Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer

Career of a civil engineer

Civil engineers are the backbone of major infrastructure construction projects for structures we use every day – including roads, railways, bridges, energy and water supply, waste networks and flood defenses. The job of a civil engineer is to maintain and adapt infrastructure in order to ensure that it works effectively and can adapt to various challenges, and they often do so by solving and implementing complex problems.

There are varied specialties within the scope of civil engineering, including environmental, structural, municipal, transport, and geotechnical. These civil engineers either focus on the design of the infrastructure being implemented, or work more based on-site overseeing the actual physical construction of the project.

The job begins as a normal work day, usually beginning around 7 a.m. and ending around 4 p.m. The engineer will start their day by planning – gathering information of what the current talk is and what projects are currently in progress, occasionally planning for on-site visits. The civil engineer will then begin working on drafting large projects, scheduling inspections, and going to various appointments.

Often, civil engineers will need to visit sites to inspect current projects underway. The job of the engineer is to oversee what is being done and make sure that everything meets the code requirements, as well suggesting potential improvements to designs.

Civil engineers will also have many appointments. Sometimes they meet with local officials to propose new projects in the area, discussing associated costs and issues that may include buying land, surveying, ensuring hazards are removed, arranging for plumbing and electrical lines, and budgeting money for equipment and pavilions. This will be followed by inspecting the potential site for the project and further planning.

After discussing potential projects, the civil engineer will design a rough draft of the project intended (say, a park) and look into the many construction options that go along with it (civic center, basketball and tennis courts). The engineer will touch base with local officials and receive CAD files of the planned subdivision that need to be reviewed. After this, different issues of the planning need to assessed and remedied, measuring the costs for each. Some issues may include drainage problems, which must be inspected and remedied to adapt the site for the project.

The day ends by answering any final questions, emails and phone calls, and ensuring that all of the work for the day is organized. Civil engineers are essential assets to the construction building process of potential projects for the community, and their expertise is to provide cohesive designs that fix and adapt to any issues or changes that may hinder the process. Being an engineer requires the skills of creative problem solving, exceptional understanding of math and design, and a sense of teamwork.

For more great jobs in the engineering field, visit our Careers page for info about skills, qualifications, salaries, opportunities, and more!

Career Outlook
Enter a career to learn more about:
  • Top 5 Cities and States for Employment
  • Number of People Employed
  • Projected Job Growth

Find the schools and courses that match your career goals.

Add a comment

Recent Posts

  • August 11, 2014 Top 5 Artistic Careers that Pay Well
  • July 25, 2014 Careers You Can Have with No Bachelors or 4 Year Degree
  • September 11, 2014 Top Careers in New York City to Avoid
  • April 22, 2014 How Social Media is Impacting Careers in Health: Infographic