Civil Engineers

Architecture and Construction > Civil Engineers > Overview
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Civil Engineers

Civil Engineers - Overview

Civil engineers plan and supervise large construction projects.

Civil engineers work on projects such as:

  • Roads
  • Buildings
  • Airports
  • Tunnels
  • Dams
  • Bridges
  • Water systems

To begin planning a new project, civil engineers gather a lot of data. To gather data, they:

  • Conduct soil tests
  • Test materials for strength
  • Survey project sites
  • Study traffic patterns
  • Assess environmental conditions

Civil engineers create and analyze reports, maps, and blueprints. They compute energy use, water flow rates, and grade requirements. They also estimate costs for materials, equipment, and labor. They assess risk and write environmental impact statements if required.

Throughout the building process, civil engineers work with other engineers. They often work on teams, especially for large or complex projects. Sometimes they manage other engineers on a project.

Some civil engineers direct construction at the project site. During construction, they inspect the site to monitor work progress. They also make sure that the project follows the design and meets environmental and safety standards.

Some civil engineers specialize in one area such as:

  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Water resources
  • Transportation

In today's green economy, project goals always include using less water, less electricity, and creating less pollution. Some civil engineers manage projects to clean up polluted areas.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.