A civil engineering degree prepares you for work in the construction industry as
well as in the business, management and financial sectors.
What do civil engineers do?
People see and feel the effects of civil engineering daily. Civil engineers develop
and improve the services and facilities we use every day: from supplying energy
and clean water to homes, to processing and recycling waste, to finding solutions
to problems like pollution.
Civil engineers design and build bridges, roads, railways, and tunnels. They design
and build complicated structures and large buildings such as multi-storey car parks,
train stations, stadiums, hospitals and airports.
What skills do you need to become a civil engineer?
As a civil engineer you would need planning and designing skills as well as the
ability to manage a variety of construction projects. You could work on everything
from bridges and tall buildings to transport links and sports stadiums. If you are
interested in designing and building things then civil engineering could be the
perfect job for you.
To become a civil engineer you will need excellent maths and IT skills. You'll also
need to be able to explain design ideas clearly and be well organised. Ideally,
you would need to complete a degree or postgraduate master's degree in civil engineering.
Duties of Civil Engineers
Duties of Civil Engineers
- Civil Engineers analyze long range plans, survey reports, maps, and other data to
plan and design project.
- Civil Engineers consider construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental
hazards, and other factors during the planning and risk-analysis stages of a project.
- Civil Engineers compile and submit permit applications to local, state, and federal
agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations.
- Civil Engineers oversee and analyze the results of soil testing to determine the
adequacy and strength of foundations.
- Civil Engineers analyze the results of tests on building materials, such as concrete,
wood, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects.
- Civil Engineers prepare cost estimates for materials, equipment, or labor to determine
a project's economic feasibility.
- Civil Engineers use design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic
systems, and structures in line with industry and government standards.
- Civil Engineers perform or oversee surveying operations to establish building locations,
site layouts, reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction.
- Civil Engineers manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private
Civil engineers also must present their findings to the public on topics such as
bid proposals, environmental impact statements, or property descriptions.
Many civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions ranging from supervisor
of a construction site to city engineer, public works director, and city manager.
As supervisors, they are tasked with ensuring that safe work practices are followed
at construction sites.
Other civil engineers work in design, construction, research, and teaching. Civil
engineers work with others on projects and may be assisted by civil engineering
Civil engineers prepare permit documents for work on projects in renewable energy.
They verify that the projects will comply with federal, state, and local requirements.
These engineers conduct structural analyses for large-scale photovoltaic, or solar
energy, projects. They also evaluate the ability of solar array support structures
and buildings to tolerate stresses from wind, seismic activity, and other sources.
For large-scale wind projects, civil engineers often prepare roadbeds to handle
large trucks that haul in the turbines.
Civil engineers work on complex projects, and they can achieve job satisfaction
in seeing the project reach completion. They usually specialize in one of several
Construction engineers manage construction projects, ensuring that they are scheduled
and built in accordance with plans and specifications. These engineers typically
are responsible for the design and safety of temporary structures used during construction.
They may also oversee budgetary, time-management, and communications aspects of
Geotechnical engineers work to make sure that foundations for built objects ranging
from streets and buildings to runways and dams, are solid. They focus on how structures
built by civil engineers, such as buildings and tunnels, interact with the earth
(including soil and rock). In addition, they design and plan for slopes, retaining
walls, and tunnels.
Structural engineers design and assess major projects, such as buildings, bridges,
or dams, to ensure their strength and durability.
Transportation engineers plan, design, operate, and maintain everyday systems, such
as streets and highways, but they also plan larger projects, such as airports, ship
ports, mass transit systems, and harbors.