Civil engineering is one of the broadest and most established branches of engineering.

Civil engineers basically apply their knowledge and skills to address complex technical problems. They are involved in the planning, design and managing of engineering, structural and construction projects. It’s an interesting role where they get to work closely with other professionals like surveyors, architects and contractors. Their time is divided between office duties and being out in the field working on projects. As a hands on role, engineers are exposed to extremes of temperature, weather and terrain as well as potentially hazardous equipment.

It’s a diverse and exciting sector that offers excellent career opportunities, and is one where people will often specialise in a particular area such as transportation or environment. Opportunities exist in both in the private and public sector.

A Civil engineers duties can include;

  • Seeing a project through from initial concept to design and creation
  • Discussing a construction projects goals with clients, stakeholders and other professionals.
  • Creating blueprints using CAD and specialist software.
  • Undertaking feasibility studies.
  • Visiting contractors on site and overseeing work.
  • Designing, creating and maintaining infrastructure.
  • Writing up project documents and correspondence.
  • Purchasing construction material and equipment.
  • Leading teams of junior engineers.
  • Approving project drawings.
  • Making presentations to local municipalities, communities and contractors.
  • Provides project estimates.
  • Develops project schedules.
  • Evaluating a engineering projects progress and results,
  • Maintains appropriate records.
  • Checking the design calculations of others.
  • Ability to work with other Civil Engineers on multi-discipline teams.
  • Assisting in writing up engineering proposals.

Civil engineers should have sound knowledge or experience of;

  • Engineering fundamentals
  • The built environment
  • Project management
  • Cost estimating
  • Structural engineering
  • Administrative duties
  • Engineering Calculations

Civil engineers can work on;

  • Bridge repairs
  • Building new stadiums
  • Infrastructure systems
  • Road and motorways
  • Highway construction
  • Waste management
  • Transport links
  • Airports
  • Coastal development
  • Budget management
  • Water courses
  • Sewage systems
  • Ports, harbours and sea defences
  • Roadway improvements
  • Erosion control
  • Paving.

Reasons to become a Civil Engineer

  • You will be at the front line of helping people have a better quality of life.
  • Can find work all over the world.
  • Be involved in exciting projects that will have a real and positive impact on the environment, economy and communities.
  • Get to be involved in planning and building the physical world around us.
  • Ideal for anyone who is interested in protecting the environment or re-usable energy.
  • A very diverse profession where you can be involved in a wide range of projects.
  • Perfect for people who like solving practical problems.
  • It is considered to be the oldest engineering discipline, and commands a lot or respect.
  • You can work for a company or become self employed as a consultant.
  • You enter a industry where there are many opportunities for career growth into senior and management positions.
  • Employment opportunities exist in both the public and private sector.
  • Excellent wages for those who are starting out in the profession.

Key skills required;

  • Making the best use of resources.
  • Knowledge of relevant legal regulations.
  • Explaining design ideas and plans clearly to non-technical people.
  • Analysing large amounts of data, and assess solutions
  • Simultaneously leading and managing multiple projects.

Personal qualities needed

  • Having a natural curiosity about structural behavior and technical details.
  • Good teamwork abilities.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to work in extended outdoor conditions, adverse weather and rugged terrain.
  • Ability to work independently and as an integral part of a project team.
  • Ability to think critically.

Salary of a Civil Engineer
In the UK this can vary between £20,000 and £80,000, depending on experience, qualifications and ability.


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