Summary Report for:
17-3022.00 - Civil Engineering Technicians
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, Construction Analyst, Design Technician, Engineering Assistant, Engineering Specialist, Engineering Technician, Transportation Engineering Technician
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Draft detailed dimensional drawings and design layouts for projects and to ensure conformance to specifications.
- 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.
- Confer with supervisor to determine project details such as plan preparation, acceptance testing, and evaluation of field conditions.
- Inspect project site and evaluate contractor work to detect design malfunctions and ensure conformance to design specifications and applicable codes.
- Develop plans and estimate costs for installation of systems, utilization of facilities, or construction of structures.
- Prepare reports and document project activities and data.
- Respond to public suggestions and complaints.
- Report maintenance problems occurring at project site to supervisor and negotiate changes to resolve system conflicts.
- Evaluate facility to determine suitability for occupancy and square footage availability.
- Analyze proposed site factors and design maps, graphs, tracings, and diagrams to illustrate findings.
- Plan and conduct field surveys to locate new sites and analyze details of project sites.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Pitch measuring instruments — Inclinometers
- Plotter printers — Plotters
- Portable data input terminals — Field data collectors
- Precipitation or evaporation recorders — Precipitation gauges
- Protective gloves — Safety gloves
- 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
Technology used in this occupation:
- 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
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- 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.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- 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.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- 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.
- 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 Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- 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 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.
- 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).
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- 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.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- 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.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- 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.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- 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.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Communicating with Persons Outside 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.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Detailed Work Activities
- Create graphical representations of civil structures.
- Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
- Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
- Review technical documents to plan work.
- Inspect facilities or sites to determine if they meet specifications or standards.
- Confer with other personnel to resolve design or operational problems.
- Estimate operational costs.
- Prepare detailed work plans.
- Prepare operational reports.
- Create maps.
- Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
- Test characteristics of materials or structures.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 76% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 67% responded “Extremely important.”
- Electronic Mail — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 27% responded “More than half the time.”
- Telephone — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 34% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 45% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Deal With External Customers — 37% responded “Important.”
- Contact With Others — 33% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 69% responded “40 hours.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 53% responded “Some freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 66% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 29% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Important results.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 28% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Letters and Memos — 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Physical Proximity — 77% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|Not available||Post-secondary certificate|
|Not available||Associate's degree|
|Not available||Bachelor's degree|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
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.
- 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.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- 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.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- 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.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- 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 & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$23.68 hourly, $49,260 annual|
|Employment (2014)||74,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Average (5% to 8%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||21,600|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Civil engineering technicians . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.