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Design & planning

Civil engineer Green Job

Civil engineers design and manage construction projects such as buildings, bridges, transport links and sports stadiums.

Annual Salary

£28,000 to £60,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

40 to 42 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; occasionally

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Civil engineer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a civil engineer, you could:

  • work closely with clients to understand what they need
  • map and analyse data using mathematical modelling methods
  • create design plans and models with computer software
  • assess the risks and environmental impact of projects
  • monitor progress at each construction stage
  • lead a team of engineers, co-ordinate work and manage a budget

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work on a construction site or in an office.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in civil engineering.

Many universities specialise in particular areas of civil engineering like:

  • transport engineering
  • environmental engineering
  • coastal and maritime engineering

Some courses include a work placement, which can be useful for making industry contacts to help find work after university.

You can apply to do a postgraduate master's qualification in civil engineering if you've got a degree in a related subject like maths, science or geology.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and a science for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You could take a course at college, which might help you to get work as a trainee civil engineer, or to apply for further study at university.

Subjects include:

  • civil engineering
  • maths, physics or geography
  • construction and the built environment

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a higher national certificate or higher national diploma
For more information

You can do a Civil Engineer Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship.

This takes around 5 years to complete.

You might also start by doing an apprenticeship to qualify as a civil engineering technician, then go on to do the Civil Engineer Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

You could work as a civil engineering technician and study part time for a degree or apprenticeship while you work.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) for professional development opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about how to become a civil engineer from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

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It's important to continue your professional development while working as a civil engineer.

For example, you could look to get incorporated or chartered engineer status. This would allow you to get positions with more responsibility, such as senior management roles on large scale projects.

With experience, you could also:specialise in a particular engineering field; work in research; become an engineering consultant; work with international development organisations or disaster relief agencies

You can find out more about becoming a civil engineer from the Institution of Civil Engineers and Tomorrow's Engineers.

How does this job help to address the impacts of climate change and protect wildlife and nature in the West of England?

Civil Engineers are needed to support the design, planning and development of new low carbon buildings and places, as well as working on new low carbon transport projects in the West of England region.

Examples of post-16 courses you could study at local schools or colleges

  • Physics, Maths A-levels
  • BTEC Level 3 Construction, Management and Built Environment at City of Bristol College
  • T-level Construction: Design, Surveying

Click here to find a local provider

Apprenticeships you may be able to take with local employers

  • Level 3 Civil Engineering Technician
  • Level 4 Civil Engineering Senior Technician
  • Level 6 Apprentice Civil Engineer

Click here to search for a local apprenticeship

Examples of post-18 courses you could study at local higher education providers

Click here to search for other university courses

For more information on the different routes you can take to get into working as a civil engineer, take a look at the 'Routes into this job' section above. 

Click here for an explanation of the different course and apprenticeship levels.

Local employers 

  • Turner and Townsend
  • Ove Arup and Partners 
  • WSP

For more local employment opportunities see the 'Live job vacancies by region' section above.

Click here for a profile of Helen Randell, Senior Civil and Structural Engineer at Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • maths knowledge
  • design skills and knowledge
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • operations analysis skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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