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Career and Education Opportunities for Civil Engineering Technicians in Chicago, Illinois

Civil engineering technicians can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 3,110 working civil engineering technicians in Illinois; this should grow 11% to about 3,460 working civil engineering technicians in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for civil engineering technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.9% over the next eight years. In general, civil engineering technicians apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

Civil engineering technicians earn approximately $23 hourly or $48,230 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $21 hourly or $44,290 per year. Civil engineering technicians earn less than people working in the category of Engineering Technologies generally in Illinois and less than people in the Engineering Technologies category nationally. People working as civil engineering technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: fire protection engineering technician, engineering aide, and facility planner.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a civil engineering technician. Civil engineering technicians usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so you can expect to spend a short time training to become a civil engineering technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Civil Engineering Technician

Civil Engineering Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, civil engineering technicians apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

Civil engineering technicians calculate dimensions, square footage, profile and component specifications, and material quantities using calculators or computers. They also read and review project blueprints and structural specifications to establish dimensions of structures or systems. Equally important, civil engineering technicians have to talk with supervisors to establish project details such as plan preparations and evaluation of field conditions. Finally, civil engineering technicians draft detailed dimensional drawings and layouts for projects to insure conformance to given requirements.

Every day, civil engineering technicians are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for civil engineering technicians to ready reports and document project efforts and data. They are often called upon to inspect project site and evaluate contractor work to uncover layout malfunctions and insure conformance to layout specifications and applicable codes. They also design plans and estimate costs for installation of systems, utilization of facilities, or building of structures. They are sometimes expected to respond to public suggestions and complaints. Somewhat less frequently, civil engineering technicians are also expected to report maintenance problems occurring at project site to supervisor and negotiate changes to deal with system conflicts.

Civil engineering technicians sometimes are asked to conduct materials test and analysis using tools and equipment and applying engineering knowledge. and draft detailed dimensional drawings and layouts for projects to insure conformance to given requirements. And finally, they sometimes have to ready reports and document project efforts and data.

Like many other jobs, civil engineering technicians must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Architect. Plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, and other structural property.
  • Architectural Drafter. Prepare detailed drawings of architectural designs and plans for buildings and structures according to specifications provided by architect.
  • CAD/CAM Specialist. Prepare detailed working diagrams of machinery and mechanical devices, including dimensions, and other engineering information.
  • Civil Draftsman. Prepare drawings and topographical and relief maps used in civil engineering projects, such as highways, bridges, pipelines, flood control projects, and water and sewerage control systems.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Electronics Engineering Technician. Lay out, build, and modify developmental and production electronic components, parts, and systems, such as computer equipment, missile control instrumentation, electron tubes, and machine tool numerical controls, applying principles and theories of electronics, electrical circuitry, engineering mathematics, electronic and electrical testing, and physics. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Environmental Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental pollution, including waste treatment and site remediation. May assist in the development of environmental pollution remediation devices under direction of engineer.
  • Equipment Engineering Technician. Apply electrical theory and related knowledge to test and modify developmental or operational electrical machinery and electrical control equipment and circuitry in industrial or commercial plants and laboratories. Usually work under direction of engineering staff.
  • Industrial Engineering Technician. Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May study and record time, motion, and speed involved in performance of production, maintenance, and other worker operations for such purposes as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
  • Landscape Architect. Plan and design land areas for such projects as parks and other recreational facilities, airports, and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Civil Engineering Technician Training

Joliet Junior College - Joliet, IL

Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, IL 60431-8938. Joliet Junior College is a large college located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,088 students. Joliet Junior College has an associate's degree program in Construction Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated four students in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has 2 areas of study related to Civil Engineering Technician. They are:

  • Civil Engineering Technology/Technician, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Construction Engineering Technology/Technician, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.

Purdue University-Calumet Campus - Hammond, IN

Purdue University-Calumet Campus, 2200 169th St, Hammond, IN 46323-2094. Purdue University-Calumet Campus is a medium sized university located in Hammond, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,325 students and an admission rate of 74%. Purdue University-Calumet Campus has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Civil Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has an associate's degree program in Construction Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

South Suburban College - South Holland, IL

South Suburban College, 15800 South State Street, South Holland, IL 60473-1200. South Suburban College is a medium sized college located in South Holland, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,105 students. South Suburban College has an associate's degree program in Construction Engineering Technology/Technician which graduated six students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Forensic Claims Consultant : AACE International's Certified Forensic Claims Consultant (CFCC) certification program is designed to establish credentials to recognize your professional expertise.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

ACSM Hydrographer Certification: ACSM - THSOA Hydrographer Certification is well-recognized and considered by many Federal, State and local agencies as well as private firms, seeking subcontractors when evaluating technical proposals for marine engineering, surveying, and construction.

For more information, see the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping - National Society of Professional Surveyors website.

Certified Water Technologist: The Certified Water Technologist (CWT) program represents the highest professional credential in the industrial and commercial water treatment field.

For more information, see the Association of Water Technologies website.

Corrosion Technician: This certification is geared towards personnel with little experience but who possess some basic knowledge of corrosion and corrosion control, who are capable of performing routine, but well-defined work under the close direction of Specialist or Senior Technologist personnel.

For more information, see the NACE International website.

Geotechnical Engineering Technology Certification: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians engaged in soil investigation and determination of engineering properties prior to and concurrent with initial construction activities.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway Construction: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians involved in the inspection (monitoring) of highway construction projects.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway Design: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians who are engaged in the preparation of plans, specifications, and estimates for proposed highway construction projects.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Highway Materials: This certification program is for highway engineering technicians involved in laboratory and field testing of highway materials such as aggregates, asphalts, concrete, soils, paints, and metals.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Certified Transfer Station Technical Associate: This certification was developed to address the increased interest in transfer stations and provide transfer station managers and others the opportunity to learn more about transfer station design and operation.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.