Become a civil technician

Published on August 25th, 2011
Become a civil technician

What exactly do you do?
I am currently working for VelaVKE Consulting Engineers in the transportation division, where we do all types of transport-related designs. These normally entail new road projects, rehabilitation of existing roads and all other transport-related projects.

Why did you decide to study civil engineering?
I started my high school career at HTS Bellville where we went through the various technical fields in grades 6 and 7, such as:
Motor mechanics
Electrical engineering
Civil engineering
Woodwork
Welding and metalwork

We had to choose between the various fields in grade 10 and my interest was civil engineering. My career started from there.

How did you get here?
I completed high school and went to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Cape Town campus to do my national diploma in civil engineering. This diploma consists of three year’s full-time studies and an optional fourth year to obtain a baccalaureus degree (B-Tech). I am currently working full-time and doing my B-Tech degree part-time.

What subjects did you need to pursue your career?
Maths and science are very important subjects to obtain good marks for in your high-school career in order to be accepted at any tertiary institution. The subjects done at the tertiary institution are all very important.

What drives you crazy?
It would have to be travelling to work in N1 traffic to Cape Town CBD.

What’s the best part of your job?
When a project is complete and you drive on the road you spent months designing. It is a good feeling because of all the effort I put into the project. I am currently in the consulting field, where I sit in an office and tea or coffee is served every two hours.

Is there anything that still baffles you?
Once you start working in the civil engineering industry and start to specialise in a certain field, then a lot of the subjects you did while studying become unusable.

Tell us about a challenge you faced that you solved using your knowledge and skills…
I face challenges every day. The only way to successfully complete these challenges is to stay positive and motivated.

Did you enjoy maths and science at school?
These are the two subjects I got the highest marks for, especially in grade 11 when I obtained the highest marks for these two subjects for the entire grade.

What are your favourite gadgets?
My BlackBerry and my laptop.

Any words of wisdom for aspiring civil engineers?
Always work hard, stay positive and be confident and organised in everything you do. Keep all your study material – you will need it someday in your working career. Civil engineering is a great field to specialise in as a career and one gets exposed to a lot of interesting things, especially the things you always wondered about when you were younger. Always set some goals in your life and follow up to accomplish them successfully. Good luck with planning your future!

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