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Consultingcivilengineer

Jobdescription
Civilengineersareinvolvedwiththedesign,developmentandconstructionofahugerangeofprojectsinthebuiltandnatural
environment.
Theirroleiscentraltoensuringthesafe,timelyandwellresourcedcompletionofprojectsinmanyareas,including:
highwayconstruction
wastemanagement
coastaldevelopment
geotechnicalengineering.
Consultingcivilengineersliaisewithclientstoplan,manage,designandsupervisetheconstructionofprojects.Theyworkina
numberofdifferentsettingsand,withexperience,canrunprojectsasaprojectmanager.
Civilengineeringoffersmanyopportunitiesaswellasthesatisfactionofhelpingtoimproveandenhancepublicqualityoflifein
manysettings.

Typicalworkactivities
Withincivilengineering,consultingengineersarethedesignerswhereascontractingengineersturntheirplansintoreality.
Consultingcivilengineersprovideawiderangeofservicestoclients.Duringtheearlystagesofacareer,workwillinvolvetaking
responsibilityforminorprojects,butthesizeoftheprojectsmayincreaseasyougainexperience.Tasksofteninclude:
undertakingtechnicalandfeasibilitystudiesandsiteinvestigations
developingdetaileddesigns
assessingthepotentialrisksofspecificprojects,aswellasundertakingriskmanagementinspecialistroles
supervisingtenderingproceduresandputtingtogetherproposals
managing,supervisingandvisitingcontractorsonsiteandadvisingoncivilengineeringissues
overseeingtheworkofjuniorstafformentoringcivilengineersthroughoutthechartershipprocess
communicatingandliaisingeffectivelywithcolleaguesandarchitects,subcontractors,contractingcivilengineers,
consultants,coworkersandclients
thinkingbothcreativelyandlogicallytoresolvedesignanddevelopmentproblems
managingbudgetsandotherprojectresources
managingchange,astheclientmaychangetheirmindaboutthedesign,andensuringrelevantpartiesarenotifiedof
changesintheproject
leadingteamsofotherengineers,perhapsfromotherorganisationsorfirms
compiling,checkingandapprovingreports
reviewingandapprovingprojectdrawings
usingcomputeraideddesign(CAD)packagesfordesigningprojects
undertakingcomplexandrepetitivecalculations
schedulingmaterialandequipmentpurchasesanddelivery
attendingpublicmeetingstodiscussprojects,especiallyinaseniorrole
adoptingallrelevantrequirementsaroundissuessuchasbuildingpermits,environmentalregulations,sanitarydesign,
goodmanufacturingpracticesandsafetyonallworkassignments
ensuringthataprojectrunssmoothlyandthatthestructureiscompletedontimeandwithinbudget
correctinganyprojectdeficienciesthataffectproduction,qualityandsafetyrequirementsbeforefinalevaluationand
projectreviews.

Salaryandconditions
Averagegraduatestartingsalaryisaround23,500.
Typicalsalaryofgraduatesaged25andwithundertwoyears'experienceis26,500.
Thosewithuptofiveyears'experienceearnanapproximateaverageof30,000.
TheaveragebasicsalaryformembersofInstitutionofCivilEngineers(ICE)is49,793.
AgenerousLondonweightingapplies.
TheaveragebasicsalaryofICEfellowsis81,447(InstitutionofCivilEngineers(ICE)SalarySurvey2013).
Mostemployersprovideadditionalbenefits,suchasapension,healthcarescheme,lifeinsurance,companycar,mobile

phoneandpaymentofprofessionalfees.
Theaverageworkingweekis42hoursandmayincludesomeunsocialhours,dependingonyourparticularspeciality
andindividualprojectrequirements.Youmayalsohavetoworksomeweekendsandoccasionallylonghours.
Whilethejobinvolvesalotofofficebasedactivities,itrequiresfrequentvisitstosites,particularlyfornewgraduates.
Somerolesdemandmoreattendanceonsitethanothers.Thesitecanbebasedatlongdistancesfromtheofficeand
conditionscanbecold,messyandunpleasant.
Itmaybepossibletosetupyourownconsultancyfirmaftermanyyearsofprovenprofessionalexperience.
Womenareunderrepresentedincivilengineering.Asawhole,theengineeringindustryiskeentoencouragethe
recruitmentofmorefemaleengineerstoredressthebalance.Organisationsactivelysupportingwomentoenterthe
engineeringprofessionincludetheWomen'sEngineeringSociety(WES)andWISE(WomenintoScience,Engineering
andConstruction).
Jobsareavailableacrossthecountryindifferentsectors.Workandtravelabroadmaybepossiblewithalarge
consultancycompany.
Employmentprospectsareverygoodinthisfield62%ofrecentgraduates(whohaveICEmembership)areemployed
before,orimmediatelyafter,theygraduateandonly6%arelookingforajoblongerthanayear.
Dressisformalwithclients,whilelessformalbutsmartdressmaybewornintheofficewhennotmeetingclients.
Protectiveclothingiswornonsite.
Thepaceandnatureoftheworkingdaycanvarywidelyfromaheavyworkloadwithmanyactivitiestoquieterperiods.
Thereisahighlevelofresponsibilityinvolvedintheworkanditcanbeverydemanding.However,theconsiderable
varietyinthisworkmeansthereisagreatdealofjobsatisfaction.
Overnightandweekendstaysmayberequiredforsiteinspections.
SalarydatafromtheInstitutionofCivilEngineers(ICE).Figuresareintendedasaguideonly.

Entryrequirements
Thisareaofworkisopentocivil/structuralengineeringgraduates.Anhonoursdegree,accreditedbytheInstitutionofCivil
Engineers(ICE),isessentialforgainingCharteredEngineer(MICECEng)statuswiththeICE.
ItmaybepossibletoenterthisprofessionasagraduatewithaBScoranotherengineeringdiscipline,butyoumaybelimitedas
tohowfaryoucanprogressinyourcareer.EntrywithaHNDonlyisunusual.
InordertoachievecharteredmembershipoftheICE,thefirststageistosatisfytherequirementsoftheeducationalbase.This
meanseithertakinganMEng(Hons)ordoingaBEng(Hons)plusarelevantpostgraduatedegreeorfollowingasuitable
employerledlearningprogramme.
ThesecondstageinvolvesundertakingInitialProfessionalDevelopment,preferablythroughanICEapprovedtrainingscheme.
ThefinalstageistomeettherequirementsoftheProfessionalReview.
FulldetailsonroutesintocivilengineeringcanbefoundinthecareerssectionoftheICEwebsite.
Relevantsummerworkexperienceandplacementscanbeveryusefulinprovidingacontexttojobapplicationsaswellas
networkingopportunities.ContacttheICEtofindoutaboutindustrialplacementsortakealookatonlineresourcessuchas
Gradcracker.
Degreecoursesthatprovideayearinindustrycanalsobeveryhelpfulindevelopingcontacts.Theengineeringworldisanactive
community,whichprovidesavarietyofopportunitiesfornewentrantstonetworkandbuildontheirknowledgeoftheindustry.
Candidatesneedtoshowevidenceofthefollowing:
technicalcompetence
strongnumeracyandITskills
excellentcommunicationandteamworkingskills
abilitytoworktobudgetsanddeadlines
knowledgeofrelevantlegislation
attentiontodetail,combinedwiththeabilitytooverseelargeprojects
negotiationandleadershipskills
acreativeapproachtoproblemsolving
aflexibleapproach.
Employersselectcandidatesbecauseoftheexperienceandskillstheycanbringtoarole.However,itisimportanttobeaware
thatgainingtherelevantexperienceandskillsandbecomingprofessionallycharteredtakesasignificantlengthoftime.
Formoreinformation,seeworkexperienceandinternshipsandsearchpostgraduatecourses.

Training
Trainingisundertakenonthejobandinvolvesdesignandplanningfocusedworkwithintheoffice,inadditiontositebased
activities.ManyemployersofferstructuredtrainingschemestomeetInstitutionofCivilEngineers(ICE)requirementsfor
chartership.

Aswellasstructuredtraininganddevelopment,theseschemesalsoprovidesupportthroughamentor/supervisingcivil
engineer.
It'simportanttocheckwithemployersduringtheselectionprocesstoseeiftheyoperatesuchaschemeforgraduatesandifyou
willbeofferedaplaceonthescheme.DetailsofcompaniesthatofferapprovedtrainingschemesareprovidedTheICEApproved
EmployersSearchprovidesdetailsofcompaniesthatofferapprovedtrainingschemes.
Tojoinanapprovedtrainingschemeyoumustfirstenterintoatrainingagreementwithyouremployer.Thisguaranteesthat
theemployerwillprovidestructuredtrainingwhichwillhelpyoutoreachthevariousdevelopmentobjectivesnecessaryto
achievechartership.
Inordertogaincharteredstatus,agraduatewouldhavetoshowhowheorshehadachievedaparticulardevelopmentobjective
intermsoftakingintoaccountcriteriasuchas:
feasibility,constraintsandopportunities
linkstocodes
standards
specifications
contractconditions.
Acombinationofpersonalreports(e.g.diaries,continuingprofessionaldevelopment(CPD)records),workdocuments(e.g.
drawings,calculations)andthetestimonyofothershavetobeprovidedtodemonstratethatyouhaveachievedthedevelopment
objective.
CPDisanimportantelementofcareerprogressionforcivilengineers.TheICEprovidesguidelinesforeffectiveCPDandspecific
typesofactivities.Conferences,coursesandworkshopsonarangeofsubjectsareofferedbytheICEandotherkeyprofessional
bodies,suchas:
theCharteredInstitutionofWaterandEnvironmentalManagement(CIWEM)
TheInstitutionofStructuralEngineers(IStructE)

Careerdevelopment
Consultingcivilengineerscanworkonavarietyofprojectswhilegainingexperienceandworkingtowardscharteredstatus.
Onceyouhaveachievedcharteredstatus,youcantakeonfurtherresponsibilitiesandmanagelargerprojects.These
responsibilitiesmayincludemarketingorbusinessdevelopment,especiallyinsmallerconsultancies.
Scopeforgainingexperienceindifferentareasisusuallydowntothenatureofyouremployerratherthantheactualsize.This
meansitisessentialtofullyresearchtheindustryandtheapproachofindividualcompanies.Firinformationaboutspecific
companiesseetheInstitutionofCivilEngineers(ICE)websiteanditslinkedrecruitmentsite.Companywebsitescanalsoprovidea
usefulinsight.
Careerscandevelopinanumberofwaysandsomeemployersmayoffertheflexibilitytochooseaspecialistareaofwork.To
developyourcareeratafastpace,geographicalmobilityisuseful.Withexperience,itispossibletoworkabroadifyouare
employedbyalarge,multinationalcompany.
Employersvaryastohowtheydevelopandpromoteengineers,butgenerallygraduatesbeginatgraduateengineerlevel.Once
chartershiphasbeenachieved,promotiontoseniorengineerlevelispossible,followedbyprincipalengineerlevelwithfurther
experience.
Jobtitlesformoreseniorpositionswillvarybetweenemployers.Progressmaybepossiblebeyondtheseroles.Youmayfindthat
yourcareerprospectsarenegativelyaffectedifyoudonotgaincharteredstatus.
Civilengineerscanspecialiseinadiverserangeofareas,including:
coastalandmarine
power
waterandpublichealth
rail
tunnelling
highwaysandtransportation
structuralwork
environment.
ActivemembershipoftheICEatstudentlevelandbeyondisadvisableasitprovidesvaluablenetworkingopportunitiesand
enhancesyourcareerprospects.Aswellaslinkingwiththekeyindustrybodies,careerdevelopment(particularlyattheearly
stagesofyourcareer),canbesupportedbyattendingindustryeventsfordetailsofeventsseetheICEandNewCivilEngineer.

Employersandvacancysources
Whileconsultingcivilengineersareemployedmainlybycivilengineeringconsultancies,employersmayalsoinclude:
civilengineeringcontractors

localauthorities
watercompanies
propertydevelopers
theEnvironmentAgency(EA)
transportinfrastructurecompanies
governmentagenciesanddepartmentssuchastheDefenceEngineeringandScienceGroup(DESG)GraduateScheme.
Thechoiceofjobs,employers,specialistareasandlocationsvarieswidely.
Thisisadiverseanddevelopingindustrywithincreasingemphasisonpartnershipsbetweenorganisations,sustainabilityand
environmentalconsiderations.Employerscanrangeinsizefromthoseemployingarelativelysmallnumberofengineers,to
thosethatemploythousands.
Someemployers,especiallythesmallercompanies,specialiseinparticularaspectsofconsultancysuchasdesignforprojectsin
drainage,waterorrailways.Thelargerconsultancyfirmsmayoffertheirconsultancyservicesacrossawidevarietyof
specialisms.

Sourcesofvacancies
Searchgraduatejobsonthissite.
CareersinConstruction
TheCareerEngineer
ConstructionIndustryJobsBoard
NewCivilEngineer
NewCivilEngineer
ICErecruit
NewCivilEngineer
NewCivilEngineer
TheStructuralEngineer
Universitycareersservicevacancylists.
VacanciesarecommonlyhandledbyspecialistrecruitmentagenciessuchasThomasTelfordRecruitment.
TofindagenciesthatdealwithengineeringvacanciessearchtheRecruitment&EmploymentConfederation(REC).
Getmoretipsonhowtofindajob,createasuccessfulCVandcoverletter,andprepareforinterviews.

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WrittenbyAGCASeditors
Date:September2014
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