Who do Civil Engineers Work With?

Civil engineers are trained professionals who plan and maintain infrastructure projects such as airports, roads, dams and stormwater drainage. Learn more about what your life as a civil engineer can be like.

Who do Civil Engineers Work With?

Civil engineers play a pivotal role in infrastructure and construction projects, collaborating with a wide array of professionals. They often work closely with architects, urban planners, construction managers, and environmental consultants to design and implement projects. Surveyors, geotechnical engineers, and structural engineers are also key collaborators to ensure project feasibility and safety. Beyond structural considerations, modern developments prioritize sustainability and occupant comfort. Hence, questions like "how often should I service my air conditioner" become relevant, emphasizing the importance of HVAC specialists in the broader scope of project planning and execution. This integrated approach ensures projects are not only structurally sound but also functional and user-centric.

Civil engineers are trained to solve the design, construction and maintenance problems of the natural and physically built environment. They are responsible for public works, such as roads, railroads, bridges, buildings, and water and energy systems. Civil engineers plan, design and manage large construction projects, including bridges, buildings, transport links and other important structures. They use computer modeling software and survey, test, and map data to create project plans.

These plans advise contractors on the best course of action and help minimize environmental impact and risk. Civil engineers can work from cars or trucks as they move from one site to another. Many of them work for government agencies in government office buildings or facilities. Occasionally, civil engineers travel abroad to work on large engineering projects in other countries.

They can also work for a government organization or in private industry, competing for government contracts. Because there are many different types of projects that a civil engineer can undertake, many of them specialize in one type of project or branch of the profession, such as transportation engineering, structural engineering, or geotechnical engineering. Civil engineers can also hold supervisory or administrative positions ranging from construction site supervisors to municipal engineers, public works managers, and city managers. In the United States, many civilian infrastructure projects are managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which hires civilian engineers and trains soldiers in engineering principles. The day-to-day tasks of any civil engineer will largely depend on the specialty they choose to perform. However, they are expected to perform many detail-oriented designs and calculations in an office environment.

When documented plans don't match reality, civil engineers design solutions that stay within the framework of a project. In essence, civil engineers solve problems and must work closely with teams of people, including architects, designers and contractors, to bring projects to life and do so safely. Sustainable engineering uses current resources optimally so that it does not negatively impact the environment, ensuring that present and future generations live in a safe and healthy world. You may be able to work as a civil engineering technician while studying part-time to qualify as a civil engineer. With the recovery of the national economy, civil engineering jobs are expected to grow by 20 percent in the next decade - faster than average. From design to budgeting to needs assessment, civil engineers can participate in all of these activities or they can supervise others who create the initial plans or proposals.