Associate's Degree Programs in Civil Engineering

Find information about an associate's degree program in civil engineering. Read about prerequisites as well as course topics addressed in program studies. Learn about continuing education options and professional employment outlook and salary details.

Essential Information

Civil engineering deals highways, sewer systems and other infrastructure. Those interested in learning the basics for entry-level work as a civil engineering technician will usually pursue an associate's degree, most commonly an Associate of Applied Science in Civil Engineering Technology program. Civil engineering technology is concerned with the construction of public works such as bridges, roads and water systems.

Students in an associate's degree program acquire a solid background in construction techniques, materials specifications and cost analysis. Coursework also trains students to use the latest computer-aided drafting (CAD) technologies for surveying and mapping. Field experiences are usually included in addition to classroom instruction. An associate's degree in civil engineering prepares graduates for assistant-level roles as technicians, surveyors and inspectors. To work as a civil engineer, you typically must complete a bachelor's degree.

Education Prerequisites

Most civil engineering programs are offered at community colleges or by the engineering colleges of 4-year universities. Since coursework requires strong math skills, some colleges require students to pass a placement exam before enrolling in engineering courses. Students who do not meet minimal requirements may need to take developmental or remedial courses. Other programs may simply require a prerequisite course in algebra.

Program Coursework

Coursework for the associate's degree is divided between computer aided drafting courses and their applications, both in the classroom and in the field. Course topics studied include:

  • Surveying
  • Cartography
  • Computer aided drafting
  • Topography
  • Soils and materials testing
  • Physics
  • Materials statics
  • Estimating

Popular Career Options

Graduates of associate's degree programs cannot work as full engineers but often work as assistants. Graduates are employed by state transportation departments, construction companies or utilities companies. Job titles available to associate's degree program graduates include:

  • Civil engineering technicians
  • Cartographers
  • Land surveyors
  • CAD operators

Continuing Education Information

Graduates interested in management or upper-level engineering careers in the field can pursue bachelor's degrees in civil engineering, civil engineering technology, construction engineering, surveying and mapping or construction management. For those looking to enter the job market after graduating, degree requirements prepare students to pass state and federal certification exams.

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