2024 Best Online Associate Degrees in Civil Engineering

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If you want to work with bridges, roads, buildings, water supplies, or other types of infrastructure, you may start by getting an online associate degree in civil engineering.

Associate Degrees in Civil Engineering

By earning a civil engineering associate degree, you’ll learn how to contribute to important projects in the public and private sectors.

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In addition to being ready for the workforce in 2 years or less, an associates may also give you a head start on a bachelors degree in this field.

Online Associates in Civil Engineering Degrees

Civil Engineer and Surveyor working

Civil engineers are professionals who help make everyday activities and modern conveniences possible.

With a career in this field, you might contribute to the construction of roads, the safety of bridges, or the supply of clean water in a city. A two year associates degree program will give you foundational knowledge for assisting civil engineers with their projects.

Civil engineering programs include classes on materials, soil, and water. You’ll also learn about specific areas of civil engineering, like highway construction, land development, and infrastructure planning. Other classes might introduce you to techniques for computer drafting, mapping, and surveying.

Like most engineering students, you’ll take advanced math and science courses. You might also engage in labs and practice your technical writing skills. Some programs even include internship components.

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These classes can help get your career off to a strong start. Once you’ve graduated, you can look for technician jobs in civic, materials, and environmental engineering sectors. Being a technician means that you’d be an assistant to engineers. You might keep records, set up materials, or check on local codes.

State and local governments often hire civil engineering professionals to oversee their infrastructure. A wide variety of industries need these services as well. You might find job possibilities in aerospace or automobile manufacturing, or you could work for a utility provider or a construction company.

Thanks to your classes on surveying and mapping, you may become an assistant in those fields as well. Your experience with drafting technology may also qualify you to work as a civil drafter.

For even more job opportunities, you may want to get a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field. Since you’ll have already completed most of the lower-level courses, it may take 2 years or less to finish your 4 year degree, depending on the bachelors program.

Civil Engineering Careers & Salaries

Civil Engineering Careers & Salaries

Civil engineering students often start as engineering technicians, and you would need to work under the supervision of a licensed engineer.

As a civil engineering technician, you would assist with building projects. These projects might be related to infrastructure, transportation, land development, or commercial facilities.

Your responsibilities might include running tests and creating diagrams. Other tasks could include maintaining records, ensuring code compliance, and calculating costs. Civil engineering is closely related to materials engineering and environmental engineering, so you may be able to work as a technician in either of those fields as well.

Other entry-level jobs for civil engineering students involve drafting, mapping, and land surveying. As a civil drafter, you’d use computer programs to draw up design plans. In a role as a mapping and surveying technician, you’d assist a surveyor or a cartographer.

Civil engineering includes many opportunities beyond these entry-level roles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in architecture and engineering are growing at a 3% rate and pay an average annual salary of $83,160. A few of the potential jobs for civil engineering graduates are listed below.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Construction Managers $97,180
Materials Engineers $95,640
Civil Engineers $88,570
Transportation Inspectors $78,400
Cost Estimators $66,610
Surveyors $65,590
Drafters $56,830
Civil Engineering Technicians $54,080
Environmental Engineering Technicians $51,630
Surveying and Mapping Technicians $46,200

With an associate degree, you’re most likely to get hired as a technician or a drafter. Even still, some companies do hire associate degree holders for jobs in cost estimation and transportation inspection.

If you go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering online or on campus, you may become a licensed civil engineer or surveyor. Eventually, you might even become an engineering manager.

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Many civil engineers take on projects like road or bridge construction. You may also qualify for materials or environmental engineering roles, especially if you’ve taken extra courses in those areas.

These job positions exist in both the government and the private sector. Civil engineering graduates don’t always hold engineering titles. With some training and experience, you may also qualify to become a surveyor.

Civil Engineering Curriculum & Courses

Civil Engineer working on his desk

Civil engineering technicians need to understand engineering principles and be familiar with processes and technology that can contribute to their work.

You will most likely learn about the following topics as part of your associate’s degree in civil engineering curriculum:

  • College Physics: In this science class, you’ll study vectors, heat, motion, and other topics that directly relate to engineering work.
  • Construction Principles: It’s critical that you learn how to be safe on the job, and it’s also helpful to develop good construction management skills.
  • Construction Materials: You’ll get to know the characteristics and applications of various engineering materials, such as concrete, soil, and metal.
  • Drafting for Civil Engineering: This course will teach you to use computer programs to draw out engineering plans.
  • Highway Construction: You’ll learn about building strong, safe roads, and you may cover bridges or other transportation-related infrastructure as well.
  • Soils: Understanding how to test and classify soils will prepare you to build long-lasting structures on various soil materials.
  • STEM Statistics: Engineering programs usually include one or more advanced math classes, such as this course on probability and linear regression.
  • Surveying: In a lab course on surveying, you’ll study geomatics, which is the science of collecting and managing geospatial data.
  • Technology for Engineering: Your time in this course will introduce you to software programs and other technology tools that can enhance your engineering abilities.
  • Water Management: This class will cover a variety of topics related to fluids, including flow, measurement, erosion, hydraulics, and wastewater management.

As you can see, it includes basic courses from related fields. It tackles material science and physics, much like those in an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering online program, or an introduction to software programming as those found in an online software engineering associates degree. You may do well in these classes if you’re good at math, science, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Admissions Requirements

Associates in Civil Engineering student studying online

Many two year programs have generous admission policies and accept most qualifying applicants. To secure your spot, you may need to submit the following items:

  • Personal information: The first step of applying to an institution usually involves filling out a form with contact information.
  • School records: High school or college transcripts or GED scores provide information about your academic history, so they may be required.
  • Test results: If required, you may need to submit ACT or SAT scores or take a placement test so the college can put you in the right classes.

Applications for associate degree programs can often be completed online.


Associate Degrees in Civil Engineering Accreditation

To ensure a great education, you should consider getting your online associate degree from a regionally accredited college. That means selecting a school that’s been approved by one of the seven regional accrediting agencies in the U.S.

Earning a degree from an accredited school can look good on your resume when you apply for jobs. Accredited studies may also help you gain admission to a bachelor’s program and receive credit for the classes you’ve already taken.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Associate Degrees in Civil Engineering Financial Aid

With student aid on your side, a college education can be within reach. To see if you qualify for government education funds, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may be eligible to receive loans or grants from the federal government and your state government.

Winning scholarships can be another way to enhance your assistance package. Some scholarship programs are offered specifically for engineering students. You might find others that are targeted toward students with your background, age, interests, or religious affiliation.

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Some employers help pay for school as well. If you are currently working, you may consider asking your human resources department about your eligibility. A college’s financial aid department may provide additional guidance regarding available scholarships and grants as well as the qualifications to apply.

What Can You Do with an Associates Degree in Civil Engineering?

Civil Engineer working in a construction

In an associate degree program for civil engineering, you’ll get ready to participate in the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, buildings, pipelines, and other parts of the built environment.

You may find work as a civil engineering technician who assists on an engineering team. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that job pays around $54,080 each year. There may also be opportunities for you to hold similar roles in environmental or materials engineering.

By the time you graduate with your associates, you’ll also know about drafting software, geomatics, and construction principles. You may become a drafter, a mapping assistant, or even a cost estimator.

Is an Associates in Civil Engineering Worth It?

Civil Engineers looking at a plan in a construction site

Yes, an associate degree in civil engineering is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 3% job growth in architecture and engineering occupations for the next 10 years, as fast as the average for all occupations. Common civil engineering careers in this field with an associates degree include civil engineering technician, surveying and mapping technician, and drafter.

If you want to study bridges, roads, and other components of the built environment, then civil engineering may be the field for you.

Universities Offering Online Associate’s in Civil Engineering Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Community College of Allegheny

Community College of Allegheny County

Community College of Allegheny’s Associate of Science in Engineering Technology program contains multiple electives that can help students focus their concentration areas in electrical, civil, or mechanical engineering.

Graduates of the program should be able to interpret quantitative data, apply critical thinking skills to engineering, and solve complex engineering equations.

  • AS in Engineering Technology – Civil Engineering Technology

The Community College of Allegheny County is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Community College of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia

The Associate of Applied Science in Engineering Technology program at Community College of Philadelphia prepares students to enter the workforce immediately after graduation in one of the following fields: electronics engineering, electro-mechanical engineering, electrical drafting, and civil engineering.

Popular courses include applied computer technology, AC and DC circuitry, and 3D printing.

  • AAS in Engineering Technology (Hybrid)

Community College of Philadelphia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Houston Community College

Houston Community College

Students enrolled in Houston Community College’s Associate of Science in Engineering Science program can select concentrations from either civil or environmental engineering.

In addition to general education requirements, students will take multiple physics and calculus classes. The curriculum also includes courses on programming, electric circuits, and differential equations. Electives are determined based on a student’s chosen concentration.

  • AS in Engineering Science – Civil/Environmental Engineering(Hybrid)

Houston Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Idaho State University

Idaho State University

Idaho State University’s Civil Engineering Technology program is ABET accredited and offers a few different degree and certificate opportunities. The school offers 1 or 2 year certificates in civil engineering, an AAS in Civil Engineering Technology, and even a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in the field. Minimum test scores are required.

  • AAS in Civil Engineering Technology

Idaho State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College

Students interested in civil engineering at Lansing Community College can earn their Associate of Applied Science degrees in the field through an online, flexible, and affordable format.

There are many scholarships and financial aid options available to students who qualify, and the school also offers free counseling and live, 24/7 online tutorial assistance.

  • AAS in Civil Technology

Lansing Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Midlands Technical College

Midlands Technical College

The civil engineering technology associate’s program at Midlands Technical College is ABET accredited and only 5 semesters long. After program completion, students should be able to apply STEM skills, knowledge, and techniques to engineering problems.

Students should also be able to design solutions to technical problems, communicate well with others, and conduct standard engineering tests and experiments.

  • Associate’s in Civil Engineering Technology

Midlands Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Northcentral Technical College

Northcentral Technical College

Northcentral Technical College’s civil engineering technology associate program features a curriculum that includes CAD training, surveying, and lots of hands-on, real-world experience in the field. A capstone project is required of each student, and students also have the option to intern with one of the school’s industry partners if they’re interested.

  • Associate’s in Civil Engineering Technology

NTC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Seminole State College of Florida

Seminole State College of Florida

After earning their degrees, students in Seminole State College of Florida’s Associate of Arts in Civil Engineering program will have the ability to transfer to other universities or continue into the school’s civil engineering bachelor’s program. The curriculum is math and science heavy and includes plenty of introductory engineering courses.

  • AA in Civil Engineering

Seminole State College of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your Associates Degree in Civil Engineering Online

Associates Degree in Civil Engineering Online student studying in a café

Civil engineering professionals keep the modern world running smoothly. Your involvement may contribute to safe roads, clean water, sturdy buildings, consistent power supplies, or accurate maps. If you’re good at thinking in technical terms, you may find this to be a satisfying career choice.

Earning an online associates degree in civil engineering may be a great way for you to get started in this field. For an education that suits your busy life, consider enrolling in an online, regionally accredited program.

In just 2 years or less, depending on your program, you can gain skills that may help you find work as an engineering technician, a drafter, a surveying assistant, and more.

Ready to start your journey?
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.