What To Know Before Taking Up A Civil Engineering Career

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Starting Your Career In Civil Engineering

civil engineer

Once you have finished your studies in the university under , many of you will start out in the construction or structural industry when it comes to your career. This is usually because of the many graduate schemes available to you. 

If you graduate with a specialization, then bigger bosses will be more inclined to hire you and put you straight into a specialist sector. In contrast to bigger firms, smaller firms do not have the ability to hold as many specialized departments. As such, the fresh graduates hired will be expected to be able to dabble into all the different areas. 

According to MDIS, a management development institute for civil engineering singapore here is a list of items to consider before pursuing a career as a civil engineer.


Consider the environment you would be working in

Are you someone who enjoys working in a building or someone who enjoys working outdoors? Being a civil engineer means that you either will be in a consultancy or a contractor. As such, the environment that you will be in can be quite different from what you expect. 


If you work as a consultant: you will be in charge of designing structures and helping with the follows ups for design-related problems. This requires you to stay throughout the entire project until its completion. One benefit of this is that you are able to mingle and meet new people while fostering close working relationships as well as friendships. Additionally, if you are someone who enjoys working indoors, then this is the job for you! You will mostly be working in an office, which means that the aircon will be provided. 


If you decide to work as a contractor, the responsibility you have would be to aid in the realization of the consultant’s designs. You will help to supervisor the consultant’s team during their process. Additionally, you are given the chance to work with specialist subcontractors every once in a while. Being a contractor means that you get to work on-site. So if you are someone who would much rather prefer to be outdoors, then this is the job for you.

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When applying for jobs, the recruiters helping out during the process would already expect you to know the difference between a consultant and a contractor. However, there is also the opportunity to work in client organizations as they need the skills and knowledge of an in-house civil engineer to help out with their projects. The job scope for this position is quite similar to that of a consultant’s but you will also need to be able to hone some project management roles as well. 


Think about your final year project


Once you have decided on your final year project, it is good to choose something that would help you in your job search in the future. Pick on that resonates with the ideal job you are looking into exploring. This will help you in terms of specialization. While there is a need for civil engineers in the workforce, some companies are more inclined to hire those who have the skills and knowledge. This then allows them to fill up more specialized roles. 


Although there is no certainty that your final year project will positively impact your job search, it is good to think about what you want to explore and how it could potentially benefit you. For example, if you are interested in building a huge structure such as the train track, then it would be good to take up a module such as structural engineering to equip you with the basic knowledge you need. 


Consider which industry suits you best

When it comes to civil engineering, the choices presented to you are quite vast. Here are some of the different areas you can look at before making the decision:

machine worker

If you are interested in buildings

Civil engineers might be invited to work with building services experts to help plan and design structures that can hold in the long run. They will also advise on which methods would be appropriate and even help to comply with the environmental regulations that are being implemented. 

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If you are interested in energy and power

When it comes to energy and power you can work on projects such as power stations, and even oil platforms, just to name a few. This job requires you to not only design but also build a structure that is able to create and transmit energy. 


If you are interested in the environment

Care about the environment? Thinking of ways to help make the planet greener? Well, in this position, you will be able to help advise on these projects. You can tell them how the ecological impact the project could be making and how to best avoid or fix it. 


If you are interested in water and public health


In this area, you have to think about the different ways in which you can help provide the people with clean water to drink. You would also be able to help treat wastewater economically. As a civil engineer, you can plan and design drainage systems for example. 


When you are looking for a job in these areas, it is good to see which companies have projects on the way or in progress. This is because they are usually more inclined to hire more help during the process as well. As such, always keep yourself well informed of the various projects at hand! 

Summing up

In conclusion, there are many things to consider before diving into a particular job in the field of civil engineering. You have to decide if you are an indoor or outdoor person. You must also think about the courses that you have taken and how they can help increase your chances of being hired. Think about the areas of specialization as well as what interests you. Never forget your interest as you must still find joy in what you do.


Think you have what it takes to be a civil engineer? There are many engineering courses you can take to further your dream.