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

  • $1,916 Weekly Pay
  • 54,400 workers Employment Size
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 92.5% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43 hours Average full-time
  • 37 years Average age
  • 13.1% female Gender Share

The number of Civil Engineering Professionals grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 54,400 in 2017 to 65,600 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 34,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Civil Engineering Professionals work in many regions of Australia. Many work in New South Wales.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Construction; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (92.5%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43.0 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 37 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 13.1% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200736100
200834800
200935300
201042800
201148100
201243300
201342300
201439000
201546100
201641400
201754400
202265600

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services43.7
Construction29.3
Public Administration and Safety12.5
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services3.5
Other Industries11.0

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 2017, 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
NSW42.931.6
VIC18.026.2
QLD22.919.7
SA4.86.7
WA8.510.8
TAS1.32.0
NT1.41.1
ACT0.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.1-5.25.2
20-2413.5-9.99.9
25-3430.9-23.623.6
35-4421.8-21.721.7
45-5415.3-20.820.8
55-597.2-8.88.8
60-647.3-6.06.0
65 and Over3.8-4.04.0

Education Level

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/IV0-18.918.9
Year 126.8-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Resources and Infrastructure Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-2051.00 - Civil Engineers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-2051.00 - Civil Engineers.

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