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What does a Civil Engineer do?

Learn all about Civil Engineer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Civil Engineer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A civil engineer is responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of public and private infrastructure, including roads, bridges, dams, tunnels, and water and sewage systems. They may also be involved in environmental cleanup projects and disaster relief efforts.

Civil Engineer job duties include:

  • Designing and supervising construction projects such as roads, bridges, dams, canals, and buildings
  • Investigating the feasibility of proposed projects
  • Using computer software to design projects
  • Supervising technicians and other engineers during construction
  • Inspecting completed projects to ensure they meet specifications and codes
  • Coordinating the work of architects, surveyors, and other professionals involved in a project
  • Providing consultation on environmental impact, traffic patterns, and other factors during project planning
  • Testifying in court as an expert witness on construction-related issues
  • Teaching civil engineering at a college or university

Civil Engineer Job Requirements

A civil engineer is responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of public and private infrastructure, including roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings. They must have a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from an accredited university and must be licensed by the state in which they practice. In addition to their formal education and training, civil engineers must have several years of experience working in the field before they can be licensed.

Civil Engineer Skills

  • Communication
  • Math
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Project Management
  • Construction
  • Contracting
  • Land Development
  • Materials
  • Transportation
  • Sustainability

Related: Top Civil Engineer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Civil Engineer

A civil engineer is a professional who designs, builds, and maintains the infrastructure of our society—roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, airports, and tunnels. As a civil engineer, you will use your skills in math and science to solve problems and improve the quality of life for people around the world.

If you are interested in becoming a civil engineer, you should first earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from an accredited university. During your studies, you will take courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, as well as in engineering principles and design. You will also have the opportunity to participate in internships or co-ops with engineering firms, which will give you experience working on real-world projects.

After graduation, you will need to pass two exams in order to become a licensed professional engineer (PE). The first exam is the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, which all engineering students must take prior to graduation. The second exam is the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PPE) exam, which is specific to civil engineering. Once you have passed these exams and obtained your PE license, you will be able to find employment with engineering firms or government agencies.

As a civil engineer, you can expect to work on challenging and rewarding projects that improve the quality of life for people around the world. With hard work and dedication, you can build a successful career in this exciting field.

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