Careers In Construction Engineering – Civil Engineer
Jason Cachia details the role of the civil engineer, the job description, salary projections, essential skills and qualifications and career opportunities.
Civil engineers work in a number of specialist areas of engineering including: structural, transportation, municipal, environmental, maritime and geotechnical. It’s all about planning, designing and managing projects, without which our world today would be unrecognisable.
While there are many famous civil engineers like Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and notable feats of civil engineering such as The Shard, there are also many unsung heroes without whom our daily lives would be much harder.
Civil engineers not only design amazing structures, the also maintain and adapt our infrastructure: roads, railways and bridges; energy and water supply; waste networks and flood barriers.
Civil Engineer – Job Description
Civil engineers often fall into one of two categories: those who work as consultants on the design elements of a project, and those who work as contractors managing a project on-site.
- Conduct technical review of tender documents.
- Raise technical queries where information conflict exists or is missing, and act on responses.
- Investigate value engineering options, and assess risk and opportunities during all tender stages.
- Plan requirements with the client and team.
- Analyse survey, testing and mapping data using computer modeling.
- Create blueprints using computer aided design (CAD)
- Judge feasibility by looking at costs, time and labour requirements
- Assess environmental impact.
- Prepare bids for tenders and report to clients, public agencies and planning organisations.
- Manage and monitor progress during each stage of a project.
As with all other engineering jobs you’ll need to love numbers, science and be a bit of an IT geek! Problem-solving skills are essential, as is the ability to the ability to analyse large amounts of data, and assess solutions. You’ll also need excellent communication skills and be confident in decision-making. You’ll be working as part of a team and therefore need to be a team player, as well as being able to manage budgets and deadlines.
Qualifications And Experience
Following a three-year Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) Degree or a four-year Master’s (MEng) Degree in Civil Engineering, most graduates join a graduate programme and work from there work their way up the career ladder.
Alternatively with a BTec level 3 in civil engineering you can progress to a higher national diploma, a foundation degree in civil engineering or a university degree. BTec can be studied for as part of an apprenticeship scheme.
After gaining a qualification, the next step is to become professionally qualified as a chartered engineer (CEng), incorporated engineer (IEng) or engineering technician (EngTech). A period of working in the industry to gain experience, followed by a professional review, is the route to this.
Continued Professional Development
CPD is essential for anyone working as an engineer, ensuring that you keep up-to-date with new technologies, developments and changes to rules and regulations. Read our post on CPD for further information.
Many Incorporated or Chartered Engineers go on to a senior career in project management, research or work as a consultant.
- Graduate salaries start between £17,000 and £25,000 a year.
- More experienced engineers earn between £25,000 and £40,000 a year.
- Senior Chartered Engineers can earn between £50,000 and £80,000 a year.
If you are looking for a position as a civil engineer, or want to recruit one, get in touch with me at Energi People. You can also search for civil engineering vacancies here.