Civil Engineers are in charge of planning, designing, developing, and managing projects for the construction, repair, and maintenance of buildings, structures, powerhouses, roads, airports, railways, rapid transit facilities, bridges, tunnels, canals, dams, ports, as well as coastal installations and systems related to highway and transportation services, water distribution and sanitation. They may also specialize in foundation analysis, building and structural inspection, surveying, geomatics, and municipal planning. Civil engineers are employed by Engineering consulting companies, government organizations, construction firms, and in many other industries.
Civil Engineering can be divided into two general categories: consulting and contracting. Consulting Civil Engineers are responsible for designing the project alongside the Architect, while Contracting Civil Engineers are in charge of creating the structure itself.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Civil Engineers are required to complete.
- Planning and designing major civil projects, such as buildings, roads, bridges, dams, water and waste management systems, and structural steel fabrications:
- Consulting and liaising with clients and other members of the Engineering team and conducting research to determine the project’s requirements;
- developing construction specifications and procedures;
- working alongside the Architect to carry out the designs;
- interpreting, reviewing, and approving survey and civil design work;
- estimating costs for materials, equipment, and labor, as well as time schedules;
- evaluating, testing, and recommending appropriate building and construction materials, as well as working with quantity surveyors and estimators to source, procure, and check the quantity and quality of construction materials, heavy Engineering equipment, and other necessary tools;
- conducting field services for civil works, testing the soil and grounds;
- establishing and monitoring construction work schedules;
- preparing contract documents, as well as reviewing and evaluating tenders for the construction project;
- monitoring air, water, and soil quality in order to develop procedures to clean up contaminated sites;
- conducting technical analyses of survey and field data for development of topographic, soil, hydrological, or other information and preparing the corresponding reports; and
- overseeing and managing all the phases of the project to ensure conformance to specifications, resolving differences related to contract interpretation, and dealing with complaints, as required.
- Performing condition assessments, recognizing technical deficiencies, recommending remedial measures, preparing and/or coordinating design changes for buildings, structures, powerhouses, roads, airports, railways, rapid transit facilities, bridges, tunnels, canals, dams, and ports:
- Working with vendors and suppliers in order to resolve problems affecting equipment performance and recommending design changes based on operating experiences and condition assessments.
- Liaising with public and private sector clients, government review and approval agencies, sub-consultants, and subcontractors:
- Dealing with all aspects of obtaining building permits and interacting with city officials.
- Acting as a project or site supervisor for land survey or construction work.
- Conducting feasibility studies, economic analyses, municipal and regional traffic studies, environmental impact studies, or other related investigations:
- Presenting their findings to the public on topics such as bid proposals, environmental impact statements, or property descriptions.
- Keeping up-to-date on the latest trends and developments within the construction industry, such as newly-enacted legislations, and gathering information on new tools, procedures, and techniques.
- Ensuring construction plans meet guidelines and specifications of building codes and other regulations, such as the Canadian National Building Code (NBC), plumbing and gas code, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes, as well as industry practices, regulations, standards, and other applicable codes:
- Making sure that every structure built is environmentally compliant and can withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.
- Analyzing survey reports, designs, maps, and other data in order to plan projects.
- Considering construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors during the planning stages.
- Testing the soil and grounds to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations.
- Testing the building materials to be used in the projects.
- Providing cost estimates for materials, equipment, and labor which will determine a project’s economic feasibility.
- Using computer-aided design (CAD) software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems, and structures complying with industry and government standards.
- Overseeing surveying to establish reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction activities.
The average Civil Engineer salary is $74,099 per year or $38 per hour. This is around 2.3 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $52,000 while most experienced workers make up to $104,000. These results are based on 191 salaries extracted from job descriptions.