Graduate Careers Advice

Graduate Civil Engineering Careers

James Thornhill

Civil engineers are central to our lives. From buildings and bridges, roads to railways, shopping centres to schools - civil engineers are responsible for the design and creation of our society.

Managing aspects of each project, civil engineers work closely with other professionals such as surveyors and architects.

A big advantage in civil engineering is being able to see the project you've worked on come to life. There are huge amounts of satisfaction in looking back at the hard work that's gone into something, and realising how it was all worth it.

Looking for adventure? This job can take you anywhere you'd like to go – even development projects in the third world. Several charities send skilled professionals to help with disaster relief, which is perfect for civil engineers as you can apply your knowledge about structures and the environment to help a community recover.

There's a lot of variety in this job as you can work on a number of different kinds of projects. The job could involve a lot of travel as civil engineers spend time both in and out of the office, depending on when they need to be at their project's site.

The most common route to civil engineering is through graduate programmes, which is a good way to building up your practical skills and provide you with the necessary training.

Institution of Civil Engineers is a professional organisation that offers extra training opportunities for a career in civil engineering. Being chartered by this organisation is essential to being recognised in the industry and will also allow you to earn a larger salary.

How much can I earn as a Civil Engineer?

Experienced engineers earn between £25,000 and £40,000 a year, and senior Chartered Engineers can earn between £50,000 and £80,000 a year.

What Qualifications do I Need to be a Civil Engineer?

To become a civil engineer you will usually need a degree or postgraduate masters degree in civil engineering.


After a Bachelors Degree

Postgraduate study can be an important step if you want to work towards incorporated or chartered engineer status. You would usually take a four-year Master’s (MEng) degree in civil engineering.

Different universities will have different entry requirements to undertake postgraduate study, but you might be asked for the following:

  • 'A' Level: AAA (including Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry or Biology).

The following is also required:

  • GCSE: A minimum of grade 4 (C) in GCSE English.

Graduate training schemes are available with many employers straight after your bachelors degree. For entry to one of these schemes usually requires a degree at 2:2 class or above, in a relevant technical or scientific subject.

What Skills Do I Need to be a Civil Engineer?

Different roles within the civil engineering field will require slightly different specialist skills but in general you will need these skills to succeed:

  • Planning and organisation
  • Problem solving
  • Ability to work under pressure and to deadlines
  • Mathematical knowledge
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership

What Experience Do I Need to Get a Job in Civil Engineering?

The necessary skills and experience to enter into the nuclear engineering field comes through academic learning in the main, but it will not hurt your changes of gaining employment if you have a practical understanding of engineering workplaces.

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