• Home

what does a civil engineer do?

You are probably interested in pursuing a career in civil engineering and are wondering: What does a civil engineer do? Don’t worry because in this article we explain it to you

A civil engineer constructs buildings and focuses on structural engineering, as well as the construction and design of roads, bridges, railways, ships, power stations, canals, airports, urban planning, dams, traffic, tunnels,… In short, all types of concrete, steel or wooden structures

The work of a civil engineer is very diverse. That is one of the reasons why they often specialise and only work in one or two areas, for example in project management, infrastructure works, transport works, hydraulic works, civil works, sanitation, infrastructure maintenance…

what are the responsibilities in civil engineering?

A lot goes into developing a construction site, from the laying of the first stone to its opening. As a civil engineer, you are in charge of the conception, planning, design, construction, calculation, manufacture, maintenance and operation of the infrastructure. Not only do you have the technical aspect in mind, but you are also always on the lookout for financing.

Issues of technical environmental protection are also very relevant in your work as a civil engineer. Depending on the circumstances, you will be responsible for studies of pollutants, noise, water and soil protection.

The three main areas in which you can start as a civil engineer will be:

  • Project development
  • Financing
  • Facility management

Typical tools will be: drawings, measurements, mass determination calculations and electro-optical measuring devices. But as a civil engineer, you will also have to deal with expert opinions for construction projects, norms and building standards.

Where to work as a civil engineer

Civil engineers traditionally work in medium-sized or large companies in the construction industry or in the building trade. In both structural and civil engineering, you have the option of starting your career in a large company or in a medium-sized construction company

Dinde trabajar como ingeniero civil

The workplaces are often not the same and need to change as a civil engineer has to work throughout his or her life on different projects. Depending on the specialisation, you can work in construction companies dealing with transport, bridges, etc. ….. You can also work as a freelancer in a service-oriented engineering office.

If you want a particularly secure job, you can also start as a civil engineer in the public sector and take care of the construction of public administrations, town halls or public sports facilities…

As an engineer in the public sector, you have the advantage that you can see exactly what salary you will receive depending on your professional level

In all projects, civil engineers work closely together with architects and town planners. The difference between architects and civil engineers lies mainly in the fact that the technical architect directs the work and the civil engineer supervises the structures. In addition, as a civil engineer it is your duty to ensure technical feasibility and to resolve technical connections.

Current civil engineering jobs

  • Planning, design and control of construction projects
  • Calculation and design of the building, taking into account all possible impacts (building construction)
  • Calculation and design of the load-bearing structure, taking into account soil conditions and water drainage (civil engineering)
  • Consultation of offers
  • Creation and revision of offers
  • Project management of construction measures.
  • Creating construction accounts
  • Preparing reports, e.g. on noise, environmental influences, energy and statics
  • Carrying out site inspections
  • Preparation of urban, land-use and environmental studies, plans and projects
  • Planning the renovation of existing buildings
  • Project management for renovation measures
  • energy renovations, if necessary in cooperation with energy engineers
  • Maintenance of e.g. bridges and railway structures
  • Development and implementation of digital processes in building management
  • Coordination of external service providers and craftsmen for building operation
  • Ancillary civil engineering work such as: laboratory tests, quality control, supervision of health and safety issues…
  • Other.

in which civil engineering professions can you specialise?

It is common to specialise during your studies. There are many job opportunities for civil engineers in a wide variety of fields, although the first thing to do is to find out for yourself whether you want to work in structural or civil engineering.

  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering – Civil Construction
  • Degree in Civil Engineering – Hydrology
  • Degree in Civil Engineering – Transport and Urban Services

▷ You may be interested in our article: Best Civil Engineering Degrees in Spain

Once you have decided which specialisation you want to pursue, for example, you can broaden your knowledge through a master’s degree to be prepared in a sector that requires a lot of specialisation

For example, you can specialise as a civil engineer in:

  • Building materials science and testing
  • Construction management
  • Geotechnics
  • Hydraulics
  • Urban planning law
  • Construction programmes
  • Environmental
  • Soil mechanics
  • Design of foundation structures
  • Mining
  • Construction of bridges and other infrastructures
  • Bim Modelling and Analysis for Civil Works
  • Waste and contaminated site disposal
  • Structural engineering
  • Steel construction
  • Construction of traffic routes and urban planning
  • Supply technology with water supply and disposal, as well as energy supply

Environmental protection and climate change play an increasingly important role in civil engineering. For example, you can work on converting buildings for a better energy balance. Civil engineers also develop dams and dykes to protect against the forces of nature . Renewable energies offer you exciting tasks in the construction of the respective systems.

how do you know if you are a civil engineer?

If you like to design and build or if you spent most of your childhood with Lego and enjoyed building, you are probably passionate about this career. Moreover, for a civil engineer, creativity and imagination are prerequisites civil engineerif you are a civil engineer, creativity and imagination are important prerequisites to know that you will like this career

You can imagine a structure before it exists. In addition, the professional profile is that you have a strong analytical mind and the ability to work in a practical and structured way. You also have good knowledge of English, good knowledge of business administration, physics, geology and statics are important for civil engineers

If you are good with numbers and always have profitability in mind, it will be another point to know that you have the spirit of a civil engineer. You have a high sense of responsibility and are happy to take on the challenge of ensuring the safety of people and the environment.

Skills to be a civil engineer

Required qualities


One of the main objectives of the civil engineer is to manage the environment to protect existing populations and infrastructure from natural disasters. You must be extremely vigilant when, for example, you decide to build a dam.


To grow professionally, it is important to be able to work in large companies. That is why it is important and highly recommended that you are fluent in English.


  • Analyse the client’s needs.
  • Define a preliminary project
  • Analyse the economic data of the project.
  • Evaluate the cost of project operations.
  • Develop technical and financial solutions.
  • Define the feasibility and profitability of a project
  • Select the means and methods to implement and plan site operations
  • Control the implementation of a project.
  • Inventory the construction constraints of a structure .
  • Analyse the technical options and define the equipment and materials according to the constraints of the regulations, the terrain and the cost
  • Supervise and control the execution of studies, documents and detailed plans entrusted to the design offices
  • Monitor the progress of the works until acceptance
  • Checking the conformity of the works up to their acceptance
  • Monitoring and updating technical, economic and regulatory information.
  • Intervening in civil engineering
  • Drawing plans or sketches of a construction site
  • Compiling a technical and economic dossier for a project
  • Compiling a commercial consultation file
  • Draw up specifications
  • Drawing up a preliminary project
  • Leading a project
  • Coordinate the activity of a team.


  • Building standards
  • Building energy improvement techniques
  • Sustainable construction (Eco-construction)
  • Construction economics
  • Building and construction law
  • Book of Special Administrative Clauses
  • Book of Special Technical Clauses
  • Technical calculation
  • Coding / cost calculation
  • Method of disbursement
  • Computer Aided Design and Drawing(AutoCAD/BIM)
  • Artwork
  • Measurement techniques
  • Project costing
  • Project management

what is your salary as a civil engineer?

A civil engineer earns on average €33,354 per year in his or her professional life. Your starting salary as a civil engineer depends on several criteria, such as the department, the size of the company or the region where you work.

You may be interested in our article: How much does a civil engineer earn?

Tabla de contenidos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *