Civil Engineer Job Description

Civil Engineer Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a civil engineer. Feel free to use our job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a civil engineer.


Who is a Civil Engineer?

Civil engineers develop and supervise major infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, dams, tunnels, buildings, airports, water and sewage systems, and other major infrastructure projects.

Because they are the most visible engineering works, buildings and bridges are generally the first constructions that come to mind. Civil engineers, on the other hand, are responsible for less obvious contributions and inventions. We expect water to flow out of a faucet without considering that civil engineers made it possible, in many cases by developing systems that deliver water to towns from mountain springs that are hundreds of kilometers distant.

A civil engineer’s specific activities vary by subfield, and the career encompasses a wide range of sub-disciplines, as indicated below:

Architectural Engineering

Building and structural design with an emphasis on aesthetics is referred to as architecture. Architectural engineering is a branch of engineering that blends building design and aesthetics with a focus on long-term sustainability and usefulness.

Construction Engineering

Residential and/or construction projects are managed by construction engineers. They coordinate construction activities, supervise structural aspects, and conduct post-project inspections. On building design and on-site problem-solving, they collaborate closely with architects, architectural engineers, and engineering technicians. They’re also in charge of preparing studies that go through project viability and cost projections in depth.

Structural Engineering

As a Structural Engineer, your goal will be to ensure that the structures you build can endure the strains and pressures that use and the environment places on them. You’ll calculate stability, strength, and stiffness to ensure that the right materials are chosen for each project, whether it’s new construction, conversion, or renovation. You could take up housing projects, stores, offices, bridges and offshore rigs, theatres, museums, hospitals, or even space satellites as a structural engineer. This field of study offers a diverse range of work options.

Environmental engineers

They combine core engineering abilities with scientific disciplines of study such as chemistry, biology, ecology, geology, hydraulics, hydrology, and microbiology to develop environmentally-friendly engineering solutions to challenges. You’ll need a deep understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological principles that govern the local, regional, and global environments to thrive in Environmental Engineering. You will be responsible for designing and implementing solutions to challenges such as waste management, conservation, recycling, air and water pollution, sustainable development, and so on as an Environmental Engineer.

Water Resources Engineering

A Water Resource Engineer is responsible for designing, constructing, and maintaining structures, buildings, and infrastructures that govern and regulate water resources. As a water engineer, you may be responsible for ensuring that people have access to safe drinking water, designing efficient sewer systems, providing adequate protection from rising sea levels, and ensuring that water filtration, purification, or recycling plants are operating at peak efficiency, among other things.

Transportation Engineering

Is the application of scientific ideas and technical civil engineering procedures to help with the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of efficient transportation systems such as trains, motorways, ports and harbors, airports, and pipelines. Transportation engineers work all around the world to provide creative and practical transportation solutions.

Geotechnical Engineering

During the construction of engineering projects, geotechnical engineers study, monitor, and regulate activity in the earth’s crust. A career in geotechnical engineering comprises using scientific methods and engineering concepts to acquire, understand, and use knowledge of Earth’s crust and earth materials to solve engineering problems and design engineering works. Typically, you’ll be working on initiatives that have the potential to drastically alter the physical environment. For instance, big roadways, bridges, dams, tunnels, and other infrastructure projects.


Civil Engineer Job Description

Below are the civil engineer job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

  • Designing, managing, and developing small-scale or large-scale projects and maintaining them in a safe, timely, and sustainable manner.
  • Examining the situation on the ground and assessing the data (maps, reports, tests, drawings, and others).
  • Designing new projects by analyzing survey findings, long-term plans, maps, and other data.
  • Taking into account the budget, laws, and environmental threats during the risk-analysis step.
  • Creating cost estimates for materials, equipment, and labor and ensuring that they are under budget.
  • Estimating the length of time it will take to design and build a structure.
  • Finishing and submitting all permit applications to the proper agencies, as well as ensuring that projects are compliant at all stages of design and construction.
  • Supervising soil testing in order to determine the strength of the soil and the viability of constructing a structure.
  • Making project drawings and renderings using design software.
  • Managing infrastructure projects for repair and upkeep.
  • Following all rules and regulations, particularly those concerning permits and safety, and deliver technical files and other technical paperwork as needed.



– A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a similar discipline from an institution recognized by the Institution of Civil Engineers is required.

– A professional engineer’s registration/licensure may be necessary.

– A minimum of 5 years of industry experience may be required.

– Autodesk, AutoCAD Civil 3D, and MicroStation are examples of design tools that you should be familiar with.

– Knowledge of map-making and photo-editing software.

– Strong analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as a high level of computation and design accuracy.

– To guarantee project deadlines are reached, you must have excellent time management abilities.

– To effectively manage a diverse collection of professionals working on a single project, you’ll need strong leadership qualities.

– Ability to carefully and accurately manage multiple projects at once.


Essential Skills

Mathematical Knowledge

The ideas of mathematics can be applied to civil engineers’ daily tasks and routines. Engineering students must have a strong understanding of algebra, calculus, trigonometry, and geometry in order to succeed as civil engineers. A basic understanding of the fundamentals of statistics is beneficial in several areas of specialty, such as transportation engineering and water resources engineering.

Technical skills

Understanding and working knowledge of science is the cornerstone for any career in engineering, especially in the field of civil engineering. Chemists, physicists, biologists, and computer scientists are among those who fall within this category. Students pursuing professions in civil engineering now have an advantage because their formal undergraduate and graduate curriculum helps create the groundwork for their technical education. Some states, particularly when working with the public, also require civil engineers to get a Professional Engineer’s license (PE).

A qualified civil engineer should be able to solve civil problems, have a thorough understanding of design methodologies, and work with maps, drawings, and models, as well as CAD software and MS-Excel applications. Technical abilities that are required include:

  • Bar Bending schedule
  • Quantity surveying
  • Project billing
  • Estimation
  • Construction project management

Skills in Oral Communication

Oral communication is another important civil engineering ability. This requires the ability to properly listen to clients, officials, team members, and other skilled employees in order to understand their issues and needs. Civil engineers must also be able to communicate difficult technical knowledge to coworkers and other project stakeholders in a clear and straightforward manner.

Leadership Qualities

The civil engineers in charge of projects are mostly responsible for the projects’ outcomes. As a result, managers who supervise planners, technicians, technologists, surveyors, contractors, and others who contribute directly to projects must have strong leadership qualities. This includes the ability to organize and prioritize, manage time effectively, distribute work as needed, make confident and authoritative choices, and motivate all team members.

Communication Skills in Writing

Civil engineers at all levels must be able to communicate in written reports and communications in a clear and succinct manner. Civil engineers frequently collaborate with a variety of other specialists, including architects, urban planners, regional planners, and other technicians and tradesmen. Other components of the job may necessitate communication with elected officials, residents, and others who do not have engineering or science expertise. This wide range of communication necessitates civil engineers to write in a simple and basic manner for a wide range of readers.

Skills in Organization

Monitoring and evaluating the progress of work at a job site is one of the primary responsibilities of a qualified civil engineer. This includes ensuring that staff adheres to design papers, project plans, and other policies and procedures. Civil engineers with valid licenses are also the only people who can sign design documents for infrastructure projects. Civil engineers must have finely tuned organizational abilities because they are responsible for official project documentation, working on many projects at the same time, organizing project information, managing teams, and allocating resources.

Making a decision

When making judgments as a project leader and manager, a civil engineer must examine the available facts, conflicting constituent goals, professional ethics, financial duties, and safety considerations. They must have faith in themselves, their teams, and the facts available in order to make clear and effective judgments. Effective civil engineers also take responsibility for mistakes, learn from them, and steer the project in a new direction.

Problem-solving skills

Another crucial civil engineering talent is problem-solving. Engineers confront a lot of variables during the many stages of a project, such as planning and construction, that will influence the project’s progress and end. Engineers must use their knowledge, education, and experience to discover safe and cost-effective solutions to the problems that arise.


How to Become a Civil Engineer

  1. Obtain a Civil Engineering Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering are widely available and serve as the minimum educational need for entry into the field. Math, engineering, statistics, fluid dynamics, and architectural design courses are taken by civil engineering students. They study using a number of methods, including classroom lectures, internships or co-ops, and on-the-job training.

One out of every five civil engineers had a master’s degree in 2012, and the majority of those were in management or leadership positions. Coursework often covers the same areas as a bachelor’s degree but in greater depth. Through specialized coursework and a research project, students may have the ability to focus their expertise in a certain field.

Doctoral students typically desire to teach at the postsecondary level or work in high-level consulting positions. Candidates must complete a number of tasks as part of their degree requirements.

  1. Complete an internship in civil engineering.

To fulfill degree requirements, almost all programs require at least one semester or summer internship. Students use these opportunities to put theories they’ve learned in class into practice, learn practical skills, and receive insight into a field they might be interested in pursuing. These opportunities also benefit students’ future employment prospects by allowing them to network with other professionals, gain mentorship from a seasoned civil engineer, and maybe leverage their experience into a position after graduation. The bulk of internships takes place during a student’s junior or senior year.

  1. Choosing a specialization/focus

Because there are so many different areas of work in this industry, most students choose to concentrate on one. Construction engineering, structural engineering, land development, and use, transportation engineering, and geotechnical engineering are some of the most prevalent concentrations. Undergraduates often spend 12 to 18 credit hours studying specific topics in these fields, and some may even complete an internship in their chosen field.

  1. Pass Relevant Exams to Obtain Certification

Civic engineers who intend to provide public services must complete a series of processes in order to be officially licensed. Exams that are unique to each country exist. Find out what it requires and take the tests.

  1. Get a job

Individuals who participate in a lot of internships during college and complete the Engineer-in-Training phase are likely to have a large number of contacts in the profession as a result of their networking efforts. Because civil engineering still follows a modern apprenticeship model, getting into the first professional position is usually done through existing contacts. All students and interns should perform their best work, ask questions, develop practical skills, and network with as many people as possible.


Where to work

Construction companies

Civil engineers are employed by construction businesses at every stage of a structure’s planning, design, construction, and upkeep. The foundations of a structure are designed by geotechnical engineers, who are professional civil engineers who analyze soils and rocks. Structural engineers install the proper construction materials, such as masonry, wood, concrete, or steel, as well as structural systems such as beams, columns, and other components, to ensure that the structure can withstand the loads placed on it. Wind, earthquakes, snow, ice, and the loads associated with its future use and occupation are examples.


Civil engineers are employed at every level of domestic and industrial waste disposal in landfills by private sector enterprises and government agencies involved in landfill management. Engineers work on the landfill’s design, excavation, water, and leachate monitoring, and long-term operation. Civil engineers encapsulate the landfill and monitor gas and leachate emissions after it reaches capacity.

Water Utilities

Civil engineers are employed by water utilities at all levels of the water delivery chain in both urban and rural locations. Both sewer and irrigation systems are designed by them. Engineers must make certain that any water supply or waste disposal system they design does not harm wetlands, lakes, or streams.

Transportation companies

Highway design and safety management, mass transit system development, seaport and airport planning, and infrastructure management are all jobs that civil engineers work on for transportation corporations. These engineers have a graduate specialization in the transportation field and will work with clients from the private sector and government agencies to ensure projects are completed on time and under budget. They undertake feasibility assessments on the impact of traffic on a certain location or region.


Civil Engineer Salary Scale

In Nigeria, a Civil Engineer earns roughly 321,000 NGN per month on average. Salaries range from 154,000 NGN to 504,000 NGN (lowest to highest) (highest).

This is the average paid monthly, and it includes housing, transportation, and other benefits. Salary for Civil Engineers is dependent on factors such as experience, skills, gender, and region.

The average Civil Engineer pay in the United States is $70,515 as of November 29, 2021, with a salary range of $64,439 to $78,252. Education, certifications, supplemental abilities, and years of experience determine salary.

In the United States, a Civil Engineer normally earns roughly 88,700 dollars per year. Salaries range from 47,000 USD to 135,000 USD (lowest to highest) (highest).

This is the average paid annually, which covers housing, transportation, and other perks.  Civil Engineers are paid, depending on experience, skills, gender, and region.

Science, Technology, and Engineering

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