Job Description of a Civil Engineer

Civil engineers practice civil engineering - an engineering branch that focuses on public works construction, design, and maintenance. The professionals could be hired by private firms or municipalities that have earned the contract for the public works project. A civil engineer's qualifications vary across nations. Generally, the job position needs the candidate to have a four-year civil engineering degree backing his credentials. In specific cases, formal certification would be required prior to someone promoting civil engineer skills.

Civil engineering is considered among engineering's most extensive and oldest branches. It concentrates on elements of public works such as water treatment, transportation, public facilities like train stations and airports, government buildings, and other similar big-scale projects that benefit the general public. Civil engineers should be capable of designing safe structures that adhere to region-specific standard codes. The structures should be planned with efficiency, maintenance and similar economic aspects in mind to make sure they would last for several years together.

Within the transportation domain, civil engineers make tunnels, bridges, freeway interchanges, etc. that are designed for facilitating even, smooth traffic flow while making way for higher use and expansion rates. Water treatment encompasses fresh water delivery systems, sewage plants, dams, and similar facilities that manage both waste and fresh water. The government buildings range from city halls to police stations. The engineer could also be on-board for projects such as a huge office building or city power plant.

Civil engineers' salaries are reasonably high, as these professionals are extremely skilled and highly trained. Public service jobs may not fetch similar handsome salaries, but that gap is made up for by other benefits and major positions in the society. Private contractors could entice civil engineers with highly attractive compensation packages and benefits. The position could also be hazardous, based on the amount of time spent on the field by the engineer. However, this could also be quite adventurous, particularly in areas that merge cutting-edge design techniques and technology into public works projects.

Senior civil engineers are also crucial to these projects. Senior engineers play a major role in designing and constructing structures such as bridges and dams. They are responsible for ensuring the structures adhere to their intended requirements, and are safe. Generally, senior engineers have a doctorate or master's degree in the field. But there are some senior civil engineering professionals who only have a bachelor's degree, with experience to fill up voids, if any. A senior engineer's basic job responsibilities include checking code compliance, designing structures, supervising workers and performing safety testing. 

Perhaps, designing structures is the core responsibility of seasoned engineers. For instance, the senior engineer could prepare a new bridge design that connects a waterway's opposing sides. The engineer is responsible to ensure every structure is robust and can handle the duress caused due to prolonged usage. In certain locations, the engineer must also spare some serious thought for natural disasters, like hurricanes or earthquakes. 

Usually, the design begins its journey as a rough sketch, which is later fine-tuned via CAD (Computer-Aided Drafting) software.