Engineering Career Resources

Civil Engineer Job Description

Civil Engineer Job Description

Civil engineers are responsible for a variety of tasks that involve the creation of large constructions and infrastructures such as highways, buildings, canals, bridges, roads, dams, and tunnels. Within these jobs, civil engineers perform many duties that include design, testing, researching, managing, and analyzing the costs associated with a particular engineering project. Civil engineers may also have to create budget plans to present to government officials or the public for approval. They also often oversee surveys and evaluate potential future construction projects. Civil engineers often work in offices where they design various infrastructures using engineering software. If they are not in the office, civil engineers are out in the field where they oversee projects and perform evaluations. Most civil engineers are employed by either the state government or a local government. There are several types of civil engineers, and they specialize in certain areas of the field such as construction engineering, transportation engineering, urban engineering, structural engineering, control engineering, coastal engineering, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, and materials engineering. Earthquake engineering also falls under the broader branch of civil engineering, and is a subdiscipline of structural engineering. Earthquake engineers design structures that will perform at earthquake exposure.

The general branch of civil engineering is also known as site engineering. Site engineers are usually tasked with repurposing tracts of land for a different usage.


In addition to education and licensing procedures, there are a number of important qualities a civil engineer should have in order to succeed in this field. For example, a high aptitude towards math, physics, geophysics, and design is crucial for success.

Civil engineers must have excellent analytical and problem solving skills, and project management skills can become a huge asset after a few years of working in the field.

Also, communication and leadership skills are important to the success for a career in civil engineering, as civil engineers work closely with surveyors and other experts in related fields.


Civil engineers must hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering, but is can also be beneficial to pursue further education. A master’s degree is required for most supervisory or managerial civil engineering positions. In addition to an academic degree, a license is also required to be a professional engineer that involves passing an examination and obtaining a position for an engineer-in-training status or internship. After completion of the training program, a civil engineer must pass chartership examinations to complete the licensing process to become a chartered engineer, a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.


Civil engineers are typically involved in designing infrastructure within their given terrain, which can include water supply, drainage systems and sewers, pavements, electric supply, and communications among other things. They visit project sites and do the research necessary to prepare construction plans.

Day-to-day duties will vary from one branch to another. Geotechnical engineers, for instance, will typically deal with the rock and soil that structures and infrastructures are supported by, while environmental engineers will focus on the treatment of chemical waste, water purification, or remediation of sites contaminated by waste disposal. Transportation engineers will be tasked with designing and constructing the transportation infrastructure, and urban engineers will mostly be concerned with designing or maintaining streets, public parks, sidewalks, and other municipal infrastructure.