Civil Engineer job-Description, Salary, and duties

Is civil engineering complex? And if so, how can you make it easier?

In this article, we will see the Civil Engineer job description, its duties, and salaries.


You walk on roads, ride through the bridges, live in buildings, customize your house, look at fabulous infrastructures all around the world, wait at the airport, see the hospitals, study in educational institutions, go to restaurants, stay in luxurious hotels, take a tour of the world to see amazingly built tunnels, museums, railway, historic places and several wonders of the world. 

Have you ever wondered who would have constructed and designed all of these? 

Yes, the answer to this is – an “Architect” also called a “civil engineer”. 

  • Civil engineering is a field or a branch of engineering that involves designing, construction, conceiving, planning, and maintenance of buildings, roads, and dealing with the supervision of other structures. 
  • Civil engineers are responsible for the planning, maintenance, and management of various infrastructures of challenging projects that suit their environment.
  • Anything that is planned and constructed by civil engineers or architects must be done according to the surroundings and environment that aims to provide a modern and better life to people living there. 

Well, these pieces of information are just not enough to provide you with an overview of the profession of a Civil Engineer.

So, let us dig deeper into the profession of a Civil Engineer and understand their job description, their types, roles and responsibilities, salaries, future scope, and opportunities. 

Education Qualification Of a civil engineer

Some of you might be interested in pursuing a career as a civil engineer. Let’s look further into the qualifications a civil engineer possesses to pursue this profession. 

  • Students opting for civil engineering have to go through a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from a recognized university or institution. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is the minimum requirement a civil engineer must have to be eligible for an entry-level job in this profession.
  • Civil engineering requires a bachelor’s course of a minimum of 4 years. Along with the respective subjects, they can also pursue courses for specialization in the field of their interest.
  • Civil engineering is a vast field with various types of specialized courses categorized in this broad profession. Courses that define the type of architectural work like in the field of Geology, Construction, and building, hydraulic engineering, Managing contractual works, mechanics of soil, a survey of the fieldwork, etc. 
  • One can learn and experience more through these courses that are specialized for different aspects of engineering. 
  • To get into management or contractual work, civil engineers possess a master’s degree too in the branch of their preferred field. 

Therefore, architects usually require a basic qualification of bachelor’s degree in civil engineering for an entry-level professional engineer. And they can pursue a master’s if they want to get into a management profile. 

The subjects they study in civil engineering technology comprises Mathematics, Physics (mechanics of various fields), Statistics, fluid dynamics, systems, and technology, etc. 

These subjects depend on their specialization as well, whereas some subjects are mandatory for the students to qualify for certain entrance examinations. 

So, these were few mandatory requirements a student needs to know. 

Skills a civil engineer must possess

  • Good analytical skills
  • Mathematical skills
  • Scientific knowledge and interest in technologies
  • Critical Thinking ability
  • Designing skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Decision making
  • Attention to detail
  • Leadership qualities
  • Knowledge of concepts
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Management skills
  • Know when to negotiate
  • One who follows time management
  • Is capable of working in extreme conditions
  • Is highly responsible 
  • Enthusiastic towards their profession
  • Can supervise well
  • Knowledge of database design
  • Is comfortable working on-site 
  • Well planning and executions
  • One who coordinates and is friendly to his team members

Job profile and description of a civil engineer

  • Civil engineers are involved in construction activities and areas related to designing and planning infrastructures of hospitals, airports, buildings, and several other projects.
  • Civil engineers are also engaged in the maintenance and development of resources, teaching in institutions, and researching in the field of civil engineering. 
  • The construction and designing of their projects depend on weather conditions and environmental factors. Any building or construction project needs to withstand the weather conditions of the area they are working in. 
  • Civil engineers improve our living conditions by providing us with suitable infrastructure that supports and protects the environment. 

Hence, this profession requires tremendous skills and critical thinking abilities. 

Let us look at the roles and responsibilities of a civil engineer to understand this profession. 

Types of civil engineers and their salaries

The profession of civil engineering is challenging as well as a rewarding career. Civil engineering itself comprises several fields and branches of work. 

If you are an aspiring civil engineer you need to understand the types of civil engineering fields to explore your interest. You can refer to these engineering fields and understand your capabilities as well.

So let us learn in-depth about some of the types of civil engineering disciplines below.

Construction engineering(Average Salary –  $69395 Annually)

B.Tech in Civil Engineering - Eligibility, Duration, Fees, Colleges, Top  Exams
  • Construction Engineering is a specialized field in the course of civil engineering. It solely deals with the construction and management of infrastructures. Construction engineering involves the building of structures and maintenance of those structures. Along with construction, they also learn in the management of construction materials, tools, and technologies that are effectively used in the environment.
  • Construction Engineering can be pursued by the students once they have completed their degree program of 4 years. This is a specialized field that involves its responsibilities and job profile. 
  • They study and work on modern technologies, tools, and effective construction materials. 
  • Civil engineers work on projects that deal with designing, constructing, and maintaining structures like dams, multinational buildings, bridges, railway lines, malls, hotels, hospitals, etc. 

Transportation engineering (Average Salary – $77,613 Annually)

Civil Engineer job
  • As the name itself suggests “transportation”, the work is related to applications of transport engineering and its technologies.
  • Transportation Engineering involves principles related to construction, planning, designing, management, and operations of transportation engineering.
  • The technical revolution has not only evolved in terms of gadgets and other machines, but has also been introduced in transportation services, and its applications used to make railways lines, roads, highways, bridges, and many more.
  • The planning and operation of transportation engineering play a major role in urbanization in regions and countries. It helps provide the people with better transportation facilities and availability globally. Engineers in this field deal with designs and modern technologies. 

Transportation Engineering consists of some of the following engineering branches that only focus on specific areas of work. 

1. Highway Engineering: (Salary: $79123 Annually)

Engineers in this fieldwork on designing, operations, and construction of highways and roads.

Engineers also deal with the funding of projects according to the people living around those areas. 

They work on issues concerning the safety and facilities of people and improve the transportation system. 

2. Railway Engineering: (Salary: Falls between $82159 and $102133 Annually)

The Engineers specialized in railway or railroad engineering work on operations, designs, and constructions of railways lines and railroads according to the station, and the area it is lying in.

Railroad engineers work on estimation of cost and funding of the projects. They utilize their skills in designing safer and cleaner railway lines to provide better service to the people. 

3. Airport or Air transportation engineering: (Salary: $133,000 Annually)

In airports, we see those long runways and amazing airport infrastructure. They work on several airport facilities, designs, and operations. 

This transportation engineering involves technological enhancements in its service and management of transportation. 

4. Other transportation engineering specializations include Port and harbor engineering, interplanetary transport network, Public transportation, etc.

5. Water Transportation Engineering (Salary: $131,000 Annually)

Water Engineers deal with water connection services and programs. Building of water canals, dams, bridges over rivers, and another similar engineering that involves water treatment plans and operations. 

Water engineers work on designing river canals and wastewater system management of water transportations.

They construct these waterways and help coordinate with the system using technical staff and support services. Marine engineers, Traffic Engineers, and water hygiene engineers also play a specific role in transportation Engineering.

Structural engineering(Average Salary –  $85822 Annually) 

Civil Engineer job
  • Structural engineers play a vital role among all the other types of civil engineers. Structural engineering focuses on the design and analysis of all the structures like buildings, airports, malls, etc. 
  • These engineers study and analyze the type of materials to be used in specific designs and constructions. They have to assure that these designs use materials that can take loads and resist a certain type of stress or a force.
  • Engineers in the Structural Engineering fieldwork on safety and security measures of the structures, their materials, and other requirements. These structures are studied and analyzed to withstand the pressure and natural calamities or disasters like earthquakes or other environmental conditions depending on the design criteria. 
  • The responsibilities of the project they work on include: Analyzing the structures if they can withstand the wind. They work with other civil engineers or architects to help and support them in building and designing the structures like schools, churches, apartments of buildings, water canals, and other such assistance.
  • They serve in this field utilizing their skills, knowledge, and experience and coordinate with other architects to supervise and evaluate the designs of the structures. Structural engineers are also involved in repairing and maintenance of existing buildings and planning other infrastructures.

Environmental engineering(Average Salary –  $192,120 Annually) 

Civil Engineer job
  • Environmental Engineering is a field that works on protection, safety, and operational measures of the environment. 
  • These engineers are focused to work on renewable resources, their management, and their usage for environmental purposes.
  • Environmental engineering consists of chemical, biological, and soil sciences. The engineers study these aspects of the field and utilize their skills to work on projects involving environmental assessments, its risks, surveying of polluted areas, other plans like prevention, restoration, and studies related to environmental policies or plans. 

Geotechnical engineering(Average Salary –  $67,185 Annually)

Civil Engineer job
  • As the term “Geotechnical” itself suggests studying or investigating science beneath the surface of the earth. 
  • Geotechnical engineering deals with understanding and basic knowledge of the designs, structures, and all other works evolving beneath the earth’s surface. 
  • Geotechnical engineers work on constructions that include mining, drilling, monitoring, and guarding of the earth’s surface for various projects and safety operations. 
  • The geotechnical engineers examine the tools and their designs for various operations like marine, gas, mining, and oil operations.

These were a few of the main civil engineering divisions and their overview of job descriptions along with their salaries. 

Roles and responsibilities of a civil engineer

We have seen all the types of civil engineering branches and their divisions. Along with their work profile, their duties also differ in this profession. 

Let us sum up the roles and responsibilities of a civil engineer ahead.

  • Designing of structures
  • Maintenance and repairing of infrastructures
  • Building, constructing, planning, and analyzing the structures
  • Provide assistance and protection to the environment
  • Analysis of the site the construction will take place on
  • Scheduling of construction work and organizing the committee
  • Handle client details and requirements
  • Investigate the site of the construction areas
  • Getting a quality check of the materials that will be used for construction purposes.
  • Executing the projects in the given time.
  • Providing assistance and security to the team members 
  • Supervising and contribute to the management process
  • Take effective decisions that ensure safety and security
  • Utilize their skills in their specialized area with their knowledge and experience

So, these were the basic duties all civil engineers follow and dedicate themselves to their profession. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When can someone indulge in practice after their degree in civil engineering?

Once you have completed your degree in civil engineering, you are expected to pursue your internship/training under a licensed civil engineer. You can take up a project under the supervision of a civil engineer and gain experience that you can use ahead in your career. After completing the internship and clearing relevant entrance examinations, you can go apply for a license to start your career as a civil engineer. 

  1. Does the career as a civil engineer pay well enough?

The field of civil engineering is a creative, innovative, and exciting field to work in. Civil engineers enjoy working on their projects and evolve with new technologies, tools, and ideas. This is a very rewarding career that provides you with a handsome salary, a good lifestyle, and other benefits as well. The salary of a civil engineer on an average basis is $96,012 annually. 

  1. Who can become a civil engineer?

Anyone can become a civil engineer, if they have skills like, good communication, interpersonal skills, creative mind, technical abilities, dedicated and hardworking, can make decisions wisely, who are responsible, and have good problem-solving abilities. In addition to these skills, they also need to have knowledge and interest in finance, management, and business. 

  1. Is mathematics necessary to pursue civil engineering?

Mathematics is essential for applying practical knowledge and working on real-life solutions. Therefore, mathematics is a necessary subject in civil engineering as it provides appropriate calculations and enhances the practical value of a project. If you are an average student in mathematics, there is nothing to worry about, applying mathematics to a real-life situation is way more interesting and a better approach than what it is in the textbooks.

Other FAQs includes questions like
  • Difference between a Civil Engineer and Engineering Technician
  • What are the potentials in a job market
  • When can a person involve an architect in their projects
  • What should I study to choose civil engineering as a career
  • Does a career in civil engineering make a person rich?

These were a bunch of FAQs you can refer to if you have any questions or doubts regarding the career. 

It is a rewarding and exciting career that significantly gives you various opportunities. Civil engineering has a vast scope all over the world. 

It is going to play a vital role in the technological advancements that include constructions and security measures that will be applied in the field of architecture. 

This article includes different types of architectural fields to provide an overview of the type of work, their job description, education qualifications, and salaries respectively. 

Civil Engineer job-Description, Salary, and duties

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