What Do Civil Engineers Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

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daily life of a Civil Engineer
are Civil Engineers happy with their job

Civil Engineers

Other names for this job might include Airport Engineer, Architectural Engineer, Asphalt Engineer, Base Engineer, Bridge Design Engineer, Bridge Engineer, Bridge/Structure Inspection Team Leader, Building Construction Engineer, Building Engineer, Cadastral Engineer

  • $87940
  • 71%
    Job satisfaction
  • Quite Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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Being A Civil Engineer: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Civil Engineers do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Civil Engineer or not.

Job summary

Civil Engineers perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.

We asked Civil Engineers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


71% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 68% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Civil Engineers Plan and design transportation or hydraulic systems or structures using computer assisted design or drawing tools.

A typical day for A Civil Engineer look like this:

Create graphical representations of civil structures.

We asked some Civil Engineers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?83% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?91% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?26% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?83% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?17% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?4% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?22% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Civil Engineers do, they Compute load and grade requirements, water flow rates, or material stress factors to determine design specifications. They might also Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Civil Engineers Direct or participate in surveying to lay out installations or establish reference points, grades, or elevations to guide construction. and Estimate quantities and cost of materials, equipment, or labor to determine project feasibility.

In addition, they Design energy efficient or environmentally sound civil structures.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Direct engineering activities ensuring compliance with environmental, safety, or other governmental regulations.

To some Civil Engineers, it is also their responsibility to Provide technical advice to industrial or managerial personnel regarding design, construction, or program modifications or structural repairs.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
Inspect facilities or sites to determine if they meet specifications or standards.
Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
Estimate operational costs.
Incorporate green features into the design of structures or facilities.

Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Civil Engineer, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do Civil Engineers work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Civil Engineers work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Civil Engineers work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

You also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

How we can help

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They research, design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental hazards using various engineering disciplines. Work may include waste treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.

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Career type

Architecture and Engineering
Green Enhanced Skills
Green Construction, Renewable Energy Generation, Research, Design and Consulting Services
Engineering and Technology

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