Civil Engineer

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers analyse, design and supervise the construction and maintenance of structures such as bridges, dams and buildings; transport systems, including roads, rail and airports; and systems for the supply of freshwater, wastewater treatment and stormwater collection.

Specialisations within civil engineering include:

  • Environmental and water resources engineering
  • Transportation engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Fire engineering

Other civil engineers work as project managers or as site or project engineers, where they are responsible for planning and supervising construction works.

Most civil engineers are employed by:

  • Engineering consultancy companies
  • Local and regional authorities
  • Government agencies such as NZTA
  • Construction firms
  • Infrastructure and utility companies

There is strong demand for civil engineers due to the Canterbury earthquakes, increased government spending on major roading projects and upgrading water infrastructure, and construction of new electricity generation capacity, including access roads for wind farms.

Why are they called civil engineers?

Historically there were two types of engineer: military engineers who worked on arms and defences, and civil engineers who worked on public works projects. The word 'civil' comes from the same Latin root as 'citizen', 'city' and 'civilisation'.

Civil engineers generally earn:

  • $45-55,000 starting salary
  • Senior civil engineers who work as team leaders or managers can earn $85-220,000

Key tertiary qualifications include:

Completing a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering will qualify you for work as a civil engineering technician.

Required and recommended school subjects:

  • Calculus (required)
  • Physics (required)
  • Chemistry
  • English or Geography
  • Technology subjects, especially Design & Visual Communication, Construction & Mechanical Technology and Digital Technologies

Careers New Zealand: Civil Engineer


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Civil Engineer: People who work in this role

  • Maes Shukur

    Civil Engineer, Maes Shukur at work

    Sam Green

    Civil Design Engineer, Sam Green at work

    Simon Bradshaw

    Civil Engineer, Simon Bradshaw at work

    Cameron Paintin

    Civil Engineer, Cameron Paintin at work
  • Paul Hagg

    Contract Supervisor Kaipara, Paul Hagg at work

    Andrew Long

    Graduate Engineer, Andrew Long at work

    Charlotte Peyroux

    Civil Engineer, Charlotte Peyroux at work

    Sophie Brathwaite

    Graduate Civil Engineer, Sophie Brathwaite at work
  • Wenyu Ouyang

    Graduate civil engineer, Wenyu Ouyang at work

    Juliette Thomson

    Graduate Civil Engineer, Juliette Thomson at work

    Jerry Liu

    Civil Engineer, Jerry Liu at work

    Peifen Chua

    Civil Engineer, Peifen Chua at work
  • Maddi Forde

    Graduate Civil Engineer, Maddi Forde at work

    Marcel Waldvogel

    Civil Engineer, Marcel Waldvogel at work

    Lucian Doig

    Site Engineer, Lucian Doig at work

    James Wilce

    Senior Civil Engineer, James Wilce at work
  • Sam Zhang

    Project Manager, Sam Zhang at work

    Ethan Kim

    Site Engineer, Ethan Kim at work

    Tom Alexander

    Site Engineer, Tom Alexander at work

    Kevin Ng

    Graduate Engineer , Kevin Ng at work
  • Brittany Challis

    Graduate Civil Engineer, Brittany Challis at work

    Simon Kemp

    Contract Engineer, Simon Kemp at work

    Tumanako Hona

    Contract Engineer, Tumanako Hona at work

    Coral-Lee Ertel

    Utilities Asset Engineer - Drainage, Coral-Lee Ertel at work
  • Lucy Ferris

     Civil Engineer, Lucy Ferris at work

    Lydia Bolam

    Civil Engineer, Lydia Bolam at work

    Samantha Schubert

    Civil Engineer, Samantha Schubert at work

    Natalie Veale

    Water/Infrastructure Engineer, Natalie Veale at work
  • Evgeny Roy

    Design Engineer (Civil), Evgeny Roy at work

    Miriam Karalus

    Graduate Civil Engineer, Miriam Karalus at work

    James Thorne

    Civil/Water Engineer, James Thorne at work

    Jason Chen

    Civil Engineer, Jason Chen at work
  • Joshua Housiaux

    Project Engineer, Joshua Housiaux at work

    Balaji Karnan

    Graduate Civil Engineer, Balaji Karnan at work

    Guan-Chuan Tay

    , Guan-Chuan Tay at work

    Jeanette Tucker

    Civil Engineer, Jeanette Tucker at work
  • Elikena Prescott

    , Elikena Prescott at work

    Ming Yun Chan

    Civil Engineer, Ming Yun Chan at work

    Osama Abdullatif

    Civil Engineer, Osama Abdullatif  at work

    Ross Kaufusi

    Engineer, Ross Kaufusi at work

Civil Engineer: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • NIWA
    NIWA
    McConnell Dowell
    McConnell Dowell
    Certa Engineering
    Certa Engineering
    Timberlands
    Timberlands
  • Western Bay of Plenty District Council
    Western Bay of Plenty District Council
    Tiaki Engineering Consultants
    Tiaki Engineering Consultants
    Silver Fern Farms
    Silver Fern Farms
    Jacobs
    Jacobs
  • Bloxam, Burnett & Olliver
    Bloxam, Burnett & Olliver
    Calibre Consulting
    Calibre Consulting
    Sigma Consultants
    Sigma Consultants
    Aurecon
    Aurecon
  • HEB Construction
    HEB Construction
    Tonkin & Taylor
    Tonkin & Taylor
    Downer
    Downer
    Higgins Contractors
    Higgins Contractors
  • T2
    T2
    Silvester Clark
    Silvester Clark
    Hutchinson
    Hutchinson
    Cardno
    Cardno
  • LHTDesign
    LHTDesign
    Pattle Delamore Partners
    Pattle Delamore Partners
    Veolia Water
    Veolia Water
    Stormwater Solutions
    Stormwater Solutions
  • NZTA
    NZTA
    Hawke's Bay Regional Council
    Hawke's Bay Regional Council
    Fulton Hogan
    Fulton Hogan
    Fraser Thomas
    Fraser Thomas
  • Watercare
    Watercare
    Hastings District Council
    Hastings District Council
    MWH
    MWH
    Riley Consultants
    Riley Consultants
  • AECOM
    AECOM
    Harrison Grierson
    Harrison Grierson
    GHD
    GHD
    Dunedin City Council
    Dunedin City Council
  • Davis Ogilvie
    Davis Ogilvie
    Opus International Consultants
    Opus International Consultants
    Beca
    Beca
    Broadspectrum
    Broadspectrum

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