Civil Engineers

Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.

Sample of reported job titles: City Engineer, Civil Engineer, County Engineer, Design Engineer, Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer, Licensed Engineer, Project Engineer, Railroad Design Consultant, Structural Engineer

Also see: Transportation Engineers, Water/Wastewater Engineers

Occupational Requirements

Work Activities Outline Save Table: XLSX CSV

ImportanceWork Activity
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • IWA Investigate the environmental impact of industrial or development activities.
    • DWA Investigate the environmental impact of projects.
      • Task Identify environmental risks and develop risk management strategies for civil engineering projects.
      • Task Conduct studies of traffic patterns or environmental conditions to identify engineering problems and assess potential project impact.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • IWA Determine resource needs of projects or operations.
    • DWA Estimate technical or resource requirements for development or production projects.
      • Task Compute load and grade requirements, water flow rates, or material stress factors to determine design specifications.
  • IWA Implement procedures or processes.
    • DWA Implement design or process improvements.
      • Task Develop or implement engineering solutions to clean up industrial accidents or other contaminated sites.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • IWA Provide information or assistance to the public.
    • DWA Explain project details to the general public.
      • Task Prepare or present public reports on topics such as bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • IWA Inspect facilities or equipment.
    • DWA Inspect facilities or sites to determine if they meet specifications or standards.
      • Task Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards.
  • IWA Test characteristics of materials or products.
    • DWA Test characteristics of materials or structures.
      • Task Test soils or materials to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations, concrete, asphalt, or steel.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • IWA Analyze data to improve operations.
    • DWA Analyze operational data to evaluate operations, processes or products.
      • Task Analyze manufacturing processes or byproducts to identify engineering solutions to minimize the output of carbon or other pollutants.
  • IWA Evaluate designs, specifications, or other technical data.
    • DWA Evaluate technical data to determine effect on designs or plans.
      • Task Analyze survey reports, maps, drawings, blueprints, aerial photography, or other topographical or geologic data.
Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • IWA Prepare proposals or grant applications.
    • DWA Prepare proposal documents.
      • Task Prepare or present public reports on topics such as bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • IWA Assess characteristics of land or property.
    • DWA Survey land or bodies of water to measure or determine features.
      • Task Direct or participate in surveying to lay out installations or establish reference points, grades, or elevations to guide construction.
  • IWA Estimate project development or operational costs.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • IWA Coordinate regulatory compliance activities.
    • DWA Coordinate safety or regulatory compliance activities.
      • Task Direct engineering activities, ensuring compliance with environmental, safety, or other governmental regulations.
  • IWA Direct construction or extraction activities.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • IWA Create visual designs or displays.
    • DWA Create graphical representations of civil structures.
      • Task Plan and design transportation or hydraulic systems or structures, using computer-assisted design or drawing tools.
  • IWA Design structures or facilities.
  • IWA Develop systems or practices to mitigate or resolve environmental problems.
    • DWA Design systems to reduce harmful emissions.
      • Task Design or engineer systems to efficiently dispose of chemical, biological, or other toxic wastes.
Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • IWA Advise others on business or operational matters.
    • DWA Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
      • Task Provide technical advice to industrial or managerial personnel regarding design, construction, program modifications, or structural repairs.
Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • IWA Develop operational or technical procedures or standards.
    • DWA Develop technical methods or processes.
      • Task Identify environmental risks and develop risk management strategies for civil engineering projects.
      • Task Develop or implement engineering solutions to clean up industrial accidents or other contaminated sites.
Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

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