What Do Civil Engineering Technology Graduates Do? Are you passionate about making a serious contribution to the public by coming up with innovative structural designs and managing large-scale construction projects?

Do you have an interest in working on renewable-energy projects, such as implementing solar arrays to help combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dependence on fossil fuel?

Are you looking for a satisfying career where you can help repair and enhance the infrastructure of cities?

Civil Engineering Technology Graduates

  • Help civil engineers plan and build highways, buildings, bridges, dams, wastewater treatment systems, and other public structures.
  • Design commercial, industrial, residential, and land development projects.
  • Estimate construction costs and specify materials to be used (some may even prepare drawings or perform land-surveying duties).
  • Set up and monitor instruments used to study traffic conditions.
  • Assist in overseeing or monitoring construction, evaluating materials quality, reviewing surveying or mapping, and handling cost estimates and budgets.
  • Use computer programs to collect and analyze data, prepare technical reports, and manage file systems.

Famous Civil Engineers

  • Elsie Eaves – first female member of the American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Olive Dennis – changed the nature of railway travel; worked for the B & O Railroad
  • Emily Warren Roebling – Chief Engineer of building the Brooklyn Bridge
  • John Smeaton – contributed to the Industrial Revolution with his work on windmills and waterwheels
  • Benjamin Wright – Chief Engineer during the construction of the Erie Canal, the Chesapeake, and the Ohio Canal
  • Dr. John Job Crew Bradfield – designed and oversaw the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Squire Whipple – built seven short span iron bridges for the New York and Erie Railroad
  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel – designed a network of tunnels, bridges, and viaducts for the Great Western Railway

Areas of Employment

  • Offices
  • Construction sites
  • Private consulting firms
  • Laboratories
  • Government agencies
  • Bridge and highway design
  • Pollution control
  • Project manager
  • Estimator
  • Drafter
  • Land surveyor
  • Structural engineer
  • Construction inspector

Career Guidance Suggestions for Pre-University Students

Coursework to Consider:
  • Pre-algebra
  • Geometry
  • Advanced algebra
  • Engineering fundamentals
  • Computer applications
  • Statistics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Structural analysis
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Trigonometry
  • Physics
  • Robotics
  • Programming
Suggested Extracurricular Activities:
  • Competitions
  • Summer programs
  • Afterschool programs
  • Clubs
  • Internships
  • Online puzzles and games
  • Online courses
  • Maker faires
  • Design projects
Local Programs Offered by:
  • Science centers and museums
  • Professional societies like IEEE
  • Universities
Important Skills:
  • Critical thinking skills: help engineers identify and solve complex technical problems to develop infrastructure plans.
  • Decision-making skills: be able to quickly discern which types of information are most important for the work at hand, and which plan of action will help keep the project on schedule.
  • Math skills: use math for project analysis, design, and troubleshooting.
  • Analytical skills: develop plans and estimate costs for constructing systems and operating facilities.
  • Research skills: collect data and prepare analyses for various project activities.
  • Observational skills: know what to look for and how best to report back to the engineer overseeing a design project.
  • Problem-solving skills: work with all related systems involved in building a project and evaluate contractors’ work to detect problems with a design.
  • Comprehension skills: understand all documents describing the plans and designs for projects that must be carried out.
  • Writing skills: prepare detailed reports that are well organized and clearly written in order to relay findings to others.

Links and Resources

  • American Society of Civil Engineers: America’s oldest national engineering society representing more than 147,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide.
  • Chi Epsilon: the National Civil Engineering Honor Society recognizing students who have exemplified the principles of “Scholarship, Character, Practicality, and Sociability” in the civil engineering profession.
  • The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering: a professional association with over 1,000 innovative members who share technology, management, and applied engineering ideas, research, and applications that positively impact the future.
  • American Society of Certified Engineering Technicians: the only national, professional society created especially for, and administered by, engineering technicians and technologists in all engineering disciplines.
  • American Society for Engineering Education: a nonprofit organization of individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology.