Who is a civil engineer and what does he do?

Not all people fully understand who a civil engineer is and what he does, what his place of work is. It is worth paying attention to the duties of the VET in construction and the duties of the construction control engineer, to the salary and job description. If you firmly decided to connect your life with this profession, you will also need to deal with the nuances of training.

Description of the profession

The main task of a civil engineer is to coordinate various construction works. It is natural that it is needed not when building a private house, but when working on a larger scale. It is from such a specialist that the determination of the budget and the recruitment of performers for various positions depends. The last point inevitably suggests that this is also a quality specialist. His specialization is classified as «man-technique».

Civil engineers are always busy and downtime is extremely rare. It is believed that this is one of the most versatile and interesting construction specializations. It is closely connected with geodesy, as evidenced by the range of mastered disciplines. Only self-confident people who will become team leaders and make important decisions can take such a position.

It is also worth noting that you will constantly have to work with documents and very scrupulously follow the rules for their preparation.

Speaking about the pros and cons, it must be indicated that a civil engineer:

  • always in demand;
  • can work both in the city and beyond;
  • does not directly engage in physical labor;
  • can be justly proud of the creative nature of their work and personally observe the result;
  • receives a relatively good income.

But at the same time:

  • the working day is not always standardized;
  • sometimes you have to travel very far for work, sometimes even to remote places;
  • the responsibility is very great;
  • there are strict standards that must be impeccably observed;
  • customers and contractors can sometimes put forward conflicting requirements;
  • problems can be created by the indiscipline of the performers or other surprises during construction.

Who can work?

A civil engineer can apply for a job as one of the following professionals.

Road construction laboratory engineer

This is a slightly different specialization. Those holding such a position can control not only the construction, but also the repair and restoration of roads. It is they who control that a coating of a strictly defined thickness and quality is applied, and if this is not the case, they immediately raise the alarm. The laboratory can be stationary or mobile. This determines the number of examinations that can be carried out, their complexity and accuracy.

In some cases, technologists evaluate the wear of the canvas on the track and say whether it needs to be repaired or not.

shipbuilding engineer

Such professionals are employed in the field of:

  • design;
  • construction;
  • construction control;
  • expert study of sea and river vessels, their individual parts, equipment and auxiliary watercraft.

It is their efforts and diligence that determine:

  • what the ships will look like;
  • what will be their carrying capacity, speed and other characteristics;
  • how efficiently and safely the ship will be used;
  • whether seafarers and/or passengers will be comfortable there.

Engineer surveyor

Basically, such employees are engaged in determining the levels of the terrain and measuring elevation changes. Their activities are carried out in a variety of conditions, and sometimes they have to walk many kilometers through difficult terrain, measuring and analyzing the results of measurements. In general, surveying engineers answer 4 main questions:

  • whether the area is suitable for building at all;
  • is it possible to build something concrete there;
  • what measures need to be taken to eliminate the negative aspects of the relief;
  • how expensive and difficult it will be to carry out such preparatory work.

Design engineer

The main activity of a design engineer is the preparation of architectural and executive drawings. It is he who will develop schemes for water supply and sewerage, electrical infrastructure. Even the most ordinary-looking building could not have appeared without the participation of design engineers. They constantly interact with architects and designers in order to obtain not only a completely functional and comfortable, but also a harmoniously beautiful object.


A civil engineer for technical construction is mainly engaged in the construction of industrial, energy, transport and infrastructure facilities. The shipbuilder, as already mentioned above, works to obtain first-class ships and vessels that will fulfill their task in any conditions. There is no separate specialization in the field of landscape gardening construction. Such functions are performed in passing by general construction engineers or leading engineers of landscape gardening. There is also an engineer for the construction of railways and communications.

Such a professional is able to design and organize a structure:

  • railway lines;
  • transport interchanges;
  • bridges and tunnels;
  • auxiliary structures for transport communications.

Job description

The hiring and dismissal of civil engineers is made by the decision of the head of the organization. Only in exceptional cases and with a very large size of the organization, this function can be assigned to the deputy head. Most often, subordination to chief engineers is provided, optionally to architects. Chief Engineers have the right to temporarily appoint an employee replacing the retired civil engineer. But attention should be paid to the functionality of such specialists.


The main functions of civil engineers are:

  • elaboration and coordination of design solutions;
  • elaboration of work schedules, their adjustment as necessary;
  • coordination of current changes with contractors, customers and government agencies;
  • proposal of measures to improve construction activities;
  • ongoing inspections of facilities being constructed and repaired (on their own or in cooperation with other people);
  • tracking current trends in the construction industry.

But even all this, as well as the preparation of as-built documentation that would suit the chief engineer and customers, does not exhaust the functions performed. Additionally you will need:

  • develop estimates in accordance with established requirements and forms of management;
  • prepare technical specifications for third-party performers (external contractors);
  • accept (together with other specialists) finished objects;
  • help the company prepare for tenders;
  • comply with technical and fire safety standards.

Knowledge and skills

The key knowledge of civil engineers are:

  • understanding of the laws and regulations in this area;
  • standards for working with technical and project documentation;
  • parameters of materials and technical structures;
  • features of weather conditions and other factors affecting the construction, operation of buildings;
  • fire and electrical safety requirements;
  • safety requirements in a particular industrial area;
  • criteria for evaluating the work performed and the degree of their completion.

The professional standard for an engineer of the capital construction department implies the following professional skills:

  • collection and storage of special documentation;
  • preparation of initial data for design;
  • the ability to estimate the amount of work;
  • readiness to form proposals for contractors and subcontractors;
  • possession of mathematics and physics at a high level;
  • ability to read maps, plans and diagrams;
  • ability to work with computer-aided design systems.

A responsibility

The civil engineer will be responsible for:

  • improper performance or complete failure to perform their duties arising from the job description, contracts and regulations;
  • violation of the requirements prescribed by civil, administrative and criminal legislation;
  • causing material damage to your organization, customers, contractors, other persons and organizations;
  • trade secret violation.


The civil engineer has the following powers:

  • participate in the discussion of prepared documents, regulations and other decisions of the organization’s management;
  • make suggestions that will improve the work, get a more attractive result with minimal time and money;
  • notify managers and other interested parties of identified violations within their authority;
  • to establish the reasons why the work schedule has been disrupted, its quality has been violated, or other shortcomings have arisen;
  • track the elimination of previously discovered shortcomings and problems, give instructions for each stage and nuance of improvements;
  • make decisions that allow you to perform work efficiently in the event of a change in the composition of materials, adjustments in terms, changes in the size of the budget during construction, achieving the same unchanged quality of finished structures and their parts.

In the ETCS, a close analogue of such professionals are employees of VET in construction or engineers supervising construction works. They are obliged:

  • carry out technical control in the interests of the customer;
  • monitor the implementation of work plans;
  • help to develop more promising methods and schemes of work;
  • participate in the development of new building materials;
  • conduct technical acceptance of finished objects;
  • take into account completed construction and installation works and prepare final reporting documents based on such materials;
  • own the principles of labor protection and safety (since the optimization of the construction process to the detriment of them is not allowed).

Personal qualities

The specificity of the activity of civil engineers leaves an expressive imprint on their personality. Or, rather, a person must initially have certain qualities in order to qualify for such a position. It is imperative to have an analytical mindset, otherwise it will not be possible to prepare everything so scrupulously. Also important:

  • excellent visual memory;
  • advanced technical thinking;
  • the ability to quickly switch between different objects and distribute their attention;
  • the ability to work carefully, even if you have to deal with a monotonous function for a long time;
  • accuracy.


Even a general acquaintance with the specialty of a civil engineer shows that in order to obtain the necessary education, one must pass mainly physics and mathematics. However, each educational institution (and even individual faculties) has the right to establish its own norms and requirements, vary the subjects for admission and set a certain bar. These requirements may also change from year to year. Therefore, it is necessary every time to study the most up-to-date information on the official website and in other sources. The necessary training is provided by a wide variety of institutes and universities.

The choice of an educational institution should be done very responsibly. In the Urals, you can go to study, for example, in:

  • Magnitogorsk University named after Nosov;
  • UrFU;
  • SUSU;
  • Ural University of Communications.

Large educational institutions that train civil engineers are located in the Russian capital. Among them stand out:

  • Moscow Polytechnic University;
  • RUDN;
  • Geological Prospecting University named after Ordzhonikidze;
  • Agricultural Academy named after Timiryazev;
  • Moscow Construction University;
  • MADI.

Very good chances in St. Petersburg. There, the necessary professional training and advanced training can be offered by:

  • Polytechnic University named after Peter;
  • mining University;
  • University of Railway Transport.

If for some reason these educational institutions do not suit you, you can apply to:

  • Far Eastern Federal University;
  • Kuban Agrarian University named after Trubilin;
  • Ufa Oil Technical University;
  • Far Eastern University of Communications;
  • Voronezh and Yugra Technical Universities;
  • Kazan Research Technical University;
  • Sibstrin;
  • Technical University of Kaliningrad;
  • OmSTU;
  • State University of Orenburg.

Place of work

Although some of these specialists may even get a job in colleges and other educational institutions where certain technical disciplines will be taught, this is far from the main option. Basically, civil engineers are employed in companies involved in the construction and repair of various facilities. Some of them go to specialized design organizations. After a relatively simple retraining, one can become an architect.

Another quite possible area of ​​application of their efforts can be expert and evaluation activities.

How much does he earn?

Despite a certain stagnation in the construction industry in Russia, the average salary of civil engineers can still stand out favorably against the general background. The more important the object, the more significant it is. At large construction sites of national importance (or relevant for several regions at once), such a specialist receives from 70 to 85 thousand rubles. True, it is extremely difficult to get to such a position, it is customary to supervise all such projects from beginning to end, and they are rare. The least experienced employees can earn an income of 19-25 thousand rubles a month.

Civil engineers, having worked for 1 year or more, can already find a place with an income of up to 55-60 thousand rubles. The most experienced can be offered a bet of up to 100-200 thousand. Income above the average is found in areas with a difficult climate. For example, in the regions of the Far North, in Ust-Ilimsk and other places, a salary of 150 thousand is quite common.

Additional money can be paid for:

  • experience in the construction of large industrial facilities;
  • possession of specialized programs;
  • knowledge of foreign languages.

In addition to direct payments, bonuses can be awarded based on the results of work. Additional bonuses are:

  • catering by the employer;
  • compensation for fuel and lubricants and depreciation of personal vehicles;
  • transportation by company transport;
  • cell phone payment.

In Moscow, the situation is ambiguous. The city is actively built up, but the income of civil engineers varies greatly. The average level is from 62,000 to 80,000, the peak value is about 160,000. But the average income of such specialists in the country is 40-47 thousand rubles.

Abroad, in economically developed countries, it corresponds either to the level of the most advanced domestic specialists (in Germany), or 1.5-2 times higher (USA).

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