Civil engineers have the important role of planning, designing and managing construction projects.
The Role
  • Typically you would choose to specialise in a particular area; Structural (dams, buildings, offshore platforms and pipelines), Transportation (roads, railways, canals and airports), Environmental (water supply, drainage and flood barriers), Maritime (ports, harbours and sea defenses), Geotechnical (mining, earthworks and construction foundations)
  • Assisting with site investigations
  • Developing detailed designs
  • Assessing the potential risks of specific projects
  • Communicating and liaising effectively with colleagues and architects, subcontractors, contracting civil engineers, consultants, co-workers and clients
  • Thinking both creatively and logically to resolve design and development problems
  • Managing budgets and other project resources
  • Managing change, as the client may change his or her mind about the design
  • Ensuring relevant parties are notified of changes in the project
  • Attending public meetings to discuss projects, especially in a senior role
  • Using computer modelling software to analyse data
  • Preparing bids
  • After working as a Civil Engineer, you could become a Senior or even a Principal Engineer. These roles normally require Chartership with the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE), and are amongst the most senior jobs available in Civil Engineering, where you would specialise in a particular area of engineering.
  • Newly trained civil engineers can earn in the region of £20,000 - £40,000
  • Trained with experience civil engineers can earn in the region of £40,000 - £60,000
  • Senior, chartered or master civil engineers can earn in the region of £60,000 - £80,000
Salaries typically depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status.
Qualifications & Training
You usually need a three year Bachelor of Engineering degree or four year master's degree in civil engineering. If you want to take up incorporated or chartered engineering jobs, these qualifications are important. To get on a degree course you need at least five GCSEs (grade A to C) and three A-levels including Maths and a science subject (normally Physics). If you already work in the industry as a technician, you could qualify as a civil engineer by studying part time for a BTEC HNC/HND, foundation degree or degree in civil engineering or through degree apprenticeships in construction. To become a senior or principle civil engineer you will need to have worked on significant construction projects and for a number of years as a civil engineer. You will usually also need to have had completed an undergraduate degree and in some cases a master’s degree in civil engineering as well as have chartered status.