Career Switch From Civil Engineering


Business Leadership & Consultation

From Civil Engineering to Business Analyst?

The many transferable skills honed by engineers lend themselves very well to leadership and consultation roles especially soft skills.

When hiring leaders, many recruiters often value and seek out general skill sets rather than individuals from a certain, specific discipline.

If you are interested in going down this path then think about your effectiveness in problem-solving, communication, teamwork, change management and agility, planning and project management skills and your proficiency in IT.

Being able to demonstrate effectiveness will give you a head start.

Becoming an engineering consultant is similar, in the sense that you will be required to lead teams or projects, but in addition, be adept in managing the most important person in the room: yourself.

Effective engineering consultants will need to pair the skills above with soft skills with extensive practical experience and sales skills.

Remember: Experience Is Important

A degree is no longer enough to secure a promising position. You need proven experience if you want to gain a foothold in your industry. If you cant build your resume through internships, you may want to consider working with a professional recruiter. These agencies can help you gain the practical knowledge you need to enter the industry.

Scott Russell Dempster


What Do Civil Engineering Graduates Do

Just over half of civil engineering graduates are working as engineering professionals. Other popular jobs include architects, chartered architectural technologists, planning officers, surveyors and construction professionals, science, engineering and production technicians, production managers and directors, CAD, drawing and architectural technicians and conservation and environment professionals.


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Architectural And Engineering Manager

Architectural and engineering managers are professionals who oversee teams of architects and engineers. They help to identify new construction opportunities, create construction budgets, and analyze project costs. They may also review designs for compliance with applicable codes and standards. For the most part, architectural and engineering managers require a bachelors degree in architecture or an engineering discipline. A civil engineering degree can get a person started toward this career. However, if you pursue this career, youll need several years of experience on the job before you can rise to managerial positions. Still, it will give you an outlet for your engineering skills.

Salary: $149,530 per year

Option : Design/consulting For An Architecture Firm

Civil engineer makes radical career change and sets up bespoke design ...

I went this route immediately after college . I worked in the structural engineering department of an ENR 100 architecture firm. This was fabulous exposure to truly understanding what the client wants and understanding the holistic process of putting a building together since you are literally sitting next to architects . I have never been invited to so many owner meetings in my life, which once again is awesome exposure to not just what architects want, but what clients want too.

Based on my own experience and in talking to other engineers who went this path, you should be aware that many architecture firms treat the engineering department as an ugly stepchild. Firm leadership is often 100% architects, who may or may not prioritize things like staying on the cutting edge of engineering. You should be aware that job openings for engineers working in the architecture firms that do have a reputation for being on the cutting edge will be fiercely competitive and will require extra effort on your part.

If you know early on that you may want to go into management, business development, or are considering starting your own consulting firm down the road, getting this perspective will be invaluable later in your career. Similar to option 1, most engineering personality types can thrive in this environment if they find the right firm.

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A Few More Tips And A Question

It was worth it! Every day at work, I make sure that my decision was a perfect idea. I develop in the field of interest, do what I like, and learn new topics is a pleasure for me. Besides, I have the opportunity to work on my interpersonal skills.

I’ll give you a few more tips that I would like to hear a year ago:

  • Product design is not only about designing nice screens. It consists of the entire design process – research, understanding the topic, and collecting requirements. These are the essential points without which you won’t create a useful product.
  • Don’t spend too much time selecting an interface design tool. During your path as a Designer, you will recognize that, in many cases, you will only need a sheet of paper and a pencil.
  • Whatever your academic or professional experience was, use the knowledge you already have. Everything you learned is valuable, and everything you have learned about yourself while studying… even more so.
  • Don’t worry about not knowing everything. Work is continuous learning. It’s good you want to deepen your knowledge!
  • And the most crucial piece of advice: There will be overwhelming moments. Times when you will doubt yourself. Projects when you will feel like you have not done enough. Don’t let anything break you. Should you need it, take a day off, and come back with new energy.
  • At last, once again, shout out to the whole Untitled Kingdom family.

    Now… a deep breath in… there is so much ahead of me!

    Option : Design/consulting For A Structural Engineering Or Civil Engineering Firm

    This can take many forms and the type of work is variable depending on your geographic location and your area of specialty. In my area of the country , engineers that design bridges ONLY design bridges. Engineers that design buildings only design commercial buildings, or only design residential buildings. Very few do all these things well, so if you go into consulting make sure you pick a firm that has the type of projects that will keep you engaged long- term.

    Experiences of engineers working in consulting vary as much as people do if you go the consulting route and you dont like your first job, be sure to try a few other firms. Often, its simply a matter of finding the firm thats the right fit for you. This sector is what many would consider a traditional route, but can be suitable for any type of engineering personality. If you find the right firm , most engineers can thrive in this environment.

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    What Would You Advise Others To Do In The Same Situation

    If you’re looking to get a job in the tech industry, start coding in your spare time.

    It will be a huge benefit in interviews and in the workplace if you can show a portfolio of different projects you’ve worked on. They can be personal interest projects and are great talking points in interviews.

    Most importantly, showing that you’ve done this in your spare time shows that it’s a genuine interest for you!

    Thanks to our friends at _nology for this story. To find out more about their software developer programme, visit

    What lessons could you take from James’s story to use in your own career change? Let us know in the comments below.

    Plus, if you know someone who’s made a successful shift into work they love, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at . and you could win a £25 / $35 voucher in our monthly draw.

    Civil Engineering Career Outlook

    The Fastest Path Into Software Engineering – Career Change 2022

    Salaries for careers with a civil engineering degree vary by location and industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , civil engineers earn a median income of $87,060 nationwide across all industries. Professionals in the oil and gas extraction industry, however, earn an average salary of $129,870, while civil engineers in California earn $110,480 annually.

    These factors can also impact career availability. Specifically, architectural, engineering, and related services offer the highest employment levels for these professionals, and California, Texas, and New York host the most civil engineering jobs.

    Experience also impacts income, as the following table illustrates. For civil, structural, and environmental engineers, salaries increase with experience. Experienced professionals with at least 10 years of experience often earn $30,000 more a year than entry-level individuals.

    Median Annual Salary for Civil Engineering Careers

    Job Title

    Geotechnical engineering involves the study of the behavior and makeup of soils, primarily to assist in the development of structural foundations. Geotechnical engineers often work to ensure the safety and stability of buildings constructed in areas prone to natural disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes. Learners in this concentration take classes in earth-retaining structures, experimental soil mechanics, and the theory of vibrations.

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    How To Start Your Career In Civil Engineering

    While individuals with an associate degree may qualify for some entry-level positions, most civil engineering careers call for at least a bachelor’s or master’s. For this reason, candidates should expect to earn at least a four-year degree, though advanced positions often call for graduate education. Careers may also mandate licenses, certifications, and/or field experiences.

    A great place for candidates to start is by researching requirements for their career goals and choosing programs that match those criteria.

    Who Is A Civil Engineer

    Civil engineers design and build a variety of buildings. They construct buildings and make sure that they are structurally sound, environmentally friendly, and compliant with local building codes.

    They also design public infrastructures like bridges, roads, sewage systems, andwater treatmentplants. Civil engineers also examine the effects of natural disasters on structures to see how they can be repaired or improved.

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    Option : Work For An Institutional Or Manufacturing Client

    In the construction industry, many large institutional clients such as oil and gas companies, manufacturing facilities, hospitals, and universities have their own in-house engineering departments to handle or oversee their engineering needs. Engineering is NOT their primary function, but these companies have found it more economical to have in-house engineers as opposed to hiring out.

    For a specific example, I live in a college town where there are many engineers working for the facilities, maintenance, or IT departments at the university. They are all considered support staff to the university, so most have a Bachelors degree only. Daily tasks are generally of the project-management variety, and some previous design experience was required when they were hired. People will move here specifically for those jobs due to the work-life balance , job security, and benefits such as major tuition discounts for yourself and your family.

    This option attracts engineers comfortable with people, and bureaucracy can be a challenge. Pay and hours can vary greatly for some of these jobs youll get paid a lot and be expected to be on-call. In others, youll be paid less than other engineering jobs, but you have regular hours and great benefits. Just like any of the other options, there are trade-offs and you need to decide which works best for you.

    Journalism Or Technical Writing

    Construction Jobs Hierarchy

    Sector-specific article writing can be a lucrative business.

    Getting trained or progressively experienced in writing skills and style is a long and often frustrating process, but reasonably straightforward .

    Connections and reputation are key to moving into writing and journalism. If you already have a good network of influential industry professionals and have significant credibility, then it will be much easier to get started.

    If not, then starting small such as freelancing or testing the waters through websites like Fiverr is a great way to see if this path is right for you.

    Writing has become a lot more specialised in recent years, and those who move along this path will learn not just about grammar and article structure, but also about blogging and effective Search Engine Optimisation .

    Over time, those who find a passion about writing in general might start to branch out into copywriting, journalism, or even into creative writing.

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    Reasons Why You Should Study Civil Engineering

    Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. To access earlier articles, click Advanced Search and set an earlier date range.To search for a term containing the ‘& ‘ symbol, click Advanced Search and use the ‘search headings’ and/or ‘in first paragraph’ options.

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    5 reasons why you should study civil engineering

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    Civil engineering encompasses a wide range of disciplines that contribute to the physical world around us.

    Planning and design are common duties for civil engineers. Civil engineering jobs typically involve building and developing large-scale infrastructure, such tunnels or airports. They might also be involved in sewage treatment plants and water distribution networks.

    Obviously, not all civil engineers are involved in infrastructure planning and design. Many civil engineers will find employment in the building process itself or in related construction activities like demolition.

    Studying Civil Engineering is a great idea for a variety of reasons. To begin, gaining qualifications can lead to a wide variety of civil engineering jobs. Second, there is the possibility of very attractive wages in this field. Here, we look at the best reasons to study civil engineering.

    Civil engineers are in high demand

    Civil engineers will always be in demand so long as society requires roads, buildings, water, and sewage systems.

    Civil engineers have a variety of career paths

    Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

    ** Tldr I Quit My Job And Am Pursuing A Career As A Software Engineer **

    “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are headed” – Oriental Proverb

    Growing up, I was obsessed with video games and playing on the computer. I would play for hours trying to master whatever I was playing at the time and find new ways to accomplish things on the computer. My mother still tells the story about me as a 6-year-old when I figured out how to hook up both the PlayStation and the Super Nintendo to the same TV using a cable adapter. While in elementary school I was lucky enough to be in the gifted program where instead of going to class some days, they let me go to the computer room and play The Incredible Machine on a Mac Centris 650. The game consists of designing Rube Goldberg Devices in order to get a ball from one location to another. I loved it.

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    What Civil Engineering Jobs Pay The Most

    Salaries reflect factors such as experience and industry however, in general, high-paying careers include senior civil engineer, senior geotechnical engineer, and health and safety engineer. These professionals earn median salaries above $90,000. Additionally, nuclear engineers earn a median salary of $113,460, with professionals in the 90th percentile taking home $179,430 per year.

    Option : Work For A Contractor

    Day In The Life Of A Civil Engineer – Structural Engineering Work From Home

    Some large building and infrastructure contractors hire engineers. Some have visualization departments that include both building engineers and computer engineers. If you are interested in construction management roles, this is your route. This option is also considered one of the more lucrative opportunities available right out of school if your degree is in a construction-related field .

    However, if you want to get your PE in the future, I will advise to go a design route first because you must work under the direct supervision of a PE in order to sit for the PE exam. It is much more difficult to go to construction first, then back into design if you were to change your mind, than to go the opposite route. Most of my friends who went the construction route ended up staying there, and most do not have PE’s. Its simply not necessary if you are planning on spending your entire career in this area. This sector attracts extroverted engineers, as you will be working closely with other people most of the time.

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    Civil Engineers: Salary Career Path Job Outlook Education And More

    Civil engineers conceive, design, build, supervise, operate, construct and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. Many civil engineers work in planning, design, construction, research, and education.

    How Do You Know When Its Time For A Change

    Something as important as a job change or career shift should not be taken lightly.

    You dont want to miss out on great opportunities because youre too busy or too scared to even consider making a move. Then again you certainly dont want to job-hop every time you have a frustrating day at work.

    What to do then? How do you know when its time for a change?

    An ongoing ASCE Collaborate discussion might provide some guidance.

    Here are some highlights :

    James Williams, P.E., M.ASCE

    Yorktown, Virginia

    Having a professional development plan associated with one’s company provides a path on which to focus.

    However, Ive always asked myself the following questions:

    1-Am I learning or growing professionally?

    2-Am I helping or contributing?If the answer was “no” to both questions, I looked to move on.If the answer was “yes” to No. 1 only, I looked to stay conditionally.If the answer was “yes” to No. 2 only, I looked to stay conditionally based solely on a professional development plan either the company’s or my own.

    At the least , I have to be learning or growing professionally. For me, a relationship with a company should be mutually beneficial and go beyond simply a paycheck. For others, the check may provide all that one needs and that is OK, too.

    Tsee Lee, A.M.ASCE

    New York City

    Seek new opportunities with your current employer. If you find yourself still restless, start looking even if you end up staying. Then you may have fewer questions about what-ifs.

    Valparaiso, Indiana

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    Law Enforcement Or Security Services

    The police, private security or even government intelligence are always on the lookout for people of various backgrounds to lend their professional skills and inside knowledge to preventing crime or assisting in intelligence.

    Career change for engineers into these areas requires an appreciation of the idiosyncrasies of such organisations, as well as the potentially long hours, elevated risk and high levels of confidentiality needed to do the job. Much like teaching, these are career paths which can be extremely rewarding on a societal level.

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