Civil Engineering in Australia

The population of Australia is rapidly expanding. This creates pressing demands for affordable housing, access to safe and efficient roads to travel, accessible schools, and healthcare facilities that are developed to care for people today and into the future. With restrictions on raw land to develop new projects, and growing environmental factors, today’s civil engineers in Australia face multiple challenges.

The task of developing our roads, highways, water treatment facilities, bridges, airports, and other infrastructure projects is allocated to professional civil engineers. They find creative ways of resolving problems to improve the condition of existing infrastructure facilities, buildings, and utilities such as electrical, nuclear power, and water treatment plants. These proven professionals resolve issues quickly, efficiently and sustainably.

Civil engineers have tremendous impact on Australia and the entire globe. Not only are they responsible for working with other construction and development experts to improve our quality of life, but they also factor in environmental concerns, integrate renewable energy factors, and create new projects that will become part of a sustainable future.

Today’s civil engineer works with civilian and government agencies that focus on residential, commercial and government development projects. They collaborate with other engineers, land surveyors, architects, and construction-specific professionals.

Civil engineers implement new techniques, use advanced software and monitoring equipment, and can work on projects as small as a local city road, to those as large as complete metropolitan infrastructure development. Even if civil engineers are not directly required to have forms of insurance, most will choose to take out personal indemnity, professional and other types of business insurance. Because they have such a high level of responsibility, even the most meticulous civil engineer will feel more confident doing their job knowing that they have protection should something unexpected happen.

Civil engineering is indeed a vital and critical profession for Australia, not only to maintain our current quality of life, but to ensure our longevity and future prosperity.

What Does a Civil Engineer Do?

The typical day for a civil engineer is never the same. One day they can be reviewing soil samples in the comfort of their office, while the next, they are travelling remotely and working outdoors in the cold and rain. Civil engineering is an evolving and diverse profession. Civil engineers plan, design, and manage construction projects ranging from a single road to sporting stadiums, airports, and even large waterways, harbours, and complete sewage systems. They work in residential or commercial industries, and for government agencies ranging from local municipalities to federal agencies.

The modern civil engineer focuses on developing environmental, transportation, and structural projects such as roads, highways, aqueducts, agriculture development, buildings, manufacturing facilities, and more. They must complete years of educational and on-the-job training and must be certified to practice as civil engineers in the Country of Australia. In many instances, they will receive specific certifications and licenses to practice in specific provinces.

Today’s civil engineer must also have exceptional problem solving skills, the ability to locate, isolate, analyse and resolve problems, possess exceptional communication (both written and oral) skills, have strong mathematic and scientific skills, be creative and practical, and have the ability to work without direct supervision. The civil engineer of the 21st century must possess strong team skills, be a good leader, and have the ability to resolve challenges and solve problems within budgetary constraints and environmental restrictions.

One of the best tools used by modern civil engineers is computer-aided design or CAD software. This platform allows them to create renderings in multiple dimensions and is generally considered the primary technology needed for planning any major construction project. A civil engineer must work with other professionals including construction supervisors, architects, and CAD operators. They monitor projects, provide feedback and general guidance, and may also be tasked to resolve problems alone.

Employers of civil engineers seek candidates that possess a minimum of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. The vocation has multiple sub-divisions that focus their talents on environmental, transportation, logistics support, and other factors. Most civil engineers must also maintain accurate records and professional licenses based on specific job responsibilities. It is also common for civil engineers to act as managers or leaders, so having experience with leadership training and management skills is crucial to success.

How much do Civil Engineers get paid in Australia?

GradAustralia surveyed more than 3,000 recent civil engineering graduates that currently work for seventy of Australia’s largest employers within the industry and found it to be a lucrative industry.

In fact, the average graduate salary (which is based on a typical 46-hour work week) equates to roughly $66,000 annually – which also includes bonuses. On the average, civil engineers can expect to earn between $1,057 to $2,115 on a weekly basis. This breaks down to an average annual salary range from $55,000 to $110,000. As with any other vocation, a candidate’s speciality, education level or years of experience impact their earning potential.

The information gathered from this survey indicate that civil engineering graduates are earning more and have better employment opportunities than those focusing on advisory, accounting, IT, consulting, public service, and logistics industries.