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Career Information for a Degree in Civil Engineering Technology

Civil engineering technology degree programs prepare students to help engineers complete large projects such as canals, highways and tunnels. Students learn to conduct field and laboratory testing and maintain and repair testing equipment. People who have obtained a degree in civil engineering technology may be qualified to enter career fields such as civil engineering, engineering technology, and urban and regional planning.

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Career Options in Civil Engineering Technology

Engineering teams plan, design and sometimes carry out the building of tunnels, canals, highways and other large projects. Engineering technologists are an important part of this team, as they help turn engineers' concepts into realities by creating detailed drawings and creating schedules of construction. There are several possible careers for those who graduate with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering technology. These options include civil engineering and urban/regional planning.

Civil Engineer Civil Engineering Technician Urban and Regional Planner
Education Bachelor's degree in civil engineering Associate's degree in civil engineering technology Master's degree in planning
Job Skills Design, problem solving, analytical Solve technical issues and determine new ideas Planning and maximize effectiveness of infrastructure
Median Salary (May 2015)* $82,220 $49,260 $68,220
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% 5% 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers use their expertise to design transportation, water supply and environmental systems. They are problem solvers with specialized analytical skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the ongoing need for more efficient systems, as well as the general increase in population, should spur greater need for civil engineers from 2014-2024; the expected job growth rate was 8%, which was as fast as the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, civil engineers earned a median annual salary of $82,220, with the highest level of employment (over 50%) in architectural, engineering and related services.

Civil Engineering Technician

The goal of civil engineering technicians is to solve technical issues related to the development of spaces to live, work and play. They often assist engineers in determining new ideas for research and development. The BLS reported that from 2014-2024, the total number of jobs for civil engineering technicians is expected to increase by 5%, or as fast as the national average. In May 2015, the median yearly salary for civil engineering technicians was $49,260.

Urban and Regional Planner

Urban and regional planners are responsible for the planning and use of our country's land resources. They create growth plans for cities, conduct research into population patterns and distribution, and look for ways to maximize the effectiveness of infrastructure, such as public transit, roads and water systems. Employment growth for urban and regional planners throughout the 2014-2024 decade was projected to be 6% which, according to the BLS, was in line with the national average for all career fields. In May 2015, urban and regional planners received median salaries of $68,220, with a large segment (about 45%) employed by local governments.

Civil Engineering Technology Degree Program Information

Students may earn an associate's degree in civil engineering technology, although most jobs require a bachelor's degree in the subject. Although all civil engineering technology degree programs start with a foundation of science and math, the subjects studied aren't always as in-depth as a traditional civil engineering program. The science involved in the program is mainly physics, but the principles of design for steel and reinforced concrete, for example, are equally important. Courses for a civil engineering technology program include:

  • Civil engineering materials
  • Trigonometry
  • Structural design
  • Construction cost estimation
  • Engineering graphics
  • Statistics
  • Surveying
  • Applied calculus
  • Engineering hydrology
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