Civil engineering technicians provide technical support to civil engineers in the design, construction and management of a variety of projects, from widening a motorway to building the world’s tallest structure.
A technician could be involved in:
• surveying a chosen site and arranging for soil and rock samples to be analysed
• preparing estimates for the amount and type of materials to be used
• ensuring each stage of construction is completed within timescales and to standard
• preparing detailed plans of the project
• minimising any impact on the surrounding environment.
Most civil engineering technicians work in offices and on construction sites. Technicians working on site may work overtime, shifts, nights and weekends. They may work outside in all weathers, and some work at heights.
Salaries range from £12,000 a year for newly qualified technicians to £37,000 a year or more for senior technicians.
Civil engineering technicians should:
• be good at maths and science
• be creative and practical
• be able to use computers
• have strong communication skills
• be able to work well in a team
• have an interest in the built environment.
Employment opportunities exist with engineering consultancy companies, building and civil engineering contractors, gas and electricity supply companies, transport authorities and the public sector. There are also opportunities to work overseas.
Apprenticeships are a common entry route. Entry requirements are four GCSEs (A*-C), including maths, English and a science subject. The Diploma in engineering or the Diploma in construction and the built environment may be relevant. Candidates for the Apprenticeship may also be required to take a selection test and a maths test.
The Apprenticeship programme lasts up to three years. Theory is covered through day or block release at a college or training provider. The rest of the time is spent on site with the employer. This leads to at least an NVQ Level 3 and possibly other certificates, eg first aid or health and safety.
Technicians may aim for technician membership of ICE (TMICE) and to gain the qualification EngTech.
There are excellent opportunities for career progression. Technicians may move into management or consultancy roles. Many technicians progress to higher level courses and some go on to achieve Incorporated Engineer or Chartered Engineer status.
- CAD technician
- Civil engineer
- Clerk of works
- Engineering construction technician
- Landscape scientist
- Quarry engineer
- Structural engineer