Civil Engineer

Civil engineers are responsible for the planning, designing, maintenance and management of projects to do with the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage systems. Civil engineering may be the oldest of the all the engineering disciplines and today, civil engineering encompasses a range of specialized fields which include structural design, marine, environmental, construction, hydraulic engineering, transportation, and geotechnical engineering.

They study, explore, implement and maintain the modern environment of road access, reservoirs of accessible and hygienic water, as well as other facilities. Many technological conveniences, so taken for granted in modern society, are maintained, implemented and designed by those trained in civil engineering.

Many civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions, from supervisor of a construction site to a city engineer. They may supervise the work of surveyors, draughtsmen, technicians and other workers and may also carry out research, lecture or serve as consultants for engineering, construction or architectural firms. Others may work in design, construction, research and teaching. The work environment, therefore, ranges from quiet modern offices to remote areas in rugged terrain. They may have to travel or move from place to place to work on different projects. The actual work setting depends on the speciality chosen and on the size, location and financial resources of the employer.

Engineering graduates usually begin work under the supervision of experienced engineers and are gradually given more responsibilities as they gain experience. Some engineers with experience and additional education move into administration or management. Many high-level executives in industry began their careers in engineering.

Civil Engineering Technicians and Technologists

For civil engineering technicians and technologists, see Engineering Technicians and Technologists.

Personal Requirements

  • aptitude for Science and Mathematics
  • able to visualise objects three-dimensionally
  • creative and have initiative
  • accurate and persistent
  • able to make decisions
  • able to work well with others
  • able to express ideas clearly
  • good health and stamina
  • have managerial qualities
  • able to manage and organise projects


  • government departments, provincial administrations and municipalities
  • construction companies
  • engineering or architectural firms
  • Mittal Steel, Sasol, Eskom and CSIR
  • universities of technology and universities
  • self-employment, with the necessary experience and initiative, as a consultant

Getting Started

  • arrange to speak to a civil engineer and ask permission to observe this work
  • try to obtain part-time or vacation work with a construction or manufacturing firm


Boston City Campus and Business College does not offer a programme that leads directly to this occupation. Please take a look at the related occupations below to see whether any of these appeal to you. Alternately, please send an email to and a Student Advisor will call you back.


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