Across British Columbia – and especially in the northern part of the province – there’s a critical shortage of civil engineering technologists. As a result, employment and career opportunities for people interested in the profession are at an all-time high.
A civil engineering technologist works closely with an engineer in the planning, design and construction of roads, bridges, subdivisions, buildings, municipal services and heavy infrastructure. The technologist, says Wil Moroz, “takes what’s on paper and what’s on the natural ground and makes the two fit.” To do that, the technologist spends a great deal of time on actual job sites and reports back to the engineer about what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not. Design sheets can then be revised accordingly and projects can proceed step by step toward successful completion.
Moroz is a civil engineering technologist and project manager at DWB Consulting Services in Prince George. Over the past 15 years, he has seen the shortage of technologists in B.C. grow increasingly severe, to the point where job responsibilities are becoming blurred.
“The engineers and the EITs (engineers in training) coming out of school are taking over technology positions,” Moroz says. “So as a graduating engineer, you’re forced into doing things like surveying, remedial design, drafting – those kinds of things at the start of your career – when really you should be learning the theory and the project management and those types of things that the engineers are supposed to be doing. Because there are few technologists out there, the engineers have started to fill those voids, and that’s a huge problem in my mind.
“The demand is there for civil engineering technologists, and potential students have a great opportunity to learn those skills locally and get to work.”
The College of New Caledonia offers a two-year Civil Engineering Technology diploma program in which students gain the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to work in the field of civil engineering, which has applications in industries such as construction, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and transportation. Moroz says ideal candidates for the program – and career – should have several qualities, including being self-motivated.
“That’s obviously big,” he says. “You have to have that ‘want’ to do the job. Sometimes it’s not nice. There are long hours, sometimes you’re put in tough positions, but you have to be able to push through a problem, be able to help figure out a problem, use your resources correctly.
“It’s got to be somebody who’s eager to learn and be encouraged by a job well done,” he adds. “And the best student is going to be well-rounded academically.”
Moroz graduated from the first incarnation of the CNC program and now has 30 years behind him as a civil engineering technologist. For northern-based students in particular, he sees the current CNC program as an excellent option.
“If you’re local, why would you spend all the money to go south to get taught the exact same stuff? Stay local,” he says. “Not only that, you’re going to find a job locally. Let’s say there are 10 companies in Prince George, all looking for civil technologists. That’s a lot of bodies. And they’re not looking for just this year, they’re looking every year. The north has exploded. You’re more likely to find a job up here than you are down south.”
Next start date: Fall 2021
Fees: Estimated at $11,260
Learn More about the Civil Engineering Technology Program
Read more about the program, admission requirements, and learn how to apply.