Civil Engineering Professionals design, plan, organise and oversee the construction of civil engineering projects such as dams, bridges, pipelines, gas and water supply schemes, sewerage systems, roads, airports and other structures; analyse the likely behaviour of soil and rock when placed under pressure by proposed structures and design structural foundations; analyse the statical properties of all types of structures and test the behaviour and durability of materials used in their construction; plan and develop transportation systems; and estimate and monitor the construction costs of projects.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually required. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration or licensing may also be required.

Tasks

  • determining construction methods, materials and quality standards, and drafting and interpreting specifications, drawings, plans, construction methods and procedures
  • organising and directing site labour and the delivery of construction materials, plant and equipment, and establishing detailed programs for the coordination of site activities
  • obtaining soil and rock samples at different depths across sites and testing samples to determine strength, compressibility and other factors that affect the behaviour of soil and rock when a structure is imposed and determining the safe loading for the soil
  • studying architectural and engineering drawings and specifications to estimate total costs, and preparing detailed cost plans and estimates as tools to assist in budgetary control
  • monitoring changes to designs, assessing effects on cost, and measuring, valuing and negotiating variations to designs
  • analysing structural systems for both static and dynamic loads
  • designing structures to ensure they do not collapse, bend, twist or vibrate in undesirable ways
  • assessing present and future travel flow patterns taking into account population increase and needs change
  • designing the physical aspects of transportation systems such as highways, railroads, urban transit, air transportation, logistical supply systems and their terminals

Job Titles

  • Civil Engineer
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Quantity Surveyor, or Building Economist
  • Structural Engineer
  • Transport Engineer
  • Civil Engineer

    Plans, designs, organises and oversees the construction and operation of dams, bridges, pipelines, gas and water supply schemes, sewerage systems, airports and other civil engineering projects. Registration or licensing may be required.

    Specialisations: Airfield Engineer Officer (Air Force), Hydraulics Engineer

  • Geotechnical Engineer

    Plans, directs and conducts survey work to analyse the likely behaviour of soil and rock when placed under pressure by proposed structures, and designs above and below ground foundations. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Quantity Surveyor, or Building Economist (also called Construction Economist)

    Estimates and monitors construction costs from the project feasibility stage, through tender preparation, to the construction period and beyond. Registration or licensing is required.

  • Structural Engineer

    Analyses the statical properties of all types of structures, tests the behaviour and durability of materials used in their construction, and designs and supervises the construction of all types of structures. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Transport Engineer

    Plans and develops transport systems to improve infrastructure efficiency and the cost effectiveness of moving people and freight. Registration or licensing may be required.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,916 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    43,000
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    86.3%
  • Female Share

    13.7%
  • Full-Time Share

    91.8%

Find Vacancies

This is a large occupation employing 43,000 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Civil Engineering Professionals work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Construction; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 40.9 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,916 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 35 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 9 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200535500
200635600
200734200
200835900
200937000
201047400
201145700
201239900
201343900
201441300
201543000
202047200

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsCivil Engineering ProfessionalsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings19161230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryCivil Engineering ProfessionalsAll Jobs Average
Full-time91.868.4
Part-time8.231.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)40.940.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services50.3
Construction20.1
Public Administration and Safety16.2
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services5.5
Other Industries7.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateCivil Engineering ProfessionalsAll Jobs Average
NSW39.831.8
VIC19.725.5
QLD19.619.8
SA6.26.8
WA11.611.2
TAS1.02.0
NT1.51.1
ACT0.61.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketCivil Engineering ProfessionalsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.4-5.45.4
20-2411.5-9.99.9
25-3438.0-23.423.4
35-4424.6-21.721.7
45-5411.6-21.121.1
55-593.2-8.78.7
60-646.1-5.95.9
65 and Over4.7-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryCivil Engineering ProfessionalsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males86.3Males53.6
Females13.7Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationCivil Engineering ProfessionalsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate18.3-8.68.6
Bachelor degree72.4-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma2.4-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0.0-18.918.9
Year 126.8-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100.0-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually required. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed. Registration or licensing may also be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Civil Engineering Professionals who have a positive and enthusiastic attitude and connect well with others.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Engineering and Technology

    92% Important

    Use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  2. Building and Construction

    89% Important

    Materials, methods, and the tools used to construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

  3. Mathematics

    86% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  4. Design

    84% Important

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  5. English Language

    81% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    88% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  2. Getting Information

    87% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    84% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  4. Interacting With Computers

    82% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  5. Checking Compliance with Standards

    81% Important

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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