What Do Civil Engineers Do?

What Do Civil Engineers Do

Table of Contents

The question of what do civil engineers do often comes to mind. Students, engineers, and others always search this topic to know about the roles and duties in civil engineering. You are probably one of them and looking for information on what do civil engineers do. You are at the right place to learn about the said topic and acquaint yourself with the knowledge. Certainly, this will help to decide about your current tasks or for future.

Tip: Project management and technical skills are important for any type of civil engineering work.

Civil engineer helps to build and maintain or manage the infrastructures such as buildings, roads, bridges, or even water resources. Moreover, they ensure water, electricity, gas, and sewage is available for any type of project by creating networks and facilities. Additionally, they are good at planning, design, and overall management of the project. For such purposes, they use a wide variety of computer modeling software and conduct surveys. This helps contractors and architects to decide the best course of action to deliver the work and reduce cost. Therefore, they are crucial for any project and often play an important part while working in teams.

What Do Civil Engineers Do?

A civil engineer performs planning, designing, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure or systems. Mostly, the highways, roads, dams, airports, and other public projects are sites where they work. They are capable of planning as well as analyzing and overseeing the construction of structures. They use scientific principles and engineering knowledge for developing safe and sustainable projects. Additionally, they can also perform quantity take offs such as materials including cement, concrete, and rebar.

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Moreover, they are an important part of any project. Contractors and owners depend on them for feasibility studies and design details. They also help them in managing their construction and comply with plans and regulations. Furthermore, one of the important roles of such types of engineers is to coordinate with other teams in the project. They collaborate with architects, planners, and contractors to deliver the work and build the infrastructure. This is important for any type of construction since it is a complex activity and involves different engineering and non-engineering disciplines.


What Does a Civil Engineer Do in Projects?

The civil engineer possesses knowledge of different activities and disciplines in construction. They understand structural mechanics, materials, geotechnical engineering, and other relevant disciplines. Moreover, they also have good problem-solving and decision-making skills which is important for complex activities involving construction. Furthermore, innovation and facing challenges are a must for them to meet the requirement and deliver the work within a given budget with safety and sustainability.
Additionally, they specialize in areas such as roads or railways, dams, turbines, mining and earthworks, ports, or offshore platforms. Therefore, they can work on transportation, structure, or geotechnical projects. They can work on a different and diverse range of projects and can perform:

  • Help in site investigations and analysis
  • Assess the potential and risks for a work
  • Design and develop drawings using computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Compliance with legal and safety requirements
  • Coordination with contractors, architectures, consultants, and others
  • Presenting solutions for challenges and redesigning the scope of work
  • Managing the entire activity within budget
  • Attending the meeting with stakeholders
  • Conduct surveys and analyze the data
  • Furthermore, analyze surveys and use modeling software for mapping data
  • Assisting the contractors in bids preparation and reports
  • Checking the environmental impact and risk
  • Monitoring the progress and taking corrective actions

Responsibilities and Duties of Civil Engineer

What do civil engineers do depends upon the type of activity or work they are undertaking. Moreover, these duties vary on specific job roles in a given project and they are responsible for that part only. Below are some common and general duties and responsibilities for them:

i. Design and Planning

Designing and planning the infrastructure is the main duty of the engineer. They analyze the requirements and conduct feasibility studies to create designs and drawings with their technical skills. Safety, sustainability, and environmental risks are always their responsibilities.

ii. Project Management

They oversee and manage the project work for the entire lifecycle. Moreover, they take care of budgets, schedules, and resources. They procure as well as allocate the resources and coordinate with different stakeholders for smooth construction. Additionally, they liaise with contractors, regulators, and others for successful work delivery.

iii. Construction Supervision

Construction is not commonly the task of an engineer, rather it is the task of the contractor. However, an engineer oversees the work and ensures safety, quality, and compliance with designs. Additionally, they visit the construction sites and monitor the progress to solve any issues and provide advice to teams.

Fact: Civil engineers are trained for in-depth knowledge of concrete, cement, and other materials.

iv. Site Investigation

A site visit is an important duty and responsibility of the engineer. This is usually for checking environmental and geological conditions such as soil composition, water table level, and potential hazards to the structure. This helps them to determine the feasibility, and suitability of the site and conditions for working.

v. Cost Estimating and Budgeting

Cost estimations for the budgets are what do civil engineers do. They assess materials, equipment, and labor requirements and then consider market prices accordingly. For example, they can perform duties for concrete estimating services firms. This helps them to develop estimates and continuously monitor the budget to ensure it stays on track and within the budget.

vi. Regulatory Compliance and Reporting

What do civil engineers do is to ensure construction complies with applicable codes, standards, and permits. Building codes, environmental regulations, and legal requirements are the responsibilities of engineers. They must get approval for the activities. Moreover, they maintain documentation including drawings, specifications, reports, change orders, and specifications.

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What do civil engineers do is according to their part and role in any construction or other project. There are specific roles in different disciplines where civil engineers work according to duties and responsibilities. However, they are involved in big construction projects such as roads, buildings, and dams. They can also work on different systems such as water, sewage, and plumbing. Designing, and maintaining the project in compliance with regulations and safety is an important part of their role. What do civil engineers do is mostly planning, estimation, and management of construction. Moreover, they are important and earn well with job growth expected for the next decade.


Earning a bachelor’s degree is often the first step to launch your career in civil engineering. However, you can always gain experience to kick-start your career.

Civil engineering is important for safety and sustainable development. They design and maintain infrastructure for us.

Demand is getting high due to high demand for housing worldwide. Surely, this is rewarding career.