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Civil engineer

Alternative titles for this job include Engineering consultant

Civil engineers design and manage construction projects such as buildings, bridges, transport links and sports stadiums.

Average salary (a year)

£28,000 Starter


£60,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

Meet Kawsar

Kawsar is a civil engineering apprentice at Transport for London.

A young man stood on the pavement of a busy street.
BBC Bitesize logo

He works with a mentor on construction sites as part of his apprenticeship.

Watch Kawsar’s story on BBC Bitesize Careers

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Civil engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in civil engineering.

Many universities specialise in particular areas of civil engineering like:

  • transport engineering
  • environmental engineering
  • coastal and maritime engineering

Some courses include a work placement, which can be useful for making industry contacts to help find work after university.

You can apply to do a postgraduate master's qualification in civil engineering if you've got a degree in a related subject like maths, science or geology.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and a science for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


You could take a course at college, which might help you to get work as a trainee civil engineer, or to apply for further study at university.

Subjects include:

  • civil engineering
  • maths, physics or geography
  • construction and the built environment

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national certificate or higher national diploma

More Information


You can do a Civil Engineer Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship.

This takes around 5 years to complete.

You might also start by doing an apprenticeship to qualify as a civil engineering technician, then go on to do the Civil Engineer Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could work as a civil engineering technician and study part time for a degree or apprenticeship while you work.

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) for professional development opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about how to become a civil engineer from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • maths knowledge
  • design skills and knowledge
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a civil engineer, you could:

  • work closely with clients to understand what they need
  • map and analyse data using mathematical modelling methods
  • create design plans and models with computer software
  • assess the risks and environmental impact of projects
  • monitor progress at each construction stage
  • lead a team of engineers, co-ordinate work and manage a budget

Working environment

You could work on a construction site or in an office.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

It's important to continue your professional development while working as a civil engineer. 

For example, you could look to get incorporated or chartered engineer status. This would allow you to get positions with more responsibility, such as senior management roles on large scale projects.

With experience, you could also:

  • specialise in a particular engineering field
  • work in research
  • become an engineering consultant
  • work with international development organisations or disaster relief agencies

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Civil Engineering Apprentice

  • Wage: £12,480 to £22,308 a year Annually

Apprentice Civil Engineer

  • Wage: £17,000 a year Annually

Courses In England

HNC Civil Engineering

  • Provider: MID-KENT COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Maidstone

Civil Engineering BTEC Diploma

  • Start date: 04 September 2024
  • Location: Birmingham

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