Program Overview

CET students

Our Civil Engineering Technology associate degree program prepares you to become an integral part of an engineering and construction team. Learn how to apply the fundamentals of civil engineering and design within the context of materials, soils, planning, surveying, environmental systems, highways and construction. Eligible for entry-level positions with civil engineering firms, land surveying companies, utility companies, construction firms, and more.
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Full Description

The Civil Engineering program prepares graduates to become an integral member of the engineering and construction team. The program emphasizes the practical application of construction technology and engineering principles.

A civil engineering technologist designs, engineers, analyzes, and assists in the supervision of building construction and infrastructure projects such as roadways, bridges, and environmental facilities. As an integral member of the engineering and construction team, the civil engineering technologist must have the ability to create and build structures that will answer the engineering, economic, safety, technical, and aesthetic requirements of a project. This program allows students to develop those necessary abilities by emphasizing the application of the fundamentals of civil engineering and design within the context of the scientific and technical aspects of materials, soils, planning, surveying, structures, environmental systems, and construction. The program is also designed to instill within students a sense of professionalism and a desire to serve and contribute to society.

In the associate degree program, students concentrate on civil engineering fundamentals including computer-aided drafting geared for the civil engineering industry (e.g., Auto CAD Civil 3D), construction documents, construction estimating, construction materials, structural analysis and design, surveying principles for land measurement, and soil mechanics. Additionally, students will also conduct field and laboratory testing on civil engineering materials and use computer applications to solve technical problems.
Upon successful completion of the Civil Engineering Associate Degree, students may choose to continue their education in a bachelor’s program or enter the profession. Graduates of the CET associate degree program will be qualified for entry-level careers with civil engineering firms, survey companies, materials testing companies, or construction companies.

Students successfully completing the Associate in Science in Civil Engineering may matriculate into the Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Management or the Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering program.

Potential Career Opportunities

The associate in science degree can lead to a variety of exciting employment opportunities.

More advanced positions may require additional education, though an associate degree in the subject can prepare individuals as assistants to civil engineers and other individuals leading engineering and surveying projects.

Civil Engineering Technician

Drafter Land Surveyor



Soil Technician

Site Supervisor


  • How much does a civil engineer with an associate degree make?

    Current statistics on potential salaries and job outlook are listed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website.

  • What can I do with an associate degree in Civil Engineering Technology?

    Individuals with an associate degree in Civil Engineering Technology can find work as an engineering surveyor, inspector or design technician.

    Individuals may also qualify for work as an engineering technician. These individuals will typically work within a specialty area. Options include aerospace engineering technology, environmental engineering and water systems, or geotechnical engineering and rock mechanics.

  • Is Civil Engineering Technology hard?

    If you have strong problem-solving and communication skills and enjoy math, physics and engineering, then the subject shouldn’t be too difficult. That said, college course loads can be demanding, so it’s important to remain committed to your studies.

  • Are engineering technology degrees worth it?

    A degree in civil engineering technology helps distinguish an individual from other applicants during the job search and can lead to positions in different areas of the field working as a project manager, on designs, monitoring construction sites or solving problems occurring onsite.

Launch Engineering Technology Lab

Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The Associate in Science Degree in Civil Engineering Technology will equip students with foundational knowledge of planning, surveying, building materials, structures, testing, cost estimating, operation and maintenance associated with heavy/civil construction projects, the skill to produce and utilize basic construction documents, and the ability to perform basic analysis and design of system components in support of infrastructure projects in the built environment.

Program Goals

A graduate of the Associate in Science in Civil Engineering Technology program will be capable of:

  1. Utilizing graphic techniques to produce civil engineering documents.
  2. Conducting standardized field and/or laboratory testing on civil engineering materials.
  3. Utilizing modern surveying methods for land measurement and/or construction layout.
  4. Determining forces and stresses in elementary structural systems.
  5. Estimating material quantities for civil engineering projects.
  6. Employing computer software to solve technical problems.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of their degree, graduates of the Civil Engineering Technology degree program will have demonstrated they have achieved the following general outcomes:

  1. An appropriate mastery of the knowledge, techniques, skills and modern tools of civil engineering technology.
  2. An ability to apply current knowledge and adapt to emerging applications of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology.
  3. An ability to conduct, analyze and interpret experiments, and apply experimental results to improve processes.
  4. An ability to apply creativity in the design of systems, components, or processes appropriate to program objectives.
  5. An ability to function effectively on teams.
  6. An ability to identify, analyze and solve technical problems.
  7. An ability to communicate effectively.
  8. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in lifelong learning.
  9. An ability to understand professional, ethical and social responsibilities.
  10. A respect for diversity and a knowledge of contemporary professional, societal and global issues.
  11. A commitment to quality, timeliness, and continuous improvement.

Courses Offered

Students will develop a thorough understanding of civil engineering technology throughout the program. Specific courses include an introduction to CAD (computer-aided design) for civil engineering, transportation design, construction fundamentals and materials. Other courses involve:

  • Civil Documents and Design
  • Water & Waste Water Design
  • Zoning & Land Use Planning
  • Environmental & Sustainable Design
  • Safety in Construction
  • Estimating for Heavy Construction
  • Surveying
  • Materials Testing & Quality Control
  • Building Science
  • Surveying & Civil Technology
  • Structures I
  • College Writing
  • Workplace Communications
  • Technical Math I
  • Calculus
  • Physics

Students will also be given the opportunity to choose one technical elective during the associate degree program. Options include:

  • Technical Drafting & Graphic Communication
  • Construction Methods & Materials (required for students entering the BS Construction Management Program)
  • Building Information Modeling BIM I
  • Introduction to Business
  • Accounting Fundamentals

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When do my classes meet?
    Day Classes:  Technical classes normally meet for at least three hours a day for up to five days a week. Classes normally begin in the early morning (7:45 a.m.), late morning (usually 11:25 p.m.), or mid-afternoon. A technical time slot may vary from term to term.Evening Classes:  Technical classes meet on the average of three nights a week, although there may be times when they will meet four nights a week. Classes normally begin at 5:45 p.m.In addition, to achieve your associate degree, you will take a total of approximately eight liberal arts courses, which will be scheduled around your technical schedule over the course of your entire program. Each liberal arts course meets approximately four hours per week. Liberal arts courses are offered days, evenings, and Saturdays.At the beginning of each term you will receive a detailed schedule giving the exact time and location of all your classes. The College requires that all students be prepared to take classes and receive services at any of NEIT’s locations where the appropriate classes and services are offered.When a regularly scheduled class falls on a day which is an NEIT observed holiday (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day), an alternate class will be scheduled as a make up for that class. The make up class may fall on a Friday. It is the student’s responsibility to take note of when and where classes are offered.
  2. How large will my classes be?
    The average class size is approximately 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  3. How much time will I spend in lab?
    Almost half of your technical courses consist of laboratory work. In order for you to get the most out of your laboratory experiences, you will first receive a thorough explanation of the theory behind your lab work.
  4. Where do my classes meet?
    Students should be prepared to attend classes at any of NEIT’s campuses: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campus or at an off-campus clinical/fieldwork/internship location.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?
    A candidate for admission to an associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized general equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements.
  6. How long should it take me to complete my program?
    To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you should take the courses outlined in the prescribed curriculum. For a typical six-term curriculum, a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months.To complete all your degree requirements in the shortest time, you should take at least one liberal arts course each term. Students who need more time to complete their curriculum may postpone some of the liberal arts courses until after the completion of the technical requirements. Students are provided up to two additional terms of study to complete the liberal arts requirements without any additional tuition assessment fee. During these additional terms of study, students are required to pay all applicable fees.Students may also elect to complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a special five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Quarters. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees.Students wishing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.
  7. Is NEIT accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  8. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?

    The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Student Affairs Office of the institution that they are transferring to for further information.

  9. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?
    Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at an accredited institution will be considered upon receipt of an official transcript for any program, biology, science, and mathematics courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the past three years and for English or humanities courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the last ten years. An official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students will receive a tuition reduction for the approved technical courses based on the program rate and will be applied against the final technical term of the curriculum’s tuition amount. No tuition credit is provided for courses which are not a part of the technical curriculum.
  10. What is the “Feinstein Enriching America” Program?
    New England Institute of Technology is the proud recipient of a grant from the Feinstein Foundation. To satisfy the terms of the grant, the university has developed a one-credit community enrichment course which includes hands-on community enrichment projects. The course can be taken for a few hours per term, spread over several terms. Students who are already engaged in community enrichment on their own may be able to count that service towards course credit.

  11. How many credits do I need to be eligible for Financial Aid?
    In order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award, you need to maintain at least 12 credits per academic term.

  12. What does my program cost?
    The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with your cost for books and other course materials. Students who decide to take more terms than the enrollment agreement describes to complete the technical courses in their curriculum will be subject to additional fees and possible additional tuition costs. Students who elect to take the technical portion of the degree requirements at a rate faster than the rate prescribed in the curriculum and the enrollment agreement will be assessed additional tuition.Students who require prerequisite courses will incur additional tuition and fees above those outlined in their enrollment agreement.If a student elects to take a course(s) outside of the prescribed curriculum, additional tuition and fees will be assessed.Remember, students who withdraw and re-enter, one time only, pay the tuition rate that was in effect for them at the time of their last day of attendance for up to one year from their last day of attendance. Second re-entries and beyond pay the tuition rate in effect at the time they re-enter. The most economical way for you to complete your college degree is to begin your program now and continue your studies straight through for the six terms necessary to complete your degree requirements.
  13. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?
    The Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing a job search strategy. Upon completion of their program, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates’ employment or a specific starting salary.
  14. Where will job opportunities exist?
    Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the most exciting aspect of this program is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities.
  15. Is there any state or federal licensing required in my field?
    No license is required for any of the careers which you will be preparing to enter.
  16. What kind of jobs will I be qualified to look for?
    Career opportunities for graduates of the Civil Engineering Technology Associate Degree program include entry-level positions with:

    • civil engineering firms in a support function
    • surveying firms
    • construction companies or construction management firms as estimators
    • construction subcontractors as estimators
    • material testing firms
    • municipalities in their drafting/engineering/public works/planning departments
    • site development companies as drafters
    • corporations who manufacture or sell construction products in their sales or drafting/engineering departments
  17. How much time will I spend on Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)?
    You will receive approximately 120 hours of formal training on CAD before the end of the fourth term of your program. In many of the other courses in the program, students will prepare both CAD  drawn projects.NEIT has found that the best way to learn a software package such as CAD is through the student’s independent practice. After you have received the formal introduction to CAD, you will work on your own exploring the CAD system. Faculty and lab assistants will be available to answer questions that come up for you; however, it is essential that you take personal responsibility for mastering the software package.
  18. Will I be able to continue toward a bachelor’s degree?
    Yes. Students who have successfully completed the Associates program in Civil Engineering Technology with a grade point average of 2.0 or better, may continue in the Bachelor Degree Program in Civil Engineering Technology (currently under development) or the Bachelor Degree Program in Construction Management.

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the Architectural Building Engineering /Interior Design Technology Programs Department; establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to these programs to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies to enter these fields. The successful student must possess the following skills and abilities or be able to demonstrate that they can complete the requirements of the program with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Cognitive Ability

  • Ability to interpret ideas and concepts visually and/or graphically
  • Ability to learn, remember and recall detailed information and to use it for problem solving.
  • Ability to deal with materials and problems such as organizing or reorganizing information.
  • Ability to use abstractions in specific concrete situations.
  • Ability to break information into its component parts.
  • Ability to understand spatial relationships.
  • Possession of basic math skills through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions using both the U.S. and Metric systems of measurement.
  • Ability to perform tasks by observing demonstrations.
  • Possession of basic keyboarding skills and knowledge of computer programs.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty and students.
  • Ability to demonstrate and use the knowledge acquired during the classroom training process and in the lab setting.

Adaptive Ability

  • Ability to maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with other members of the faculty and students in a responsible manner.

Physical Ability

  • Ability to stand and/or sit for long periods of time.
  • Ability to perform learned skills, independently, with accuracy and completeness.

Manual Ability

  • Sufficient motor function and sensory abilities to participate effectively in the classroom laboratory.
  • Sufficient manual dexterity and motor coordination to coordinate hands, eyes and fingers in the use of the computer, plotter and other equipment.

Sensory Ability:

  •  Visual
    • Acute enough to enable the adjustment of drafting equipment
    • Ability to properly distinguish colors.
    • Acute enough to read small print.
    • Acute enough to read small numbers on measuring instruments.