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So You Wanna Be A Civil Engineer

by on February 24, 2015 | Top Stories, Career Guide

The job of a civil engineer

Civil Engineer Civil engineers design, build, repair and maintain structures and large buildings. They also build bridges, roads, railways, and tunnels.

On the job, civil engineers are involved in the planning of these building projects. They need to take into consideration constructions costs, government regulations and the potential impact of the project on the environment. They also carry out tests on building materials and the soil on which the foundation is built.

Besides inspecting project sites to ensure that safety or sanitation standards are met, civil engineers also need to ensure that the construction is carried out according to design specifications.

Is this job for you?

If you like figuring out how a something works and finding ways of improving a system then this could be the career for you. Civil engineers like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They are good at making decisions and managing a team of people in implementing the project plan.

The interest code for this career is RIC (Realistic, Investigative, Conventional).

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work styles

In addition to personality traits, there are also certain work styles suited to the job of a civil engineer. Civil engineers need to be honest, ethical, reliable and dependable. They need good organisational skills in being able to monitor and evaluate the project's progress and ensure that it complies with its design and regulations. In addition, they need to be good in analytical thinking and problem-solving in order to manage the many facets of planning, design and construction.

Work values

Civil engineers like to be independent in working and making decisions on their own. They value job security and good working conditions. They also value recognition and it is important that their job offers advancement, potential for leadership, and prestige.

Work environment

The work of civil engineers is divided between working indoors in offices and outdoors at construction sites where they need to conduct evaluations and monitor the progress of a project at the site. Some civil engineers may need to travel to a different city or country to the project site and work there for the duration of the construction.

Places of Employment

Civil engineers are employed by construction companies, local authorities and consultancy companies.

Job Entry Requirement

To practise as an engineer in Malaysia, one must graduate with an engineering degree recognised by the Engineering Accreditation Department, Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and be registered as a graduate engineer. Subsequently, one can apply to become a professional engineer. Find out more at BEM's website here.

Education and Training Qualifications:

  1. Diploma in Civil Engineering
  2. Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering
  3. Master's degree and PhD in Civil Engineering

Find out where you can pursue a degree at bachelor, master or doctoral level in civil engineering on our website.

Watch this video to find out more about what civil engineers do.


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