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Civil Engineering Technology

From highways to hospitals, learn how to plan, design, construct and maintain basic infrastructure.

A student in a safety vest and hard hat bends and looks through a piece of surveying equipment.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years

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Civil engineering technologists play an important role in the development and maintenance of our communities. Civil engineering involves the planning, designing, construction and maintenance of structures and altering geography to suit human needs in a way that is feasible and environmentally sustainable. Civil engineering technologists  work on various aspects of buildings, municipal infrastructure, highways, and earth works.

In this hands-on program you learn to apply engineering principles to analyze and solve complex technical problems. Skills include testing, analysis and design of materials and structural elements, designing municipal infrastructure, conducting land surveying, completing cost estimates and schedules, preparing 2D and 3D design drawings, as well as writing technical reports. You also gain knowledge in interpreting and applying the National Building Code as well as other standards and regulations pertinent to the practice of civil engineering.

This program prepares you to work with engineers, designers and construction project managers as an integral part of the engineering team. The long term path of many civil engineering technologists progresses into rewarding and challenging careers in leadership and management.

Work experience

  • Field experience is a mandatory credit course, providing you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
    • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
    • Co-op provides an opportunity for paid, full-time employment in a field related to your program.
    • Co-op takes place in third term and must be a minimum of 12 weeks and 420 hours.
    • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work experience are your responsibility.
  • For more information, visit work experience opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • You learn practical aspects of the program through state-of-the-art laboratory and field work.
  • Small class size means you get lots of one-on-one attention from the faculty and benefit greatly from their real-world experience and advice.
  • Study the theoretical concepts in class and then use those concepts for producing design drawings, computer models, calculations, and technical reports.
  • This program is accredited by Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC). TAC accreditation means that this program has been evaluated against standards designed by industry leaders across Canada and is recognized internationally. Graduates may be eligible for membership with TechNova, the certifying organization for Engineering and Applied Science Technicians and Technologists in Nova Scotia. 
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.

Other info

  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.


Seats are available for domestic applicants only. International applicants will be waitlisted.

September 2024

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus/Online
Full time Blended
Delivered through a combination of online and in-person classes. At least 50% of learning is in-person.
Seats available

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition amounts are for the 2024-25 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates have a variety of options for employment that include laboratory analysis and testing of materials, structural design, steel detailing, municipal design, project management, site surveying, technical sales, inspection of construction projects and technical writing.
  • Learn more about labour market information. View career options

Future study options

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

CADD 4019 - Revit Structure Level I
This course introduces students to the software’s user interface and the basic building components that make the Autodesk Revit® software a powerful and flexible structural modelling tool. The goal is to familiarize you with the tools necessary to create, document, and print your parametric model. Examples and practices are designed to reflect as many different building types as possible.

CETG 1001 - Environmental Science and Materials
This is a course that will introduce learners to the study of environmental issues as they relate to civil engineering. This course also includes preparatory topics for later courses in geotechnology and soil mechanics, timber design, structural steel design, and concrete.

CETG 1002 - Mechanics of Materials
This course covers the basics of strength of materials as required for structural design subjects. Topics include properties of materials, centroid, moment of inertia, effects of forces on deformable bodies, and beam analysis of internal force effects for shear, bending and deflection.

CETG 1003 - Structural Analysis
This course covers the basic concepts of structural analysis which forms an integral part of the structural design process. Topics include loadings, layout and structural theory.

CETG 1006 - Civil Engineering Materials
This is one semester course that includes the uses, properties, preparation and testing of aggregates and concretes, both Portland and Asphaltic.

CETG 1008 - Construction Estimating
This course will give the learner an introduction to the process of determining material quantities and of estimating the costs of inputs such as labour, materials and equipment needed to complete a construction project. The bidding process will also be reviewed.

CETG 1009 - Surveying
This course introduces the basic principles of surveying. Mathematical techniques will be used to adjust field data. Particular emphasis will be placed on field note format and the use of survey equipment.

CETG 1010 - Surveying Field Work
This course introduces learners to advanced survey techniques for civil design and construction. The learner gets hands-on experience with total stations and data collectors to capture and process field data, and to place construction stakes. Learners will develop skills associated with curve and coordinate geometry calculations, topographic surveys and municipal surveys. An introduction to GPS and control systems will be provided.

CETG 1011 - Municipal Design I
This is the first semester of a two-semester course designed to introduce learners to the design of municipal services. Topics include municipal road design, design of storm and sanitary sewers, and water main systems. Emphasis will be placed on the preparation of design calculations to meet industry standards. These topics are incorporated into a detailed design of a small subdivision.

CETG 1014 - Engineering Regulations
This course will introduce the learner to existing regulations, design guidelines & required approvals related to municipal infrastructure design. The course is intended to provide the learner with a background on the types of information available from regulatory agencies for Municipal design and construction.

CETG 1015 - Geomechanics I
This is part one of a two-semester course that covers basic geotechnical properties of soils required for an engineering evaluation of a proposed construction site. Laboratory tests required for the classification and assessment of soils for construction purposes are included. Soil exploration, engineering properties, effects of ground water and stress distribution are covered in part one. Part two covers soil settlement, shear strength, foundations, and slope stability.

CETG 1017 - Technical Research Report I
This is the first of two closely-related courses designed to give learners an opportunity to bring the range of skills and knowledge in Civil Engineering Technology together in the completion of the Senior Civil Engineering Technology Design Project. Learners will start developing their Senior Civil Engineering Technology Design Project in the Fall semester of the senior year as part of CETG 1017. Learners will complete their Senior Civil Engineering Technology Design Project in the Winter semester through the completion of course CETG 1117 (Technical Research Report II). In this first course (CETG 1017), learners will select an appropriate civil engineering technology topic in concert with their technical faculty, establish good working relationships with an external mentor (where possible) to facilitate working on a “real world” engineering issue, develop a comprehensive project plan, including time lines, and benchmarks, as well as demonstrating an understanding of materials, labour, and costing issues associated with their design project. This project design will comprise the learner's Conceptual Design Report. The Conceptual Design Report and supporting presentation will be reviewed and critiqued by faculty towards the end of the semester to assist in the execution of the project schedule and the completion of the actual Senior Design Report in the Winter term.

CETG 1020 - Construction Management I
This course introduces learners to the construction project management duties as they relate to construction practices, contract documents, and quality control. The course focuses on phases of a project, stakeholders, project manager roles, project documents, record keeping, and conducting project meetings.

CETG 1021 - Construction Management II
This course introduces learners to construction project management duties as they relate to scheduling, resource allocation, budgeting, cost control, and project monitoring for design and construction projects. The course focuses on scheduling techniques, CPM scheduling, resource allocation, and budgeting. A major component of this course is project management using a common scheduling/project management tool, Microsoft Project.

CETG 1029 - Civil Engineering Graphics
This course introduces the tools, techniques and standards required to communicate graphically in the engineering industry. The focus will be on drawing of multiple views and geometric constructions and on conventions for civil engineering drawings. The ability to draw using accepted line work, lettering, layout and dimensioning techniques, will provide the basis upon which higher level courses will continue. Emphasis will also be placed on blueprint reading.

CETG 1039 - Civil Engineering CAD
This course deals with the production of Civil Engineering working drawings using CAD. Learners will expand their basic knowledge of AutoCAD.

CETG 1103 - Structural Design I
This is a single semester course covering typical layouts, loadings and material properties associated with structural systems. Basic structural design principles will be introduced in the areas of structural steel, reinforced concrete and timber.

CETG 1105 - Geographic Information Systems
This course introduces the learner to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and applications. The emphasis will be hands-on computer use involving the manipulation and analysis of existing data.

CETG 1113 - Structural Design II
This is a single semester course covering typical layouts, loadings and design associated with structural systems. Basic structural design principles previously introduced in the areas of structural steel, reinforced concrete and timber will be enhanced throughout this course.

CETG 1115 - Geomechanics II
This is part one of a two-semester course that covers basic geotechnical properties of soils required for an engineering evaluation of a proposed construction site. Laboratory tests required for the classification and assessment of soils for construction purposes are included. Soil exploration, engineering properties, effects of ground water and stress distribution are covered in part 1. Part 2 covers shear strength, foundations, retaining structures and slope stability.

CETG 1117 - Technical Research Report II
In this second course (CETG 1117), you follow the approved project plan you developed in concert with faculty (and possibly with the assistance of an external mentor) during the fall term. Throughout the winter term, you will maintain professional liaison with your faculty (and other) mentor(s) to complete the “real world” engineering report you described in your Senior Civil Engineering Technology Research/Design project from CETG 1017. You will observe the project time lines and benchmarks you have placed in your project plan as you write the final report. For example, you will complete project updates, assemble all required data, complete all required calculations, reference appropriate standards and documentation as required, and construct all appropriate technical visuals. Each benchmark will demonstrate (as appropriate to the specific project) your understanding of such standard civil engineering technology matters as design criteria, materials, labour, and other costing issues associated with your project. Further, through your reports, you will demonstrate appropriate understanding of regulatory guidelines which your project must comply with. Appropriate recognition of any environmental issues associated with the project is expected. You will also develop a professional oral presentation of the project.

CETG 1119 - Municipal Design II
This is a project based course which applies concepts learned in CETG 1011 to complete the design of a 10 hectare urban subdivision using Civil 3D modelling software. Topics include the evaluation of existing conditions from survey data, road design, intersection and cul-de-sac design, lot grading, water main system analysis, and sanitary and storm sewer design. Emphasis will be placed on the preparation of drawings and calculations to meet industry standards.

CETG 3015 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

COMM 1245 - Technical Communications I
This course introduces students to the writing, oral presentation, critical thinking and interpersonal communications skills required of technical professionals in the workplace. The fundamentals of clear, concise writing and presenting will be reviewed and refined. Experience will be gained in organizing, writing and presenting technical information. In addition, career development skills and portfolio preparation will be discussed. There will be several opportunities, through assignments and lab work, to develop portfolio components. Students will learn how to collect appropriate work samples and documentation from other courses in the program as well as from other sources.

COMM 2245 - Technical Communications II
This course focuses on the interpersonal, written and oral technical communication skills necessary for working independently and as part of a team in a technical environment. Further skill development in written forms of technical documentation required for the workplace as well as report creation and oral presentation skills will continue to be emphasized. Team building principles, group dynamics and collaborative writing will be discussed. Students will participate in meetings and take responsibilities in a group project from its inception to completion and evaluation. Students will continue to enhance and apply their research skills and project management principles will also be introduced. Successful job interviews and the portfolio will be discussed.

ENGI 1015 - Engineering Problems and Statics
This is a single semester course covering the basic rules and laws of statics, forces, force systems, loading and load effects.

MATH 1032 - Engineering Statistics
This course introduces students to basic statistics and data management including probability and probability distributions. Topics include central tendency, measures of variation and position, basic rules for probability, binomial and normal distributions and hypothesis testing.

MATH 1055 - Calculus l
The course introduces learners to the study of differential and integral calculus. Differentiation topics include limits, slope of the tangent to a curve, differentiation by the delta process, derivatives of polynomials, applications involving derivatives, finding extrema and curve sketching. Integration topics include the concept of integrating polynomial functions and numerically approximating the area under a curve.

MATH 1070 - Applied Math for Engineering Technology
This course provides students with a basic understanding of applied mathematical principles for use by technicians and technology programs. Applied Math l is designed to cover basic algebra, geometry, functional notation, linear equations, quadratic equations, trigonometric functions, exponents, logarithms, complex numbers, analytic geometry and systems of equations. The use of computer software as a mathematical tool will be explored. Students will be encouraged to maintain a math journal that may become part of their personal College portfolio.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Safety Basics – Restricted Spaces
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with working in restricted spaces. The definition and potential hazards of restricted spaces are discussed The course material is infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Safety Basics – Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1022 - Safety Basics – Working at Heights
The student is introduced to hazards and responsibilities concerned with working at heights in the workplace. Guardrails, travel restraints, roof work, fall arrest components will be discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Safety Basics – Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces students to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the student is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Safety Basics – Respiratory Protection
This course introduces students to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion topics include identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

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