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2131 Civil engineers

Civil engineers plan, design, develop and manage projects for the construction or repair of buildings, earth structures, powerhouses, roads, airports, railways, rapid transit facilities, bridges, tunnels, canals, dams, ports and coastal installations and systems related to highway and transportation services, water distribution and sanitation. Civil engineers may also specialize in foundation analysis, building and structural inspection, surveying, geomatics and municipal planning. Civil engineers are employed by engineering consulting companies, in all levels of government, by construction firms and in many other industries, or they may be self-employed.

Example Titles

bridge engineer
civil engineer
construction engineer
environmental engineer
geodetic engineer
geomatics engineer
highway engineer
hydraulics engineer
municipal engineer
project engineer, construction
public works engineer
sanitation engineer
structural engineer
surveying engineer
traffic engineer
transportation engineer
water management engineer

View all titles

Main duties


Civil engineers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Confer with clients and other members of the engineering team and conduct research to determine project requirements
  • Plan and design major civil projects such as buildings, roads, bridges, dams, water and waste management systems and structural steel fabrications
  • Develop construction specifications and procedures
  • Evaluate and recommend appropriate building and construction materials
  • Interpret, review and approve survey and civil design work
  • Conduct field services for civil works
  • Ensure construction plans meet guidelines and specifications of building codes and other regulations
  • Establish and monitor construction work schedules
  • Conduct feasibility studies, economic analyses, municipal and regional traffic studies, environmental impact studies or other investigations
  • Monitor air, water and soil quality and develop procedures to clean up contaminated sites
  • Conduct technical analyses of survey and field data for development of topographic, soil, hydrological or other information and prepare reports
  • Act as project or site supervisor for land survey or construction work
  • Prepare contract documents and review and evaluate tenders for construction projects
  • Supervise technicians, technologists and other engineers and review and approve designs, calculations and cost estimates.

Employment requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in civil engineering or in a related engineering discipline is required.
  • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • Licensing by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practise as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).
  • Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, and after three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is offered by the Canada Green Building Council and may be required by some employers.

Additional information

  • There is considerable mobility between civil engineering specializations at the less senior levels.
  • Supervisory and senior positions in this unit group require experience.
  • Engineers often work in a multidisciplinary environment and acquire knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practise in associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing or management.

Classified elsewhere

  • Chemical environmental engineers (in 2134 Chemical engineers )
  • Construction managers (0711)
  • Engineering managers (0211)
  • Geological engineers (2144)
  • Managers in transportation (0731)

Classification Structure - 2