Estimator / Civil Engineer

Overview of Occupation

Income Bracket: $80,000 – $120,000+

Civil engineering offers exciting and rewarding career opportunities for people who want to make a difference. As a Professional Engineer, Technologist or Associate you’ll help create and maintain the infrastructure systems (including roads, railways, bridges, dams, airports, harbours, transport systems, gas and water supply and sewerage systems) that support our daily lives and shape our society for future generations. Civil engineering encompasses four main sub-divisions: geotechnical engineering; hydraulics (water) engineering; structural engineering; and transport engineering. Geotechnical Engineering is concerned with the behaviour of foundation materials including soils and rocks and foundation design. Hydraulics (Water) Engineering deals with the use and flow of water and includes the design, construction and maintenance of water supply facilities and sewerage systems.

Structural Engineering is concerned with the design, construction and maintenance of all types of structures including dams, bridges and stadiums to ensure strength and rigidity.

It deals with structural materials such as concrete, steel and wood. Transport Engineering is about moving people and freight. It covers planning, design, and improving transportation systems such as roads, railways, airports, harbours and ports. Civil engineers may work indoors in an office environment or on project sites, depending on their area of speciality. They need excellent communication skills as the job involves contact with a diverse range of people such as project owners, contractors, suppliers, all levels of government and the public.

Civil engineers may also be required to manage staff, including other members of the engineering team and workers on the project site.

Alternative Titles: Airport Engineer, Harbour Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer, Highway Engineer, Hydraulics Engineer, Pipeline Engineer, Project Engineer, Railway Engineer, Road Engineer, Structural Engineer, Transport Engineer, Water Supply Engineer

Education and Training: Various pathways are available for students seeking a career in civil engineering. Engineering Australia, the body responsible for accrediting engineering programs in Australia.

Employment Opportunities: There is a severe shortage of qualified Civil Engineers in the industry, there are numerous employment opportunities in all sectors of the Civil Industry.

Range of tasks performed in the occupation, depending on the area of speciality, tasks may include:

  • Investigating sites to find out what is under the ground
  • Remediation of contaminated soil sites
  • Preparing detailed designs for infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water supply and sewerage systems
  • Analysis of structural materials such as concrete, steel and timber
  • Managing contracts and the tendering process
  • Supervising construction and maintenance works
  • Organising labour and materials
  • Providing technical advice
  • Resolving problems as they arise
  • Liaising with various people and organisations, including clients, contractors, suppliers, residents, technical and other consultants, local government authorities and government agencies
  • Managing and mentoring staff
  • Implementation and management of quality programs

To be successful in this occupation you should:

  • Be able to communicate effectively at all levels
  • Be able to analyse and solve problems
  • Be able to work in a team environment
  • Be able to work independently
  • Be able to accept responsibility
  • Work well under pressure
  • Have leadership ability