civil engineering technician

Civil Engineering Technician Jobs

Did you know?

Civil engineers plan and manage mega building projects. Any skyscraper, shopping centre, airport or football/music stadium was planned out by civil engineers.

Your job as a civil engineering technician is to support the civil engineers on construction projects, soaking up knowledge and skills as you go. You don’t need a full degree to get into this role, either – a foundation degree or HNC/HND should be enough to see you on your way.

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Civil engineering technician job trends

How much money can you make as a civil engineering technician?

£14,000 – £45,000 (UK average)

Recent labour market information says you can earn £14,000 – £45,000 a year on average as a civil engineering technician in the UK.

Your starting salary can vary because of factors like level of experience, training, or location. Your salary will increase over time as you build skills, knowledge and experience.

What entry qualifications and training do you need?

School, college and training

Many engineering jobs require some knowledge of science and being comfortable around maths.

In your GCSEs or the equivalent, aim to get passing grades of 9-4 (A*-C) in maths and at least one science.

You can then go on to take at least one A-level or equivalent qualification in a topic related to science, engineering or maths.

This will give you a good grounding education in the engineering principles you might need to know. It will also help you to apply for further education such as a degree.

Degrees and University

Many civil engineering technicians enter the profession with an HNC/HND or foundation degree in civil engineering.

To get started as a civil engineering technician, you may not have to apply for a full engineering degree (BEng) or a Master’s degree (MEng) in civil engineering.

The Institution of Civil Engineering Technicians has information on courses.

Apprenticeships and training

Civil engineering apprenticeships are available in the UK and this could be a great way to get you started with your career.

With an apprenticeship (or advanced apprenticeship) you’ll have a paid job with an employer that includes structured training and learning. This training leads to an official qualification that’s recognised by employers as an industry standard.

You can seek out civil engineering apprenticeships with organisations like Find an Apprenticeship.

Career progression

With time and experience you could become a civil engineer, which may require further training. Over time you could move into site management roles or specialise in areas of work like estimating or construction design.

What experience do you need for civil engineering technician jobs?

Work experience

It can help you decide if this is the right career for you if you have previously done work experience in an engineering environment.

Any work experience where you have demonstrated your engineering skills can help your application.

Examples of relevant work experience include:

  • Work shadowing (even if it’s just for a day)
  • Work placements in a company
  • Work placements on a degree course
  • Year in Industry work experience programme for pre-university/undergraduates

Volunteering and extra-curricular activities

Volunteering is an excellent way to build up your skills and CV while making connections with people and organisations who could help you in the future.

If you’re aged 21 or under, you could build experience and skills relevant to chemical engineering by becoming an Industrial Cadet. You’ll join other students from local schools to take part in industry based activities with a local employer. Visit www.industrialcadets.org.uk for more info.

If you’re a Year 12 student, you can apply for a Nuffield Research Placement. Over 1,000 students a year get the chance to work with scientists, mathematicians and engineers from all kinds of universities and organisations.

If you’re still at school, you can work on your engineering skills outside of lessons to build your first CV. One way is to join a school STEM club.

Many civil engineers use CAD software (it stands for Computer Aided Design) to create their 2D and 3D designs of things to be built. You can get a head start on getting to grips with CAD software – even if you are still at school! There are lots of free CAD apps and tutorials available for beginners on the web. Build the skills, and it could help you get work experience or land the job even faster!

What skills do you need for civil engineering technician jobs?

What life and work skills do you need to be a great civil engineering technician?

Useful skills to highlight and develop in this career include:

  • Good problem solving skills and an enquiring mind – so much goes into planning out a new town or super-huge shopping space!
  • Good organisation skills – this will help you with your education and training, and also with conducting your work with accuracy and care.
  • Teamworking skills – you could work as part of a led by a line manager. You’ll have your part to play, and you will be willing to receive guidance and direction while working well with others. As you progress in your career, you’ll also build leadership and project management skills.
  • Good communication skills – you will be able to explain your findings clearly when reporting problems to site managers, or negotiating with suppliers to get a good price on any raw materials or resources that might be needed on the construction project.
  • Good IT, science and maths skills – you may be using computer modelling and CAD (computer-aided design). You will also need to pay attention to measurements. No-one wants an airport that looked huge in the design but ends up being so tiny in real life it’s only fit for toy planes.

Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.

Start building these skills right now – sign up for free Young Professional training.

What does a civil engineering technician do?

Engineering construction projects you could work on:

  • Structural (dams, buildings, offshore platforms and pipelines)
  • Transportation (roads, railways, canals and airports)
  • Environmental (water supply networks, drainage and flood barriers)
  • Maritime (ports, harbours and sea defences)
  • Geotechnical (mining, earthworks and construction foundations)

Things you might be doing:

  • Helping out with initial site surveys
  • Arranging for soil, rock and materials samples to be analysed
  • Creating engineering design plans, usually with CAD software (PS – did you know you could also work as a CAD technician without a degree?)
  • Preparing reports on which materials and how much of them to use on a project, and how much they might cost
  • Creating timing guidelines for the delivery of equipment, labour and supplies
  • Negotiation with suppliers to get materials and resources for a good price
  • Inspecting projects and supervising progress (yes, you may be a technician but you’ll still be developing your leadership skills!)
  • Reporting problems to site managers
  • Preparing reports for civil engineers to use in their work

Your first steps into civil engineering technician jobs

Civil engineering technician jobs are advertised under different job titles.  To find jobs for young people in this role, search on job boards for opportunities with these words in the title:

  • Civil engineering technician
  • Civil engineering apprenticeships
  • Apprentice civil engineering technician
  • Infrastructure engineering technician
  • Civil design technician
  • Civil and railway engineering technician
  • CAD technician

Construction jobs you might like...

View job descriptions with average UK salary, useful qualifications and a variety of routes into this career. Or see our full list of careers in construction!


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