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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Civil Engineering Technology

Majors Overview February 13, 2014

Those interested in helping out with the design and drafting of structures, such as bridges, highways, and dams, may want to look into studying civil engineering technology. An Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree can help find students an entry-level job.

A.A. Programs in Civil Engineering Technology

Students enrolled in these programs are provided with the knowledge and skills they need to perform the work of civil engineering technicians in areas that involve surveying, estimating, construction, and drafting. They can expect to gain working knowledge of the many principles of civil engineering and develop the communication skills they need in the field.

Students become adept in using current software and modern engineering techniques in assisting engineers. Technical schools and community colleges offer these two-year programs. Admission criteria require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. A strong background of high school science and math courses would help students seeking to pursue the program.


Coursework in a civil engineering technology associate’s degree program typically includes laboratory based hands-on experience using whatever they’ve learned from coursework and lectures. Students may perform team work in projects that involve designing and solving a real-world civil engineering problem. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Construction materials
•Topographic surveys and mapping
•Computer-aided drafting
•Highway technology
•Plans and specifications
•Technical reporting
•Highway engineering
•Civil drawing
•Aggregates and concrete

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete these programs may pursue immediate jobs with construction companies or surveyors in various building projects and aspire for career titles such as:

•CAD operator
•Design technician
•Civil engineering technician
•Engineering surveyor

Continuing Education Choices

Those who graduate from the program can choose to enter the workforce immediately on completion of the program and seek work as civil engineering technicians; alternatively, they may wish to transfer to 4-year universities or colleges to pursue continued education by earning a bachelor’s degree programs in civil engineering technology or becoming engineers by enrolling in civil engineering baccalaureate programs.

Civil engineering technicians can seek voluntary certification that will allow them to showcase their skills and knowledge in the field. Certifications in various specialty aspects of civil engineering technology are offered by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). Passage of the exam is required for eligible applicants to be able to obtain certification.

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