A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer

Although all engineering careers are critically important in one way or another, civil engineering is ranked among the most critical. With this type of work, a civil engineer would be involved with the development of infrastructure to include integrity and safety of the building process. For the various responsibilities that go with a civil engineering job description, a person would be required to complete specialized education.

As shown below, there are no real predefined responsibilities for a civil engineering career although there are specific duties that would be performed. The reason is that for civil engineering projects, it takes a number of different engineers to get the job done. Therefore, the only way to list everything that goes along with the work of this type would be to list the duties for each of the different engineers in sub-categories involved with the project.

Now, in saying that, it is possible to list duties that are a part of the civil engineering job description performed by the actual civil engineer. Some of the primary things this professional would be responsible for are listed below.

Examine the construction site to make sure any possible dangers have been eliminated prior to giving approval for the construction project to begin
Perform both feasibility and technical study, which would reveal critical information about the potential building site

Develop a detailed design report prior to work starting. Before a civil engineer along with other construction experts can put a seal of approval on a project, they would need to have a full understanding as to the architectural design, as well as specific details that would need to be completed while following a strict set of guidelines.

The most important thing to anyone involved with construction is the safety of workers. Because this is a higher risk occupation with several specific jobs being deemed high risk, it would be critical for the civil engineer to determine whether the location is or is not safe. Of all items within a civil engineering job description, this is, without doubt, the most vital in that nothing can replace a human life.

As stated, there are certain types of construction jobs that are risky. For instance, drywall hangers handle heavy panels of drywall while breathing in small dust particles, glaziers are responsible for cutting and installing large and heavy pieces of glass, and scaffold workers perform duties at great heights, which creates a risk of falling. It is expected that certain risks for a construction project will exist but as the civil engineer, a risk management plan must be developed and implemented to avoid as many injuries possible.

One of the key elements of being a successful civil engineer comes with solid leadership. When a project and all workers involved are lead rather than ordered around, a great deal of respect and trust is developed. Ultimately, this makes the entire product more efficient whereby fewer mistakes are made and the customer is satisfied. Of course, as a civil engineer, any problem being addressed would need to be kept in the highest of confidence.
Labor management is also a part of the civil engineering job description, which means that workers on all levels should work to full capacity for the knowledge and skill possessed. With good labor-management abilities, there would be a more cohesive atmosphere on the job site.

Dealing with design issues is also something a civil engineer gets involved with. It would be this professional’s position to review the challenge, provide analysis, and then make acceptable recommendations. However, as part of this process, any suggestions by the civil engineer would need to be logical.

Even setting and monitoring the project’s budget would be listed as one of the civil engineering job descriptions. In addition to the cost of materials and supplies, the engineer would oversee spending for labor, travel, incidentals, and much more to ensure the project does not become more expensive to complete than what has been approved for the budget.

Another aspect of the civil engineer job description has to do with the purchase of equipment needed to get the job done the right way. Unfortunately, both faulty equipment and improperly trained workers are a recipe for disaster. Therefore, this professional would oversee all equipment safety and ensure workers have been provided any needed training.

Of course, along with the different responsibilities for a civil engineering job description provided, this type of professional is known for possessing multiple talents in order to keep up with projects under construction. Because of this, many civil engineers work more than a 40-hour workweek. In fact, there are times when issues arise or someone has been injured on the job that the civil engineer would head to the job site at night, on the weekends, or even on holidays.

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