Civil Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Civil Engineer, or Engineering Consultant, plays an important role in creating, maintaining and protecting the environment to make it habitable and conducive for economic and social activities. The duties of Civil Engineers include designing, planning and supervising construction projects, including roads, bridges, building construction and railways.

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Civil Engineer duties and responsibilities

Depending on whether the Civil Engineer is a contractor or consultant, they can either work in an office, creating blueprints and analysing data required on the site, or in the field. They also measure the potential financial, environmental and socio-economic costs of projects and materials and perform a series of assessments to ensure projects are delivered on schedule within budget. Some important duties and responsibilities of Civil Engineers include:

  • Performing technical and feasibility studies, including analysing maps, survey reports, plans and related data to create and design civil engineering projects.
  • Determining construction costs, local and professional building regulations, environmental impacts and other factors that can affect project implementation.
  • Carrying out extensive environmental impact assessments and identifying potential risk factors that can affect project delivery.
  • Using engineering computer software such as MATLAB and AUTOCAD to develop detailed project blueprints.
  • Collaborating with professionals such as Architects and Engineers or clients.
  • Enforcing engineering, local and legal regulations like health and safety protocols on-site.

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What does a Civil Engineer do?

Civil Engineers conceptualise, design and manage construction projects such as residential buildings, public infrastructure such as airports, dams, power plants, roads, stadiums, railways, harbours and water systems. Civil Engineers maintain civil engineering structures and play a pivotal role in the environment’s protection.

Depending on their experience and the project, Civil Engineers can work in a contracting or consulting role. Consultant Civil Engineers design the layout and frameworks of civil engineering projects. Contractor Civil Engineers use these designs to deliver structures on the site. The job responsibilities of Civil Engineers depend on their specialty as a consultant or contractor.

Civil Engineer skills and qualifications

A successful Civil Engineer candidate has various prerequisite skills and qualifications they typically include:

  • Working knowledge of design software, including AutoCAD Civil 3D,Autodesk and HydroCAD modelling
  • Experience in site layout, erosion control, utility design and environmental impact assessment
  • Proficiency in project management, cost control and problem solving
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Working knowledge of relevant regulations and legislation

Civil Engineer experience requirements

Civil Engineers may have a university degree, its equivalent or apprenticeships. School leavers with the requisite professional qualifications can also qualify for a civil engineering role if they have relevant job experience. Civil Engineers who specialise in consultancy should be proficient in creating blueprints with design software such as Autodesk and AutoCAD Civil 3D.

Civil Engineers must have a good understanding of the health and safety protocols of project sites and know how to navigate local building regulations. Capable Civil Engineers are also exceptional Project Managers. They know how to identify and mitigate risks and can deliver projects within budget and on time.

Civil Engineer education and training requirements

A Civil Engineer typically need a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering or other relevant discipline accredited by the Institute of Civil Engineers. These courses provide a strong background in core engineering subjects such as mathematics, building and construction technology and engineering design. Candidates should also have proven working experience in a civil engineering role and licensure as a Professional Engineer.

Some candidates do an apprenticeship while others leave school with relevant industry experience and credentials. Civil Engineers need accreditation from the Institute of Civil Engineers. Some roles may require candidates to have a Master’s Degree or get a Chartered Engineer Certification. Candidates can also have an Incorporated Engineer status along with many other industry-recognised certifications.

Civil Engineer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Civil Engineer is £35,575 per year. However, salary depends on factors such as job responsibilities, experience, location and the employer.

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Civil Engineer job description FAQs

What qualities make a good Civil Engineer?

The following attributes are important to look for in successful Civil Engineer candidates:

  • Organisational skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Technical expertise
  • Project management skills
  • Leadership skills

What should you look for in a Civil Engineer CV?

The most important things to look for in a Civil Engineer CV include:

  • Experience including projects, internships, research and field work
  • Technical skills
  • Leadership experience
  • Relevant education

What are the different types of Civil Engineer?

There are several types of Civil Engineers with titles based on their industry, including:

  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Water Engineer
  • Construction and Management Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Architectural Engineer

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