Civil engineering technician

Construction and building

Career outlook for civil engineering technician

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would help to survey sites and draw technical designs for major construction projects. You’d organise the work and materials for the project and check its progress.

You’d support the civil engineers working in one of these specialist areas:

  • 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

You would:

  • Help to survey the construction site
  • Get samples of soil, rock and materials analysed
  • Create engineering design plans by hand or using computer aided design (CAD) software
  • Estimate the labour costs for the project
  • Estimate the amount and type of materials that will be needed
  • Organise the timescales for getting supplies, equipment and workers
  • Negotiate with suppliers to get value for money when buying materials

You’d inspect the projects when they are underway and supervise the progress. You’d report any problems to site managers and civil engineers.

Working conditions


Typical hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You could work shifts, including weekends and nights, when on site. You might also be part of an on-call rota to deal with out-of-hours problems.


You would work in all weather conditions, and would be expected to wear a safety helmet and protective footwear on site.

UK employment status





Self employed


Create a qualification route

We've found some examples of the qualifications that could help you get this job.

Discover my route

Search course options

Thinking about your future? There are lots of courses available that could interest you. Use our course search to explore course options.

Find courses

Search job opportunities

If you're looking for your new career our job search can help you. Discover interesting opportunities and decide your next steps.

Find a job

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Problem solving
  • Observation
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management

Skills Explorer

Your skills can help you choose the career that's right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

Our Skills Explorer tool will help you understand what skills you have and match them to jobs that might suit you.

Use the Skills Explorer tool

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


A National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8).

Or relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Modern Apprenticeship leading to a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Construction: Civil Engineering (SVQ level 2/3) or Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7).

Entry requirements for Modern Apprenticeships and college courses vary but most require qualifications at SCQF level 5 to 6. Some employers require up to three Highers (SCQF level 6).

Useful subjects

Most courses require:

  • English
  • Maths
  • A science or technologies subject

You will also need

You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent and pass a health and safety test to work and train on construction sites.

Helpful to have

Qualifications that demonstrate an understanding of construction, design and practical skills, such as Skills for Work Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5).

A driving licence can be useful.