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Civil engineering technician

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Summary of occupation

Civil engineering technicians support engineers with planning, designing and overseeing the construction and maintenance of buildings, roads and other infrastructure projects. They assist with estimating costs, preparing timetables and planning the specifications for materials needed for projects. Prior to the commencement of construction they may survey and measure proposed sites and consult with clients, contractors, members of the public and other stakeholders about each group's particular requirements and/or concerns. Once construction has begun, civil engineering technicians may work closely with builders and site managers, overseeing the project to ensure a high quality of materials are used, and work is maintained.

ANZSCO description: Conducts tests of construction materials, prepares sketches and tabulations, and assists in estimating costs in support of Civil Engineering Professionals and Engineering Technologists. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Civil Engineering Associate, Civil Engineering Technical Officer, Structural Engineering Technician
Specialisations: Civil Engineering Assistant, Civil Laboratory Technician, Geotechnical Laboratory Technician
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A civil engineering technician needs:

  • good communication skills
  • mathematical ability
  • sound problem-solving skills
  • excellent planning and organisational skills
  • to have an eye for detail
  • the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
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Working conditions

Civil engineering technicians work in offices and on building and construction sites throughout Western Australia. They generally work standard business hours, however evening and weekend work may be required when working to a deadline. When working on construction sites, they may spend a large amount of time working outdoors in most weather conditions. All workers on a construction site must undergo construction induction training and will be required to follow strict safety guidelines, including wearing protective clothing.

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Salary details

On average, civil engineering draftspersons and technicians can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a civil engineering technician develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Civil engineering technicians often use surveying and measuring equipment, and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software in the planning phase of a construction project. When working on a construction site they may use two-way radios and will be required to wear safety equipment, which may include hard hats, steel-capped boots, ear muffs, safety glasses and high-visibility clothing. They will also need to be familiar with the properties and prices of a variety of building materials and machinery so that they are able to develop the most accurate and efficient cost estimates.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a civil engineering technician you usually need to complete a qualification in civil construction or engineering.

The Diploma of Civil and Structural Engineering and the Advanced Diploma of Civil and Structural Engineering are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can also complete a traineeship. The civil construction manager and civil construction contract manager traineeships usually take 36 months to complete.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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