picks
  • Pitch measuring instruments - Inclinometers
  • Plotter printers - Plotters
  • Portable data input terminals - Field data collectors
  • Precipitation or evaporation recorders - Precipitation gauges
  • Protective gloves - Safety gloves
  • Pycnometers
  • Rubber mallet - Rubber mallets
  • Safety glasses
  • Sampling syringes - Laboratory bulb syringes
  • Scanners - Computer scanners
  • Seismic recorders or seismographs - Seismographs
  • Shear strength testers - Torvanes
  • Sledge hammer - Sledgehammers
  • Soil core sampling apparatus - Soil augers; Soil sampling tubes; Split spoon samplers; Thin-walled Shelby tubes
  • Soil testing kits - Soil resistivity test kits
  • Straight edges - Straightedges
  • Strain gauges
  • Tampers - Tamping rods
  • Tape measures - Measuring tapes
  • Test sieves - Laboratory test sieves
  • Theodolites - Engineers' transits; Total stations
  • Trowels - Brickmasons' trowels
  • Two way radios
  • Vibration testers - Vibration monitors
  • Vibratory plates - Kneading compactors
  • Volumeters - Dilatometers
  • Water samplers


  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.


  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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 there is a problem.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.


  • Interest code: RCI
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail - 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 83% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 58% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Telephone - 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 21% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 38% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 71% responded “Very important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 55% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 38% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 40% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 62% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 42% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 40% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 38% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 49% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 35% responded “Very important results.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 84% responded “40 hours.”
  • Physical Proximity - 61% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 38% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 38% responded “Important.”
  • Letters and Memos - 29% responded “Never.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
30%Post-secondary certificate
28%Some college, no degree
21%Associate's degree

Work Styles

  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Work Values

  • 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.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $24.82 hourly, $51,620 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 75,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 7,200

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