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Reasons to Work in Civil Engineering

  • by: Adrian Mansfield
  • On: 14, Oct 2020
4 min read

Are you looking for an exciting, rewarding and ever-changing career path?

Since the Covid-19 pandemic has wrought devastation and total changes to ways of working and living across the globe, millions of people are seeking to use the situation as an opportunity for positive change. Over 50% of all workers are exploring the idea of a new career path in the next year. However, with many industries at risk of collapse and many others expanding rapidly to meet new demand, choosing your next vocation can prove challenging.

Here are five reasons to start a career in Civil Engineering.

5 Reasons to Get a Civil Engineering Job

1.Job Security

High-demand jobs that are essential to the running of business, public sector and everyday life represent the most secure professions. The public health and security standards involved in a Civil Engineer’s job mean that safety is paramount, and tasked with potentially risky and wide-reaching projects, skilled technicians receive sufficient support and resources for every single job they take on.

Covid-19 and the previous economic recession of 2008 saw multiple millions of job losses across the world, and job security is set to worsen for many in 2021. In the UK alone, unemployment has reached new lows whilst the number of available jobs advertised recently decreased for the twelfth consecutive month. The past few months saw over 60,000 contractors lose contracts and projects and over 8 million employees placed on the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will see unemployment rise again across sectors when financial support is changed again in October 2020.

Whilst sectors such as Hospitality, Retail, Entertainment, Leisure and Travel are expected to suffer well into the next year, Civil Engineering and all those who work in the sector will continue to thrive in the years to come.

2. Skills Shortage

Even before the coronavirus pandemic had emerged into view, the UK’s Civil Engineer leaders were struggling to recruit successors. Due to fast-approaching retirement ages, underinvestment in careers education and a lack of awareness amongst young people, one in five British business leaders describe a shortage of technical talent as their most urgent and difficult business challenge.

The demand for skills in this sector is driven by the industry’s core importance to both business and everyday life. In Britain, Engineers help generate almost one quarter of the UK’s total GDP through vital private and public buildings, transport, utilities and other infrastructure. As the world’s population grows and the needs of individuals, communities and companies become more complex and more urgent, Engineers will become increasingly valuable and sought-after.

To fulfil labour demands, the UK’s Civil and technical sectors must recruit and train 1.8 million people by 2025. In the next year alone, British companies will need over 182,000 skilled technicians. Joining a sector with a long-term shortage of workers will significantly improve your chances of finding long-term success in a new vocation.

3. Variety

One of the most diverse vocations in existence, this career path holds a variety of opportunities and ensures no day is ever the same.

Civil Engineers not only construct and manufacture, but also plan, design, maintain, manage, supervise, consult, problem-solve and generate new ideas. These technicians can work on multiple projects simultaneously or focus on large-scale initiatives across industries. This technical discipline focuses on the physical and natural environment such as buildings, transport and the systems that support everyday life. The profession offers hundreds of specialist areas to choose from, including:

  • Architecture – Construction, buildings, structural work and a variety of environments
  • Transport – Roads, railways, airports, bridges, seas, rivers, canals and dams
  • Public Health – Water, waste management, sewage systems and pipelines
  • Power – Electricity, geotechnical, utilities and green energy.

Some technicians choose to work outside in the natural environment, others prefer an office atmosphere with more time at their desks and others enjoy a mix of the two, often accompanied by remote working and travel to see clients and stakeholders. Experienced professionals will often run the large-scale projects they work on, opening up a wealth of chances to work with many different people of all backgrounds and abilities around the world.

Professionals in this area often choose their own hours and working arrangements, and work with a wide range of tools. From technical drawing with computer-aided design (CAD) to freehand architectural drawings, to managing budgets on spread sheets and financial software, to leading teams and coaching junior employees face-to-face, the role spans all areas of practical and soft skills.

In addition to expanding networks, the job also involves continuous learning and development. Whether learning informally from others or learning on the job, the ever-evolving nature of the Engineering industry means adding brand new skills to your repertoire every year and fine-tuning your specialist areas all the time to stay on top of your game.

4. Earning Potential

Whilst the average UK employee earns around £29,000 a year, individuals working in the Civil technical sector have much higher earning potential. The specialised skills, hard work and dedication demanded by the sector is reflected in the higher day rates, permanent full-time salaries and benefits awarded as standard.

For newly qualified technicians, average pay packets are significantly greater when compared to other fields. The average basic salary for members of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is around £50,000 – a 72% increase on the average British resident’s salary – with this rising with experience and growth in skill sets. The average basic salary of highly experienced ICE fellows is £81,447.

The majority of employers will also provide benefits, rewards and loyalty schemes. Those working in this role will receive pensions and holiday allowances, and are likely to also enjoy company cars, private healthcare plans, life insurance and paid for mobile phones and technology equipment.

5. Legacy and Purpose

Whilst some individuals are content with working to support their families and passions, or simply finding meaning outside of their chosen vocation, those working in Civils and Infrastructure have an innate sense of life and work purpose. By designing and building phenomenal feats of architecture, making scientific and medical breakthroughs, and creating the systems that improve the health and life standards of millions of people, Civil Engineers truly make a long-lasting difference to the world.

Planning and design mean a high level of influence over public and private spaces that affect businesses, communities and our natural environment. Civil technicians are reshaping the world around us and becoming a part of history with every new structure and system they build. From skyscrapers to sports stadiums, from hospitals to schools, and from national parks to entire towns, each Civil Engineer leaves their own unique legacy for others to enjoy for decades to come.

Start A New Career in Civil Engineering

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