Civil engineering technologists and technicians (NOC 2231)

About this job

Civil engineering technologists and technicians provide technical support and services to scientists, engineers and other professionals.

People in this occupation:

  • may also work independently in fields such as structural engineering, municipal engineering, construction design and supervision, highways and transportation engineering, water resources engineering, geotechnical engineering, environmental protection or technical sales
  • are employed by consulting engineering and construction companies, public works, transportation and other government departments and in many other industries
  • must have Diverse technical skills are required, including manual and computer-aided drafting, surveying and modeling; road and highway analysis and municipal infrastructure design; concrete, soil and asphalt testing; and technical report writing

The ability to manage projects in a team environment is also important.

Civil engineering technologists and technicians also:

  • should have an interest in hands-on, methodical work, as well as in planning, decision making and coordination of projects
  • benefit from having good visualization, communication, math and computer skills
Common job titles
  • corrosion technician
  • corrosion technologist
  • investigator, structural
  • supervisor, architectural technicians
  • technician, land use
  • technician, measures

Duties

Civil engineering technologists:

  • develop engineering designs and drawings from preliminary concepts and sketches
  • prepare construction specifications, cost and material estimates, project schedules and reports
  • supervise or conduct field surveys, inspections or technical investigations of topography, soils, drainage and water supply systems, road and highway systems, buildings and structures to provide data for engineering projects
  • conduct or supervise inspection and testing of construction materials, and may supervise, monitor and inspect construction projects and provide project negotiation and facilitation

Civil engineering technicians:

  • Assist in developing engineering specifications and drawings
  • Participate in field surveys, inspections or technical investigations of topography, soils, drainage and water supply systems, road and highway systems, buildings and structures to provide data for engineering projects
  • Perform other technical functions in support of civil engineering activities.

Work environment

The majority of civil engineering technologists and technicians work regular hours in laboratories, offices and industrial plants and working conditions may include a combination of indoor and outdoor work.

Outdoor work includes conducting field inspections or investigating topography, soil, drainage and water supply systems, road and highway systems, or buildings and structures. Individuals may also work from an office where they incorporate field findings into their designs or in virtual teams communicating with telephone conference calls or videoconferencing. Opportunities for international work may be available for some workers.

Technological advances in surveying, environmental monitoring, data management and civil design has allowed for work to be completed more quickly than in the past. Workers may be exposed to hazards from equipment, chemicals or toxic materials when performing field work.

Insights from industry

Expansion in construction and municipal and resource based infrastructure drives the demand for civil technologists and technicians. As such, areas of urban growth or industrial activity will likely see the most demand for these occupations in upcoming years. Growth in research and development areas may also result in increased employment opportunities.

More of the new opportunities for qualified civil technologists and technicians are opening in the private sector. However, upcoming retirements will increase demand for new technologists and technicians in both private industry and government.

While most civil technology jobs are found in mid- to large-size cities, jobs in rural areas are available in government departments, transportation, and with consulting firms.

Sustained competitiveness in a knowledge-based global economy requires vigorous and ongoing commitment to scientific and technological innovation. For this reason, workers should keep abreast of developments within their area of expertise. The trend of green building construction, for example, will require workers in this occupation group to be familiar with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System (LEED).

Periods of retraining and professional development are common, and those with updated skills and knowledge will have an advantage over others when competing for employment.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Those who complete the two-year diploma in Civil Engineering Technology can work as a junior design engineer, civil technician, or technologist. With experience, civil engineering technologists can progress to construction supervisors, project engineers or managers, construction estimators, or construction managers.

Students who complete the four year Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) Degree in Civil Engineering can go on to practice professionally as a civil engineer.

Additional resources