last time you travelled down a highway, did you wonder who built
the road? Have you ever looked at a bridge and wondered who designed
it? Civil technologists and technicians plan and build roads, bridges,
dams, wastewater treatment systems and other structures.
As a civil technologist you might be involved in planning and building
or you might estimate construction costs and specify materials to
be used. You might inspect water and wastewater treatment systems
to ensure that pollution control requirements are met. You could
plan dams, reservoirs, railroads, buildings or do urban and regional
The following are some of the activities that civil technologists
are qualified to perform; civil technicians assist with these duties:
- Prepare drawings for structures to be built of timber, concrete
or steel using standard drafting techniques and computer-aided
drafting and design (CADD) systems
- Inspect and supervise work at construction sites to ensure that
safety and design specifications are followed
- Make appropriate recommendations regarding design and construction
to electrical and mechanical engineers and architects
- Prepare cost and material estimates, project schedules and reports
- Prepare construction drawings for highways, streets, urban subdivisions,
and water and sewer services
- Inspect dams, power plants, generating plants and other structures
to assess the need for maintenance and repair work
- Conduct field and laboratory tests on soil, asphalt and concrete,
assessing them according to specifications set by the Canadian
- Develop concrete and/or asphalt mixtures designed for specific
uses and conditions
Where Will You Work?
As a civil technologist or technician, you could work for contractors,
land developers, engineering consulting firms, manufacturing companies,
municipal and provincial public works, or environment and transportation
Work is available in both rural and urban locations. As a civil
technologist or technician, you work in offices and at construction
sites. While in the office, you will often work at a computer
(for CADD functions) or at a drafting table. You would likely
work regular office hours, but overtime may be required to meet
On job sites, you might be required to climb scaffolding and
ladders to reach construction areas high off the ground. Safety
clothing (hard hats, steel-toed boots, protective eyewear and
earplugs) is required on most job sites.
Related occupations that you could get involved with are: construction
estimator or supervisor, CADD designer/drafter, survey technologist/technician,
building technologist/technician, building inspector, city planner
or quality control inspector.
How Much Will You Earn?
How Does The Future Look?
The employment outlook is expected to be above average compared
with other occupations. You will find most civil technology jobs
in mid to large-size cities. Jobs are available in government
departments and with consulting firms in more rural areas.
How Can You Get Started?
In high school, be sure to take courses in English, mathematics,
physics, chemistry and biology. Courses in CADD, business and
shop will also help you prepare for this career.
What Will You Need?
To be a good civil technologist or technician, you need strong
math and science skills, particularly physics. You should be good
at oral and written communication, and have excellent problem
solving skills. You will need a keen eye for detail, well-developed
organizational skills and an ability to work well with others.
You should enjoy doing work that requires taking a methodical
approach, finding innovative solutions to problems and directing
the work of others.
Post Secondary Possibilities
Civil & Structural
||Civil & Structural Certificate
||Fraser Valley College
||Okanagan University College
||The University College of the Cariboo
||Engineering Design & Drafting
- Programs listed are those accredited by the Applied Science
Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC); check
www.asttbc.org for updates
on accredited programs.
- Check with your career facilitator or counsellor for other sources
of information applicable to education options for this technology.
- Salary figures indicated in the 'How Much Will You Earn?' section
are extracted from ASTTBC's Member Compensation Survey or other
Canadian sources applicable to the specific technology discipline.
These figures are representative only; actual figures will vary
depending on academic training, practical experience, job responsibilities
and location of employment.
- The TechWORKS! web site is an important online resource and provides links to career information that will be of interest to students pursuing a career in technology.