What's Involved

Typical duties could include discussing requirements with the client/colleagues, analysing testing data with computer modelling software, drawing up blueprints and using computer aided design (CAD).

You will also judge whether projects are workable by assessing materials, costs, time and labour requirements, whilst assessing the environmental impact and risks connected to the projects.

Other duties would be likely to include preparing bids for tenders, managing, directing and monitoring progress during each phase of a project and making sure site meet legal guidelines, and health and safety requirements.

Skills Required

You would need excellent maths, science and IT skills, as well as good communication skills and the ability to work witihin budgets/deadlines. Good project management and team working skills are essential as well as the ability to analyse large amounts of data.

You would also need to develop confident decision-making ability and a comprehensive knowledge of relevant legal regulations.

Qualifications Required

To become a civil engineer, you would normally need a 3 year Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree or 4 year Masters (MEng) degree in civil engineering. You will need at least five GCSEs (A-C) and two or three A levels, including maths and a science subject (normally physics), or equivalent qualifications to get on to a degree course. 

You should check with colleges and universities for their exact entry requirements, as they may accept a relevant Access to Higher Education award.

If you already work in the industry as a technician, you could qualify as a civil engineer by studying part-time for a BTEC HNC/HND, foundation degree or degree in civil engineering.

Salary Ranges

Graduate salaries are typically between £17,000 and £25,000 a year while experienced engineers can earn between £25,000 and £40,000. Senior Chartered Engineers can earn between £60,000 and £100,000 a year. (This information is intended as a guide to average salaries only.)

Progression Routes

You could help your career development by working towards incorporated or chartered status. To do this, you should initially register with your professional industry body. With incorporated or chartered status, you could move into senior project management roles, specialise in a particular field or work as a consultant. You could also work overseas with British consulting or contracting firms, working for foreign governments, and oil and mining companies as well as international development and disaster relief agencies.