In the following article, we will cover the details about the civil engineer job, including working hours, responsibilities, skills, and more.
Civil engineers have a range of responsibilities related to building structures of any kind.
They plan, build, maintain the projects working in the office and on-site.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Civil Engineer Do
Civil engineers deal with multiple aspects of construction projects.
Usually, several engineers are working on such a project.
Most of the time, they work on job sites monitoring the work and ensuring the project is going according to the plan and building codes.
Civil engineers are responsible for creating plans, calculating budgets and completion time, testing environmental impact and materials.
They also have to negotiate with government regulators, model parts with specific software, interact with architects, workers, and suppliers to keep things on track.
They should have highly technical education, but at the same time, they receive great payment and have positive job prospects.
- Creating project plans, including costs and completion dates by using various data sources and site analysis.
- Showcase the plan to government authorities to get approval and compliance.
- Obtain materials and labor keeping up with costs, quality, reliability and adherence to industry standards.
- Monitor the project to detect any potential mistakes and problems.
- Work with other team members to finish the design and assemble the project.
- Connect the project to the right infrastructure according to the safety codes and best practices.
Civil engineers need to be proficient in math and able to carry out complex mathematical modeling of physics of the structure.
They need to know how to use design and engineering software.
Civil engineers work with multiple professionals, manage workers, and report to bosses.
They have to get along with people of different backgrounds.
Civil engineers should communicate effectively whether they deal with drawing plans, relaying instructions, or making presentations.
How to Become a Civil Engineer
The first step to the career is obtaining a degree in civil engineering.
Engineering requires extensive education and experience, and more education later on.
Additionally, licensing permits, specialization and advancements are required for civil engineers who wish to move up the ladder.
You can find internships offered by many colleges, which help build connections and gain valuable experience.
Training and Qualifications
One can’t become a civil engineer without a civil engineering degree.
Reputable college programs usually place their graduates in prestigious and higher-paying jobs.
This can be a tough process, as for these programs, you need to take advanced math and physics courses.
In some colleges, civil engineering programs are general while in others, you can get specialization in specific areas of civil engineering.
Upon graduation and starting the job, civil engineers can obtain a Professional Engineer license.
To get it, you need to have four years of experience and pass two separate examinations.
With this license, you can take on supervisory positions without the need to report to superiors as much.
Your importance in the project will be greater, so the salary will be higher as well.
In this position, you will be managing teams of engineers and other professionals.
Experience is a significant factor for a civil engineer.
It can’t be a replacement for the bachelor’s degree, but it can influence your chances of getting the job greatly.
Successful work on projects brings greater comfort and experience with the problems that engineers may face.
That means they will be able to find the solution faster.
Besides, for the PE license, you need to have at least four years of work experience.
However, it’s not mandatory, and not all engineers apply for it.
With more work experience, a civil engineer can learn about various types of projects they are interested in.
Civil engineers working hours can vary.
They may have to work on the weekends or late in the evening when they need to meet deadlines, especially if the projects are behind.
In general, civil engineers work full-time.
As a junior engineer, you will have to put in extra hours.
For those who wish to advance in their career, the first step is to obtain the PE license.
With it, you can move into the management tier.
Professional Engineers can work as project managers and other managers as well.
Often, they work on several projects simultaneously, moving from one to another during their workday ensuring everything is going as planned.
More experienced engineers can work on larger and more advanced projects.
They can also get specialization and expertise in a particular field.
It can be more rewarding and higher-paying.
Now, the median salary of a civil engineer is $63,830.
Renewable energy projects and the maintenance of aging bridges, highways, and infrastructure are the two most important emerging fields for civil engineers today.
A career in civil engineering is well-paid and has good prospects.
However, there are many barriers you can face on the way, such as difficult college programs.
The job of a civil engineer includes planning, managing, and maintaining a project, which brings multiple responsibilities.
The Professional Engineer license and specialization in a specific area are the ways to advance up the career ladder.
Advancements are available with four to five years of experience.
Master’s degrees can also help engineers learn more advanced topics and aspects.