The civil engineer, an expert in science and technology, is involved in all phases of the realization and construction of a work of art: a road, a building, a bridge, etc. A key figure in Buildings and Public Works (BTP) companies, he holds a position of great responsibility since it is on him that the proper preparation of a construction project and its proper execution depend.
Civil engineers sometimes occupy positions called “works engineer,” “construction engineer,” or “methods engineer.”
The civil engineer works mainly in companies and services dedicated to construction, building, and public jobs, in all companies likely to play a role in the development of territories, namely, in construction companies (builders and developers), building companies, and the public sector (in particular local authorities). It is involved in the construction of all types of infrastructure.
The role of the civil engineer
A profession at the heart of land development issues, the civil engineer has the particularity of playing a substantial role in developing a given territory. This also implies that him having to deal with multiple interests, which are not devoid of political meaning: economy, environment, housing, and habitat. This is why, to the many technical skills essential to this profession’s exercise, it is necessary to add several skills to be cultivated.
Skills and qualities
To carry out all these missions, the civil engineer combines his technical knowledge and his expertise in science with strong managerial skills, a keen sense of priorities and organization, and the ability to work under pressure. The following skills and qualities will be expected of him:
Civil engineering technical skills
- Knowledge of planning law, construction, and construction standards
- Advanced skills in technical calculations and mastery of design software (CAD)
- Project management, team management
Qualities required for the civil engineer
- Rigor and vigilance
- Diplomacy and interpersonal skills
- Stress resistance
- Solid general knowledge
- Curiosity and inventiveness to find solutions to complex problems
- Autonomy, sense of responsibility, ability to make crucial decisions
The missions of the civil engineering jobs
- Preliminary studies before any work are carried out: impact on the environment, the economy, the inhabitants, and the territory. The civil engineer is responsible for examining all the consequences and externalities of the project entrusted to him.
- Studies before the design or renovation of structures: mathematical calculations, choice of materials, the analysis of the terrain and topographic and geological surveys, etc. The civil engineer makes the most suitable choices for designing the infrastructures entrusted to him by crossing a lot of information.
- Management and monitoring of the proper execution of the work and compliance with the schedule. The civil engineer may be called upon to select subcontractors, to monitor construction sites in conjunction with other construction engineers, works managers, architects, project owners, etc.
- Constant regulatory monitoring: compliance with standards and regulations is also his responsibility.
What is the salary of a civil engineer?
In the private sector, the average salary of a civil engineer with some experience is around $3,100 gross monthly.
To put the odds on your side, take full advantage of the experiences offered by the internship periods and bet on work-study. The HEI construction specialization also allows its students to train under an apprenticeship contract.
What training to become a civil engineer?
The training to become a civil engineer leads to a Bac+5 level and lasts 5 years, depending on whether it begins after the baccalaureate or 2 or 3 years after the first base of higher studies (BTS, BUT, License)
Several training courses are possible according to your profile and your desires.
Opt for one of the science prep classes after high school. Join the HEI generalist engineering cycle if you want to continue your studies after your BTS, BUT, or Licence. In addition, the HEI engineering cycle offers several areas of specialization directly related to architecture, construction, and building engineering: the Building and Public Works area, the Building, Planning, and Architecture area, and the Smart Cities area.