Is civil engineering a good career choice

Occupation civil engineer: everything about jobs, salary, training

Occupation civil engineer: everything about jobs, salary, career, training

Everything you should know about the job of civil engineer: training, everyday work, salary, career paths, future prospects and where there are jobs for civil engineers.

From Martin Kinkel


What does a civil engineer do?

A civil engineer deals with technical issues in the construction industry. In addition to houses, civil engineers have for example. also to do with roads, bridges, tunnels, canal systems or sports halls. Your range of tasks extends from planning and construction through construction or maintenance to operation ("facility management").

While architects are more responsible for the design of buildings, civil engineers are more concerned with questions of technical feasibility and implementation. Depending on the project, this also includes close cooperation with the architect and checking whether certain plans by the architect can be technically implemented at all.

Building construction and civil engineering

Civil engineers are often specialized, for example in the maintenance and repair of bridges or the construction of high-rise buildings. In the construction industry, a distinction is usually made between building construction and civil engineering.

In simple terms, one can say that building construction takes place above, civil engineering below or on the ground. Building construction includes the construction of houses or bridges. B. road and tunnel construction or anything that has to do with foundations. On a skyscraper, civil engineering specialists work on the foundation and building construction specialists on the building above the ground.

To the civil engineer application package with sample résumé, cover letter and further information

In addition to specializing in certain areas of the construction industry, civil engineers are also often specialized in terms of content, e.g. B. as a structural engineer, on the construction and calculation, the construction or the renovation, whereby each area requires special knowledge and experience.

What knowledge does a civil engineer need?

Of course, basic technical knowledge is required, although this can come from very different areas depending on the specialization, e.g. B. Materials science, physics, geology or statics. Mathematical knowledge is helpful in many cases and is imparted in the training anyway. A civil engineer must also be happy to deal with technical issues and have a wealth of ideas in order to be able to develop new solutions.

Depending on the focus of their work, a civil engineer also needs knowledge from other disciplines, e.g. B. Business administration (in facility management) or building law and craftsmen, etc.). Foreign language skills, especially English, are often required here.

The civil engineering profession is also known as ...

Depending on the focus of activity, a civil engineer can e.g. B. as "civil engineer" or "hydraulic engineer". A civil engineer is also often hiding behind a "site manager", a "building expert" or a "building surveyor".

What are the training paths to become a civil engineer?

In most cases, the path leads through a degree in "civil engineering", either at a technical college or a university. The classic engineering degree ("Dipl.-Ing.") Has been replaced by Bachelor and Master degrees in recent years. Depending on the qualification, a doctorate to become a Dr.-Ing. possible.

Dual training at a vocational academy or dual university is also possible. As a rule, a completed training in a building trade is a prerequisite for this. In addition to the degree, a master craftsman's certificate in the relevant trade (e.g. carpenter or electrician) is also acquired.

Can career changers become civil engineers?

Since a civil engineer needs specific specialist knowledge from the construction sector, a lateral entry is at best conceivable through closely related disciplines such as architecture or materials science. Even graduates of other technical courses such as electrical engineering or mechanical engineering will often not have any structural engineering knowledge and will therefore not be able to work as a civil engineer without further ado.

Where can I find jobs for civil engineers?

Civil engineers naturally work in construction companies of all kinds, in real estate development or management companies, in engineering offices and, to a considerable extent, also in the public sector, e.g. B. in building authorities. Numerous civil engineers are also freelance, e.g. B. as appraisers and experts or freelance construction and project managers.

Career paths for civil engineers

A civil engineer can be promoted to team or project manager or construction manager, in a construction company, of course, to managing director or board member. In the public service, one can become a head of office, building city councilor or building mayor, whereby the "correct" party membership is often important for electoral offices.

What do you earn as a civil engineer?

Compared to other engineers, civil engineers earn relatively little and at the same time have some of the longest working hours of all engineering professions. Career starters are often between 30,000 and 40,000 euros, while those with professional experience usually come to 45,000 to 60,000 euros. If the employee is on the road a lot, a company car is usually also provided.

(Image: Andreas F.)