What a Civil Engineer Does: An Overview

What a Civil Engineer Does: An Overview

July 30, 2021

Civil engineers have a lot of different duties that aren’t necessarily as obvious as those of, say, an electrical or mechanical engineer. So, what is involved with civil engineering, and what kind of work can people entering this career path expect to take on?

The most general answer is that civil engineers are tasked with designing and overseeing the construction of various infrastructural projects and buildings. They will either be consultants who design projects, or contractors who execute the designs on site and assist with the management of the project.

Here’s an overview of what a civil engineer does on a regular basis.

Where will you find civil engineers?

The majority of civil engineering professionals are private sector workers who are hired to take on various residential and commercial projects. However, some government entities employ civil engineers for federal, state or local projects. Those who work for states or municipalities will generally take on infrastructure projects, such as the design and development of highways, roads, bridges and sewer systems.

How does one become a civil engineer?

The path to becoming a civil engineer is similar to most other engineering fields. They must, of course, obtain a college education in an engineering-related field, followed by any additional special certifications or licenses that are necessary for employment in the field.

But education isn’t enough to make a great civil engineer. They must be well-organized and great at working in a team. This means they must also have excellent communication skills, and be creative problem solvers so they are able to make changes to projects on the fly when they come across unexpected issues or changes.

New civil engineers will usually start either as interns or as engineers on a probationary basis. After they have some field experience, they are able to obtain licensure by taking tests, which gives them the title of professional engineer (PE) and opens up a wide range of career opportunities for them.

When do homeowners or business owners need to hire a civil engineer?

If you are a property owner, there are several circumstances in which you may find it beneficial to work with a civil engineer. The most common scenarios in which private individuals hire an engineer include developing plot plans, getting permits for certain types of jobs, getting assistance with renovations or new construction, developing retaining walls, overseeing and planning sewer projects and performing structural inspections of foundations and other building elements.

Civil engineers will often be involved in the process of buying property to make sure buildings are structurally sound. They’ll also be a common presence in construction projects to ensure buildings and structures are developed according to code.

Want to know more about what’s involved with civil engineering and when you should work with a civil engineer for your project as a home or business property owner? Contact Bettersworth & Associates, Inc. today to learn more. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about this particular niche of engineering and tell you more about what we can do to assist with your project.

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