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Civil Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Civil Engineer creates plans for public projects to maintain essential infrastructure in communities for everything from roads to airports to trains. Their duties include creating drafts for projects, implementing designs, and generally maintaining infrastructure, though the latter is generally done in an advisory role.

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Civil Engineer duties and responsibilities

Civil Engineers are responsible for planning massive infrastructure projects, so there are numerous skills and talents involved. Some of the most important duties and responsibilities include:

  • Developing designs for projects
  • Conducting site inspections and feasibility assessments
  • Preparing project plans and carrying them out
  • Calculating estimated costs for projects
  • Learning all relevant government regulations and codes
  • Ensuring regulatory compliance and safety for the project
  • Finding solutions to problems and producing presentations to showcase them
  • Coordinating with clients and contractors
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Civil Engineer Job Description Examples:

What does a Civil Engineer do?

Civil Engineers tend to split their time between creating designs, making site visits, and meeting with executives, councils, and managers to discuss project goals. They create designs for projects and quantify exactly how its construction will work in terms of time and budget. Additionally, Civil Engineers work with a team to complete projects on the desired timeline and within the established budget. That includes conducting numerous site visits to assess progress and ensure everything is running on schedule and according to code.

Civil Engineer skills and qualifications

Given the number of their responsibilities, Civil Engineers require many essential skills to perform their tasks properly. Some necessary skills and qualifications include:

  • Infrastructure engineering and design skills
  • Mathematical and cost analysis skills
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Leadership and organizational skills
  • Creative problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Project development and management skills
  • Understanding of design software like AutoCAD

Civil Engineer experience requirements

Civil Engineers require extensive experience to do their job properly. At least five years of engineering work in the field is typically required as a minimum for most Civil Engineer positions. Additionally, Civil Engineers will need to have experience working on more than one project at a time, since most positions will require a lot of overlap between projects. This kind of experience doesn’t necessarily have to be within Civil Engineering itself, but applicants should have experience with multiple simultaneous projects in a related field or similar work environment.

Civil Engineer education and training requirements

Extensive education is required for Civil Engineer positions. At minimum, a candidate will need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Some positions may require a master’s degree, while others may require additional certifications from professional engineering organizations. Civil Engineers with training in design software like Autodesk, MicroStation, or AutoCAD are preferred, and this training is rapidly becoming required considering the shift to the latest programs for efficiency purposes.

Civil Engineer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Civil Engineer in Canada is $73,623 per year. This can vary depending on the experience of the candidate, the location of the position, and the company.

Job description samples for similar positions

If Civil Engineer isn’t quite the position you’re looking for, some similar job description samples that may be a better fit include:

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Civil Engineer job description FAQs

What's the difference between an Engineering Technician and a Civil Engineer?

While there is a lot of crossover between the roles of an Engineering Technician and a Civil Engineer, a Civil Engineer is more concerned with big-picture problems. They design and implement entire projects, while an Engineering Technician focuses more on practical drafting, cost estimation, and computer simulations. A Civil Engineer has to do all that as well, but also crafts wider plans and works with clients directly.

Are there different types of Civil Engineers?

Civil Engineering can have many specialties or sub-fields. Some Civil Engineers even have specialties in addition to the general skills and responsibilities detailed in effective job descriptions. For example, a Civil Engineer who specializes in construction engineering may be better at projects dealing with government buildings, while those specializing in transportation engineering will work with projects involving trains, airports, roads, and ports. Be sure to include any preferred specializations or unusual responsibilities in the job description.

What are the best traits to look for in a Civil Engineer resume?

Along with the general skills, experience, and education requirements for a Civil Engineer, you should look for a candidate with certifications or training from reputable professional organizations. This is even more important if your position includes work that’s heavily focused on one area or requires unique job responsibilities. You should also look for candidates with demonstrated success in completing projects on time and according to code and budget.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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