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What is the difference between the Civil Engineer and a Civil Engineering Technician?

Both are integral members of the design and construction team engaged in an exciting and creative industry. The Civil Engineer is usually a graduate of a four-year university and in many cases achieved professional registration by the State Board of Registration. The civil engineer is usually a project manager who performs the major design decisions and directs the operations of many design technicians. The civil engineering technician plays many roles in the project continuum:

  • Gather field and office data for the project using electronic distance measuring equipment, global positioning systems, electronic sampling equipment and computer workstations.
  • Prepare construction drawings and contract documents using computer workstations.
  • Perform construction layout, determine construction material quality control, provide quality assurance electronic surveying equipment and material testing equipment and monitor the project progress using scheduling software.

Can I get my two-year degree at Columbus State and transfer to a four-year university to complete a bachelor’s degree?

The associate of applied science degree is designed as a terminal degree leading directly to employment. There are many instances where some courses or all of the technical degree will transfer to a four-year university. However, the transferability of courses, particularly technical courses, is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Transferability is usually reviewed on a case-by-case basis. As a result of this individuality, students considering transferring to a four-year university are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor prior to starting the program.

What is the outlook for a career in this profession?

Currently and historically, there is a shortage of civil engineering technicians; that is, there are more unfilled positions than graduates. This allows the graduate to find the position and employer which best fulfills his/her career goals. Given the diversity of fields of interest within the civil engineering profession the demand for technicians is expected to continue and probably increase.

What if I want something short-term which will make me immediately employable?

Besides the two year degree the Surveying Certificate is a one-year, three-quarter program, which provides a basis for entry-level careers in survey field and office operations. The one-year certificate is a directed focus program which empowers students with those skills necessary for construction layout of buildings and roadways and, working under the direction of Registered Surveyor, in land surveying and subdivision of land. Specific employment positions include instrument person, field crew chief and drafter/designer.

What if I already have a degree and wish to enhance my employability?

The courses within Civil Engineering Technology are a combination of theory and applications oriented educational experiences taught by experienced professionals. The student is presented with the latest software and hardware in applications, problem-solving environment. Actual field and design projects are simulated to prepare the student for immediate, productive employment.

Can I achieve professional registration as an engineer or a surveyor?

The Ohio Revised Code for requirements for professional registration as an engineer or a surveyor include a bachelor of science degree in the specific field, four (4) years of internship/experience under the direct supervision of a professional and successful completion of two State Board Examinations.

However, a person having a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering can fulfill the educational requirements toward professional registration as a surveyor. The Surveying Certificate encompasses those surveying courses, which when coupled with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering fulfills the State of Ohio Board of Registration for Engineers and Surveyors Education Requirements toward registration as a Professional Surveyor.