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Civil Engineers

What they do?

Civil engineers perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Conduct feasibility studies, economic analyses, municipal and regional traffic studies, environmental impact studies or other investigations

B. Monitor air, water and soil quality and develop procedures to clean up contaminated sites

C. Conduct technical analyses of survey and field data for development of topographic, soil, hydrological or other information and prepare reports

D. Act as project or site supervisor for land survey or construction work

E. Prepare contract documents and review and evaluate tenders for construction projects

F. Supervise technicians, technologists and other engineers and review and approve designs, calculations and cost estimates.

G. Confer with clients and other members of the engineering team and conduct research to determine project requirements

Where they find work?

Engineering consulting companies
Construction companies
All levels of government

What education do I need?

1. You need a university degree in civil engineering or in a related field of engineering.

2. You may also need a master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering field.

3. You need a licence from a provincial/territorial association of professional engineers to approve engineering drawings/reports and to practice as a professional engineer (P. Eng.).

4. As an engineer, you are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, after three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering, and after passing a professional practice examination.

5. With experience, you can move up the ranks to become a supervisor.

6. Most recent entrants have an undergraduate university degree, and almost 3 in 10 have a community college diploma.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Math
2. English
3. Physics
4. Computer-related courses

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Civil Engineers is $29.79/HR, which is close to the average for occupations in the natural and applied sciences and related occupations and close to the average for all professional occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Civil Engineers wages

Expected Wage by Age

Civil Engineers Wage By Age


2% of Civil Engineers are unemployed. This rate is close to the average for professional occupations.


Civil Engineers Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Civil Engineers Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Civil Engineers is considered Above Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($29.79) are above the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

3. The unemployment rate (2%) is close to the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Above Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be above average because of an increase in capital investments and engineering construction.

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely exceed the number of job openings. This will not be significant enough to have an impact on the work prospects.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations (per 10,000 people) of Civil Engineers are found in Alberta and New Brunswick while the lowest concentrations are in Prince Edward Island and Manitoba.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (19%) is below the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Project management

2. Team project work

3. Proposal writing

Part Time Workers

Civil Engineers Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

5% of Civil Engineers are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 37,400 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 11% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Civil Engineers Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The relatively low percentage of younger workers suggests few entry-level job openings, and could point to a greater need for workers with experience or a number of years of training. The retirement rate to 2009 will likely be average reflecting the age/retirement structure of the occupation.

Self Employed

Civil Engineers Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 20% of Civil Engineers are self-employed. This is considered Above average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Civil Engineers Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

14% of the individuals employed as Civil Engineers are women. Compared to other industries, this is Average.