Civil Engineering Technology Associate's Degree Programs

The United States has an extensive and impressive system of roads, bridges, dams, tunnels, waste-water management structures, railroads and airports. If you're interested in helping to plan, design and construct any of these structures, you might consider pursuing an associate's degree in civil engineering technology. Learn about degree programs, how to select one, what to expect and what the career outlook is. Schools offering Civil Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Program Details?

A civil engineering program leading to an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science can consist of 68-71 credits and take you two years to complete. Typical courses you might encounter include construction methods and materials, Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD), surveying, soil mechanics, trigonometry, highway technology, structural design, estimating and hydraulics. Programs may consist of many hours of lab work and field experience in addition to classroom instruction. You may also have the opportunity to serve an internship with a school-partnered business or agency.

Common Courses Construction methods and materials, surveying, trigonometry, structural design
Prerequisites High school diploma (3 years of math & science) and training in drafting
Possible Careers Civil engineering technician
Job Outlook 5% (2014-2024)
Median Salary $48,340 (2014)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Can I Find a Program?

In order to enroll in a civil engineering degree program, schools often recommend that your high school curriculum include three years of math and science, in addition to some training in basic drafting. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is recognized as an accrediting organization for post-secondary programs by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (www.abet.org). At its website, ABET maintains a list of schools that offer accredited degree programs in civil engineering.

Due to the extensive hands-on requirements and laboratory components, online programs are non-existent. However, once you've earned an associate's degree, you may be able to locate an online bachelor's degree program, although they are rare. Online master's degree programs in civil engineering are more plentiful.

What Can I Do With a Civil Engineering Technology Associate's Degree?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you may be able to secure employment as a civil engineering technician without the benefit of a formal training program (www.bls.gov). However, the BLS goes on to state that most employers prefer to hire individuals who hold an associate's degree.

As a civil engineering technician, you may qualify as an assistant to a civil engineer in the planning and oversight of construction projects, facility and structure inspection, cost estimation and material selection. In addition, many schools have articulation agreements with 4-year colleges that allow you to apply the credits you earn in an associate's degree program toward a bachelor's degree.

What Is the Employment Outlook?

In 2014, the BLS projected that employment opportunities for all engineering technicians would increase five percent from 2014-2024. However, due to the necessity of expansion, repair and replacement for the nation's infrastructure, employment for civil engineering technicians will be sustained in demand.

The latest wage statistics are also from 2014. At that time, the BLS determined the mean annual wage for civil engineering technicians to be $48,340.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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