How to become a... Civil Engineer | Career Advice

How to become a civil engineer
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by Jessica Tabinor on

Over the next few weeks, we are going to be sharing some blogs with information and advice on key roles within the engineering industry and most importantly, how to get a job in them. 

Thanks to several high-profile projects and heavy investment within the Building, Infrastructure and Construction industries, there is a vast array of excellent Civil Engineer jobs available for engineers in the UK.

Continue reading to find out more and determine whether a career as a Civil Engineer is the right fit for you.

RATES
£25-80k

HOT SPOTS
Hinkley Point C/HS2

QUALIFICATIONS
Degree (ICE accredited)


WHAT DO CIVIL ENGINEER JOBS INVOLVE?
Civil Engineers play a vital role, taking on the responsibility for designing and managing construction projects. Due to the nature of the role and the wider industry, you could find yourself working on any number of different projects, from bridges and roads to private homes and commercial buildings. 

Your duties and responsibilities may differ depending on the industry and project you’re working on but can include performing site surveys and investigations, creating detailed plans and blueprints, liaising with clients and contractors, managing budgets and resources, ensuring health and safety protocols are met, preparing bids and more.


WHAT IS A CIVIL ENGINEER’S SALARY?
Your salary can vary depending on the sector, employer and scope of the project you’re working on. Entry level graduate civil engineers can usually expect to earn between £20,000 and £25,000 per year, while more experienced professionals can earn up to £40,000 per year.

As you progress through your career and move into senior roles, or gain chartered status, you can see your salary increase further, moving to between £60,000 and £80,000 per year.

(These figures are intended as a guideline only).


WHAT SKILLS DO I NEED?
As with other engineering roles, it’s important that you have excellent maths, science and IT skills. You’ll need good attention to detail and the ability to analyse large amounts of data. Communication skills, both written and verbal, are important, and you’ll need to be able to explain complex design plans clearly and simply to clients and contractors.

Problem-solving skills are also key, as is the ability to work under pressure, ensuring deadlines are met and projects are kept within budget. You’ll need a good knowledge of any relevant legal and health and safety legislation, and the desire to keep this knowledge up-to-date. Finally, if you want to progress to higher levels in your career, negotiating and leadership skills are vital.


WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED?
To become a Civil Engineer, you’ll usually be required to have either an undergraduate degree in engineering or a postgraduate master’s degree in Civil Engineering. It’s vital that whichever route you take, your degree is accredited by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Many people will decide to work towards incorporated or chartered status to progress their career. If this is something you’re planning to do, having one of the previously mentioned qualifications is important.
There are other routes available for those looking to enter the field. You could complete an undergraduate degree in a different subject, related to construction engineering, but it may take you longer to fully qualify if you’re working towards incorporated or chartered status.

If you’re going to be spending time on a construction site, you may need to apply for a relevant Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card.


WHAT ARE THE HOURS AND CONDITIONS?
You can expect to work between 35 and 40 hours per week. Your usual working week will run from Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, although you may sometimes need to work evenings and weekends, as and when specific projects require it.

Your time will be split between an office and construction site, meaning there will be regular travel involved in your role.


CAREER PROGRESSION
For those willing to put in the time and effort, there are excellent opportunities for career progression as a Civil Engineer. Achieving incorporated or chartered engineer status is a great way of broadening your horizons, allowing you to move into more senior roles, such as project manager, or senior or principal engineer.

You could also opt to specialise in a specific field of engineering or move into consultancy.


AREAS OF SPECIALISM 
There are various exciting areas you can choose to specialise in as you move through your career, such as environmental engineering, water management, maritime civil engineering, earthquake engineering and more.
 

To browse our Civil Engineer jobs click here, or to search for opportunities across the sector click here.


Cx Jobs

Software Engineer

Our client is seeking a contract Software Engineer to be based at their site in Crawley, West Sussex.The successful candidate will join a team that works in a collaborative and Agile way to design, develop and deliver solutions that allow their customers to manage the complexity of the environments they operate in.The RoleTo be involved in all aspects of the software development lifecycle as projects develop and new ones come on-line.Collaborate across teams, sites, and disciplines to develop and deliver on commitments.Devise innovative solutions with a customer focus.Contribute as a member of a self-organising team to continuously improve processes and practices. KEY SKILLS / PROVEN ABILITYThorough understanding of all stages of the software development lifecycle.Strong Java development or C++ development Proven ability in Software Engineering - in a marine environment or related area.Distributed and real time Linux system development Understanding of change control and continuous integration tools and principles.Familiarity with and advocate for Agile methodologies.Interest in emerging trends and technologies in software engineering. ADDITIONALThis role will be based on site in Crawley, West Sussex.Due to the nature of the products applicants must have worked within the Defence / Military industry within the last 12 months or be capable of obtaining Security Clearance (SC level minimum).

Project Manager

Job Title: Project Manager Location: Birmingham Duration: 3 Months Inside IR35 Job Purpose: To lead the safe delivery of projects to achieve cost, time and quality objectives within corporate guidelines and to develop appropriate delivery and supply strategies and plans for specific projects. Project management/assurance team. A lot of Governance & Assurance work, first 3 stages of GRIP. There is a set criteria- several steps set out, they need to formulate plans for this. Mainly track related projects but is multi-disciplinary. All early stages of project work. Rail experience essential. Strong character- lots of negotiation. Understanding of GRIP. Knowledge/Experience Required: * Relevant successful experience in project management * Excellent interpersonal and communication skills * Detailed knowledge of safety regulations (particularly CDM) * Team leader capable of motivating the team * Commercial and financial understanding and knowledge * Accident Investigation experience

Quantity Surveyor

Are you an experienced Quantity Surveyor with a background in Civil projects? Do you want to work for a company that is demonstrating sustained periods of growth, as well as having a solid order book of more work to come? Do you want to work for a company that offers autonomy, along with the freedom to develop in your career? Then Vital want to speak to you.Vital resources are currently working with a reputable and well established Groundworks and Civils contractor to assist them in their search for an experienced Senior Quantity Surveyor to assist in the delivery of several high profile projects.As the Quantity Surveyor your responsibilities will include but are not limited to:Working with various forms of Contract (JCT, NEC, FIDIC)Liaising with operational departments to oversee costs on projectsManage diary to ensure site visits are performed in a timely and safe mannerPerform CVR's and Final accounts to chase for paymentAttend client meetings to provide updates on projectsReporting commercial progress to Senior Managers and DirectorsThe successful applicant for this role will be able to demonstrate:Background in a similar positionPrevious experience working in a Sub-Contractor environmentDegree Educated (or equivalent)Full UK Licence as travel to sites will be requiredAbility to work alone with minimal supervisionFor this our client is willing to offer a competitve salary along with a comprehensive package.For more information, please click the apply now link or contact Jamie Nicholson

Site Manager

Are you an experienced Site Manager? Do you want to work for a company that is demonstrating sustained periods of growth, as well as having a solid order book of more work to come? Do you want to work for a company that offers autonomy, along with the freedom to develop in your career? Then Vital want to speak to you.Vital resources are currently working with a reputable and well established multi-disciplined contractor to assist them in their search for a new Site Manager. Our client is looking for someone who can demonstrate a background in Rail, Water, Civils, or Infrastructure projectsAs an experienced Manager your responsibilities will include but are not limited to:Daily management of groundworks packages in the central Belt of ScotlandOrganise and Purchase on Site Labour, Materials, and PlantLiaise with the commercial teams and other operational teams to ensure projects are delivered in a timely, and cost effective manner.Organise and Chair meetings with clients and senior management.The successful applicant for this role will be able to demonstrate:Background in a similar positionPrevious experience working within groundworks, deep drainage and, cut & fill works.Experience working as a subcontractor is preferred, but not essentialSMSTS CertifiedFull UK Licence as travel to sites will be requiredAbility to work alone with minimal supervisionFor this our client is willing to offer a competitve salary, along with a comprehensive package.For more information, please contact Jamie Nicholson using the details provided, or click the apply now link.

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