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What does a Civil Engineer do?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered April 12 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Because the scope of Civil Engineering is quite broad, there are many roads that a person can take with a degree in Civil Engineering. Civil Engineers usually work for private companies that are then contracted by cities or municipalities for certain projects. However, governments also hire Civil Engineers to work internally. Both the private and the public sectors offer advantages and disadvantages, so it’s up to you to consider which sector you find more attractive. 

Generally, a Civil Engineer works in a design capacity. There is a decent amount of time spent sitting at a desk, working with computer programs, and designing projects. There may be some outdoor site visits, but the bulk of the work is spent in an office environment.  Construction engineers working on a project like a building may also have to collaborate with an architect. 

Often there are tight deadlines in Civil Engineering. The engineer will have to submit plans and work with many different stakeholders to develop strategies for everyone. There is a lot of problem-solving and troubleshooting to the job, and you need to enjoy solving problems and puzzles. 

Average Day of a Civil Engineer
Engineers often work from an office. They will start their day checking emails and messages. Then they move on to their designs. 

Civil Engineers use various software to design their projects, the most common one being Auto CAD. Once their design is complete, it is usually reviewed within their company and then checked again by the city or municipality for which they work. Plans are often reviewed and iterated multiple times before construction begins to ensure that the design is airtight and safe. 

Civil Engineers will also have team meetings to talk about projects they're working on and any project proposals their company prioritizes.  

If there is a site visit that day, the engineer will grab their supplies, head over to the construction site, and inspect how the project is coming along. They will check in with the construction project leaders and make sure everything runs according to plan.