How to become a civil engineer
Do you enjoy maths, science, IT and love using computer software to design things? Maybe you should think about becoming a civil engineer. What to learn how?
What is a civil engineer?
Civil engineers are responsible for planning, designing and supervising construction projects. They are also tasked with overseeing the building and upgrading of different infrastructures such as roads, airports, schools, energy plants and shopping malls. They explore the feasibility of these projects in terms of cost, time and labour requirements, and assess the environmental impact and risks involved. The skills and expertise of civil engineers cover a wide range of fields such as transportation, environmental, maritime and geotechnical.
As a civil engineer, you would work closely with clients and colleagues to meet the different planning requirements for the project you’re undertaking. You would also oversee and monitor the progress made throughout construction and then coordinate with clients, your team and relevant public agencies and planning organisations.
Civil engineering requires meticulous planning, confident decision making ability and excellent project management skills. It also requires advanced knowledge of maths and science. Civil engineers will increasingly use computer aided design technology and computer modelling software so they need to have a solid background in information technology and be computer-savvy.
As a civil engineer, you would need to discuss your design ideas and technical plans in a way that your client and co-workers can understand. You would be working with other professionals such as architects, surveyors and contractors so you must have good communication and social skills. Analysing large amounts of data and finding solutions for any issues the data indicates would be an important part of your role.
Hours and conditions
Civil engineers usually have regular working hours and clock in on weekdays. However, there may be instances in which you will be contacted out-of-hours to deal with urgent concerns involving the project. Some projects will also involve traveling, including overseas travel depending on the project. Generally your time would be spent either in an office, or on the project site.
How to become a civil engineer: qualifications
Civil engineers need to complete a degree in civil engineering at university. Entering these courses will require a senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. You may opt to take subjects like English, mathematics, chemistry and physics before entering university.
Engineers Australia www.engineersaustralia.org.au offers membership to engineering students. Once you graduate, you may apply for graduate membership.
To look at courses that will help you find a role as a civil engineer, check out
There are many employment opportunities for civil engineers in Australia and around the world. Current infrastructures are expected to age and it is up to civil engineers to make sure that they remain in good working condition. Governments rely on civil engineers to repair, rebuild and upgrade existing infrastructures as well as design new ones. Generally, there is strong growth projected regarding the employment of civil engineers.