Approved by Public Policy and Practice Committee on February 2, 2022
Adopted by the Board of Direction on March 5, 2022


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recognizes there are a variety of members of the civil engineering (CE) project team which include these general categories: Civil Engineer Professionals, Engineering Specialists, Engineering Technicians, and a cadre of support personnel. ASCE defines each as follows:

  • Civil Engineer Professionals - A person who has completed formal education in engineering, consistent with the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (CE BOK) and holds professional engineering licensure or discipline specific engineering licensure, as specified by an appropriate licensing authority. A person working as a civil engineer professional has demonstrated competence as defined by the CE BOK
  • Engineering Specialist – A person who performs engineering work, while working under the direct project control and personal supervision of a Civil Engineer Professional. A person obtains status as an Engineering Specialist through the attainment of a BOK, such as the Civil Engineering Technologist Body of Knowledge (CE TBOK) achieved through a combination of formal education, experience, and/or other requirements (i.e.., examination, certifications) as specified by a credentialing/certifying body and is capable of being a member of the civil engineering project team assisting in the evaluation of an engineering problem. A person working as an Engineering Specialist shall be capable of remembering and comprehending engineering principles in the performance of engineering tasks.
  • Engineering Technician – A person who performs task-oriented scientific, engineering or construction related activities, as well as exercises technical judgments commensurate with those tasks. A person working as an Engineering Technician can work under the direct project control and personal supervision of a Civil Engineer Professional, or direction of an Engineering Specialist. A person obtains status as an Engineering Technician through the combination of education, experience, examination(s), and/or other requirements as specified by an appropriate credentialing/certifying body. A person working as an Engineering Technician is expected to remember applicable principles and specifications toward the performance of a task.
  • Support Personnel – A variety of science based trained professionals in fields complementary to civil engineering and which, on the basis of education, training, and experience, are capable of providing the requisite support to help the Civil Engineering Team to complete a project. Such Support Personnel may include, but are not limited to, Biologists, Paleontologists, Aerial Drone Pilots, and Chemists.


Not all members of the civil engineering workforce can be characterized as engineering professionals, specialists, or technicians. These members include individuals in the developmental stages of becoming specialists or technicians and those who are critical to the success of the civil engineering enterprise, but who do not necessarily have an engineering education. This latter group may include individuals such as contract specialists, resource managers, marketing, and other business-related specialties.


ASCE considers it is essential to improve the utilization, recognition, and to support all of the members within the civil engineering project team. Therefore, it is critical that the roles of each team member be properly defined and that appropriate requirements for entry into the CE workforce, including continuing education, career advancement, licensure and/or certification, as well as conforming BOKs are delineated and implemented. The health, safety, and welfare of the public is best assured by assigning the segments of civil engineering work to the members of the CE workforce that are most qualified to complete them.

ASCE Policy Statement 535
First Approved 2011