Civil Project Engineer Job Description

Civil project engineers design and supervise the construction of public structures and buildings. This involves construction projects such as bridges, roads, dams, levees, and large public buildings. Civil project engineers are either employed by the government or work in the private construction sector. The actual design process may take place in an office, but civil project engineers spend a lot of time on site ensuring projects are completed on time and on budget. This is a position for someone who doesn’t want to sit at a desk all day.

The role of civil project engineer involves supervisory duties. Part of their responsibility involves directing workers onsite to make sure the project is constructed according to their specific designs. They may work under a lead civil project engineer, but there isn’t a strict hierarchy. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for civil engineers, which includes civil project engineers, is set to rise 11 percent through 2026.


Civil Project Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

The role of civil project engineer is a technical position that involves many different duties and responsibilities. We searched civil project engineer job descriptions to craft the following list of civil project engineer duties and responsibilities:

Analyze Data to Plan and Design Projects

Civil project engineers spend a fair amount of time analyzing data during the planning stage. They look at land survey reports, demographic information, local zoning laws, etc.

Conduct Risk-Analysis for Each Project

The risk-analysis stage involves testing the real-world application of a theoretical design. It requires someone who is inquisitive, yet pragmatic, to consider such things as construction costs and environmental impact.

Prepare and Submit Permits to Comply with Federal, State, and Local Regulations

Every town and every state has its own regulations when it comes to permits for public properties. It is up to the civil project engineer to proactively prepare and submit these documents to the proper departments.

Analyze Test Results of Construction Materials

Civil project engineers make sure all of their construction materials pass inspection and meet government regulations. This involves conducting tests on materials such as wood, steel, and asphalt for quality assurance.

Manage the Repair and Maintenance of Completed Projects

Sometimes civil project engineers are called upon to repair a public structure rather than design and build a new one. This requires one to first diagnose the areas for repair and then outline the project components necessary to get the repairs done. Project management skills are necessary to perform this duty.


Civil Project Engineer Skills

As the role of civil project engineer is a technical position, most of the skills required are hard skills, but there is a management aspect to this role that requires some soft skills. Civil project engineers have to be experts in their area of specialization, which can be construction, transportation, geotechnical, or structural. Problem-solvers who take pride in their attention to detail do well in this position. This position also requires project management skills to bring designs to life. Other skills civil project engineers need to get hired include:

  • Designing public structures and project blueprints using CAD and CAE software
  • Creating repair and maintenance project outlines using project management software
  • Managing civil engineer technicians and lower-level workers to complete projects on time and on budget
  • Analyzing relevant data to create project plans
  • Conducting risk-analysis to set each project up for success


Civil Project Engineer Tools of the Trade

  • CAD and CAE software – this software is used to digitize the design process
  • Project management software – this software is used to organize all the moving parts of a project


Civil Project Engineer Education and Training

Civil project engineers need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from an institution accredited by the ABET, which is the issuing organization for the professional engineering license. Academic coursework covers mathematics, fluid dynamics, statistics, civil engineering technology, and engineering principles and mechanics.


Civil Project Engineer Salary

According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for civil engineers, which includes civil project engineers, is $83,540. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $53,470 and those in the top 10 percent make $132,880.


Civil Project Engineer Resources

We compiled the following list of resources for those interested in learning more about the career path of civil project engineer:

American Society of Civil Engineers – Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers now has more than 150,000 members in 177 countries, including many civil project engineers. There are several different groups within the organization, such as one for students and one for professionals under 35. The website contains a career development section and professional education resources.

National Association of Professional Engineers – The National Association of Professional Engineers is a general organization for all types of engineers, but it has a community specifically for civil engineers. When it comes to professional development, this organization offers 15 free courses, plus resources to prepare for the professional engineer licensing examination.

Daily Civil – Daily Civil is a civil engineering blog that produces educational and informational articles on the many tasks involved in the engineering process. It is updated at least once a week and has a lot of archived evergreen articles.

Masters in Engineering – Masters in Engineering is a general engineering blog that covers a variety of industry news and topics. It has a post of the top 50 civil engineering blogs that is a must-read for aspiring and practicing civil project engineers.

Civil Engineering Formulas – This book contains more than 500 common and not-so-common formulas used by civil engineers. It makes a great desk reference for civil project engineers.


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