Occupation Information ( Construction Engineer, Engineer (Civil), Municipal Engineer )



Measuring a hydraulic jump in a water engineering lab


Civil engineers plan, design, construct, operate and maintain roads, bridges, dams, water supply schemes, sewerage systems, transportation, harbours, canals, dockyards, airports, railways, factories and large buildings.

Duties and Tasks

Civil engineers may perform the following tasks:
  • investigate sites to work out the most suitable foundation for a proposed construction
  • research and advise on the best engineering solution to meet with a client's needs and budget
  • produce detailed designs and documentation for the construction and implementation of civil engineering projects
  • organise the delivery of materials, plant and equipment needed for the construction project and supervise labour
  • develop detailed programs for the coordination of site activities
  • talk to other engineers, architects, landscape architects and environmental scientists
  • assist government bodies in preparing yearly works programs within set budgets (e.g. for works on car parks, drainage, roads, aerodromes or sewerage)
  • prepare engineering calculations required for the design of projects and supervise the drafting
  • operate computers to assist with the design of civil engineering projects
  • coordinate and direct research development and testing of materials, processes or systems related to civil engineering works
  • research, advise on and plan the control and minimisation of air, water and solid waste pollution, and the management of water
  • supervise the testing and commissioning of completed works
  • analyse and interpret reports on loading, labour, productivity, quality, materials and performance
  • analyse risks associated with natural disasters including wind, earthquake, fire and floods, and design structures and services to meet appropriate standards
  • arrange for geological and geophysical investigations and carry out feasibility studies.
Specialisations
Civil engineers usually work in one of the following areas: structural, water resources, soil and foundation, transport, town planning or construction.

A civil engineer may specialise.
Quick Facts

Work Conditions
They may work in offices or spend much of their time on site. They may be required to work long hours and meet strict deadlines while working under minimal supervision. Civil engineers deal with various professional, skilled and semi-skilled people.

Consulting and contracting engineers often travel interstate and some travel overseas. It may be necessary for some civil engineers to change residence every few years as their work takes them from one major engineering site to another.

Personal Requirements
  • able to identify, analyse and solve problems
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • aptitude for computing and design
  • practical and creative
  • able to work without supervision
  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to accept responsibility
  • willing to contribute and adhere to the safety requirements of the operation.