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Civil Engineering Technology, a high demand Workforce Education training program
Posted: 7/29/2013 Civil Engineering Technology (CET) is one of the high demand Workforce Education training programs available at Centralia College. This is a two-year program that prepares students to jump into engineering, surveying, or construction support employment right after graduation.

A high demand designation usually implies that forms of financial aid could be available.

An introductory CET course is being offered fall quarter, which begins Sept. 23.

Civil Engineering students get right to the meat of what engineering technicians, surveyors, materials testing consultants, construction inspectors, land planners, or public works employees do on a day to day basis. Classroom and fieldwork assignments are almost identical to real world engineering and surveying practices.

Centralia College CET students focus on the fundamental principles of math and English so by the end of the program, students are able to design roads, storm drainage systems, water and waste water systems, and large earthwork projects. Students lay out commercial developments and residential plats and use industry standard Autodesk software (i.e., AutoCAD) to complete their designs in the same way they would on their first job.

The Centralia College CET program is diverse. Students perform technical survey tasks in both the office (calculations, drafting, note reduction, etc.) and in the field (using instrumentation and equipment to collect data and layout construction stakes).

On the engineering side, students learn to evaluate and design a land development project from start to finish, including tasks in land planning, permit processing, site evaluation, civil design (roads/utilities/dirtwork/storm drainage), and construction inspection.

Students use industry standard tools, computer-aided drafting software, and manuals to complete designs and accomplish these tasks; these are the same tools used in a job as an engineering technician. Students also learn lab techniques in soil and concrete testing.

Engineering coursework follows the standards for environmentally conscious design in land development, and students learn to design facilities with minimal impact to the environment.

Because the CET program at Centralia College is broad, it really gives students opportunity for different kinds of employment. They are not locked into just being a surveyor or a materials tester or an engineering technician or a drafter; graduates could do any of them.

Any student with good problem-solving skills and solid communication skills should be successful in finding employment; those are skills that all employers (not just engineering related jobs) are looking for.

Further, graduating CET students can continue their education to obtain their bachelor’s degree. Going to Evergreen and getting a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies makes students even more marketable. Now, they have the engineering/surveying/construction knowledge from Centralia College AND the environmental background, which sets them up for any number of engineering or environmental planning/conservation positions at both private and public agencies (cities, counties, state).

Starting wages are anywhere from $15 to $22 an hour for most positions. Generally, the more certifications you have, the more you can make. Typical pay for a state licensed, professional engineer in this area is between $35-45 an hour with full benefits.


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