A civil engineering degree prepares you for work in the construction industry as well as in the business, management and financial sectors
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Building control surveyor
- CAD technician
- Consulting civil engineer
- Contracting civil engineer
- Design engineer
- Nuclear engineer
- Site engineer
- Structural engineer
- Water engineer
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Building services engineer
- Construction manager
- Engineering geologist
- Fire risk assessor
- Geotechnical engineer
- Patent attorney
- Quantity surveyor
- Sustainability consultant
- Urban designer
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
It's crucial that you get some relevant work experience during your studies. Employers place great importance on experience, and it'll give you an insight into the working practices of an engineering firm.
If your course doesn't include an industrial placement, look for relevant summer internships and placements. Any kind of role in a construction or civil engineering setting will allow you to build your understanding of issues related to the planning and execution of projects. Use this experience to expand your knowledge and to develop contacts and network.
Casual, hands-on construction work and administrative jobs may be available, but many employers offer structured work experience opportunities.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
As a qualified civil engineer you can find work in a range of sectors, particularly in the construction sector, on buildings and large structures of all kinds, transport and communications infrastructure.
You can also work for employers involved in the production, storage and distribution of electricity, gas and water.
Vacancies arise across the UK and overseas, with a range of contractors and consultancies.
There are also opportunities to work in-house for a variety of national and multinational organisations, particularly within the public sector. Local authorities, government departments and environmental organisations, for example, employ civil engineers to set up project specifications and draft tender documents.
Skills for your CV
Studying civil engineering provides you with a range of technical skills valued by employers in various sectors, including engineering, construction and property.
With a solid grasp of science, mathematics and technology, you'll learn to design, create and build structures efficiently, making best use of available resources and techniques.
Through realistic construction-based group projects, you'll gain practical experience of applying your engineering judgement and working successfully with others.
Transferable skills gained on a civil engineering course include:
- creative approach to problem solving
- critical thinking skills
- ability to interpret data
- numeracy, IT and communication skills
- analytical and decision-making abilities
- an awareness of ethical issues.
Most new graduates who enter professional training with a civil engineering company continue to study part time while working in order to achieve either chartered (CEng) or incorporated (IEng) engineer status. The routes to professional registration are outlined by the Engineering Council.
Some graduates go on to further study at postgraduate level in order to develop specialist knowledge in a particular area such as water management, earthquake engineering, maritime civil engineering or environmental engineering. Options include a taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD.
For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search for postgraduate courses in civil engineering and construction.
What do civil engineering graduates do?
Six months after graduating, 57% of civil engineering graduates in employment in the UK are working as civil engineers.
More than 16% go on to further study or combine further study and work, often undertaking research into an area of particular interest from their undergraduate degree.
|Working and studying||4|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Engineering and building||74.8|
|Technicians and other professionals||5.6|
|Retail, catering and bar work||4.2|
For a detailed breakdown of what civil engineering graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Find out more
- Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES)
- Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT)
- Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
- The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)