- Requires excellent maths, science, and IT skills, and the ability to explain design ideas clearly
- With experience, progress to supervisory or site management roles
- Option to specialise in particular areas of the job, like construction design or estimating
Civil engineering technicians are responsible for assisting and providing support to civil engineers who are working on building and construction projects. Their role is generally that of an assistant who performs tasks such as creating plans, surveying sites, and inspecting projects. Technicians handle a great deal of work for which civil engineers do not have time, and strong analytical and problem-solving skills are important in this position.
- Assisting with initial site surveys, arranging lab analysis of soil, rock and materials samples
- Creating engineering design plans by hand or with computer aided design (CAD) software
- Preparing estimates of labour costs and the amounts and type of material
- Drawing up timescales for the delivery of supplies, equipment and labour
- Negotiating with suppliers to get value for money
- Inspecting projects and supervising progress
- Reporting problems to site managers
- Preparing technical reports for engineers
You work can be split between an office and construction site, which may be outdoors in all weathers.
You may need to wear protective clothing such as a safety helmet and protective footwear on site.
This role is ideal for someone with excellent maths, science, and IT skills, and the ability to explain design ideas clearly.
You can do a foundation degree or higher national diploma in civil engineering.
Or you could take a college course in level 2 Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment and level 3 Diploma in Civil Engineering, which would teach you some of the skills needed to become an engineering technician. You could also take a T level in Design, Surveying and Planning.
Some knowledge of computer aided design (CAD) software would be useful, for example AutoCAD, PDS or Civil 3D, although courses will usually include options in CAD.
Alternatively, you can also complete a civil engineering technician advanced apprenticeship.
It would be helpful for you to join the Institution of Civil Engineers for professional development opportunities.
With experience, you could progress to supervisory or site management roles, or specialise in particular areas of the job, like construction design or estimating. You could become a freelance civil engineering technician and work for companies as a self-employed contractor.
Some civil engineering technicians choose to gain further experience and qualifications to work their way up to being a civil engineer.