Civil engineer duties and responsibilities

What does a civil Engineer do

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What does a civil engineer do and his various civil engineer jobs and general job outlook in 2020 are explained below. The major civil engineering careers that a civil engineering graduate takes up are as below and this explains what one can do with civil engineering degree and also the type of jobs one can get with a civil engineering degree.

  1. Geo-technical Engineer
  2. Structural Engineer
  3. Site Engineer
  4. Designer
  5. Quantity surveyor

Civil Engineer as Geo-Technical Engineer

Civil Engineers who show interests in subjects like soil mechanics can get into geo-technical field where they study the behavior of soil.

Estimate the soil bearing capacity for construction of structures above these soils and give suggestions regarding type of foundation open, Raft , Pile foundation, Soldier piles. etc.

Some other aspects geo-technical engineers look after are earthen dams, slope stability,  RE walls, Slope protection measures, Vet the Soil Report prepared as per the soil tests conducted at site and also the Geo-technical engineers also have a role in Underground tunnels, Diaphragm walls where suggestions for deep excavations, ground improvement techniques helps in consideration of proper soil and another aspect is to analyse the results from softwares like Plaxis, SlopeW etc helps in career progression.


A civil engineer who takes up his role as Structural engineer is responsible for the structural stability of

  • Buildings,
  • Industrial structures
  • Infrastructures related structures like Dams, bridges etc.
  • Oil and gas plant structures like Pipe racks, tower foundations
  • Offshore structures like platforms, rigs etc.,
  • Power plant structures like Turbine buildings, Boilers, Conveyor galleries,trestles, pump houses, chimneys, cooling towers.
  • Environment related structures like water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, Rain water harvesting schemes.

As a Structural Civil Engineer the responsibility includes

  1. Analyse and design a structures using softwares like staad pro.
  2. Should have good understanding of Various Loads on structure.
  3. Through understanding of Wind Loads, Seismic loads, Snow loads, Dead and live Loads etc.
  4. The behavior of structure when the loads are applied and how the load transfer takes place. Also, Should be able to draw Shear force and bending Moment diagrams,
  5. Provide the steel as required in the design.
  6. Ensure safe and optimized design as per codal provisions.
  7. Knowledge of softwares like Staad, Etabs, SAP, Ansys shall be added advantage.
  8. It is the duty of Civil structural engineer to ensure Civil and structural drawings are prepared neatly and site engineers, Owner, consultants are able to understand the drawings correctly.
  9. Construction notes and any special precautions shall be clearly indicated in the design drawings.

Check this Link for Basics of structural Engineer

Civil Engineer as SITE ENGINEER

Knowledge of Site execution is very important. One can become a site engineer, project engineer , planning engineer, Stores manager, Supply chain, project coordinator to name a few.

Various Duties and Responsibilities of Civil Site engineer are as below

  1. The first and foremost is to read and understand the Release for or Good for construction drawings thoroughly.
  2. Perform safety talk before any activity at site to ensure safety of workers and precautions should be taken at site as these are the main responsibilities of civil site engineer and without fail First-aid kit shall be kept handy.
  3. If in doubt shall ask the structural engineer and not assume anything.
  4. Keep log book of all the Reinforcement steel, Concrete, Structural steel consumed at site.
  5. Track of all the man hours utilized at site.
  6. Effective utilization of man hours .
  7. Knowledge of ERP is added advantage.
  8. Register containing Bill of Quantities, Concrete Poured, Manpower shall be maintained accurately.
  9. Vet the Vendor bills as per the actual supply to site.
  10. Proper disposal methodology of waste and scrap material should be in place.
  11. Report to Project manager or site in charge on daily basis of all the day to day activity of site.
  12. The test results for sand, Silt check, Slump check, concrete workability, cube testing etc and of other construction material should be entered into log book or site report or monthly progress report card.

Check this link for various Building materials used in construction.

Civil Engineer as DESIGNER

A civil engineer can learn softwares like Autocad, Revit, Tekla and become designers, BIM modellers who actually make drawings in 2d or 3d as required.

Designers play an important role as they are the ones who prepare the drawings. Some of the main duties of designers are

  1. Ensure the drawings are in proper scale as per the standards.
  2. The line difference between dimension line and drawing line shall be taken care.
  3. No dimensions should overlap.
  4. Cloud marks or revisions marks shall be in proper location and highlighted.
  5. Name of the client, contractor,consultants, Designer, reviewer and approving authority etc shall be written correctly.
  6. Changes should be informed to engineer or responsible authority before releasing of drawings.
  7. Documentation and storage of drawings as per revision marks is useful for better retrieving of drawings when required.
  8. Clear indication of true north and construction north is very important.
  9. Wherever there is scale change for example- blowout details, the same shall be marked clearly.


A project is awarded because of the quantities and specifications given by quantity surveyor and of course by the costing team is Competitive enough for award of projects and the specifications shall be as per the local availability and after due discussion with other departments of civil engineering. Also, the cost of materials or quantities depends completely on specifications which decided the type of foundation system shall be indicated in elaborate way as this results in cost and price difference say for example there is huge difference in price between open foundation and pile foundations costs.

Specification for finishing like plastering, painting ,no of coats, thickness of coats and any special type of finishing should be in detail, whereas Excavation quantities, Disposal requirement and reuse specifications shall be listed separately.

Role of Quantity surveyor is to Estimate the quantities for a project during various stages that include tendering , design and construction andVarious costs related to construction materials, machinery, site Mobilisation shall be compared before and during the project which gives the clear idea if the project is in profit or loss and also the assumptions made during estimation should be indicated clearly for the costing team for effective bidding.

In addition to above Good communication skills, basic knowledge of MS office tools are very much important. some other civil engineering roles are here

civil engineering duties and responsibilities

Some more useful information for all civil engineers are

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