Today’s civil engineers need in-depth understanding of physics, mathematics, geology and hydrology. They must also know the properties of a wide range of construction materials, such as concrete and structural steel, and the types and capabilities of construction machinery. With this knowledge, engineers can design structures that meet requirements for cost, safety, reliability, durability and energy efficiency. Civil engineers also need a working knowledge of structural and mechanical engineering.
These engineers can be involved in nearly every stage of a major construction project. That can include site selection, writing specifications for processes and materials, reviewing bids from subcontractors, ensuring compliance with building codes, and supervising all phases of construction from grading and earth moving to painting and finishing.
More and more, civil engineers rely on computer-aided design (CAD) systems; therefore, proficiency with computers is essential. In addition to speeding up the drafting process for civil engineering projects, CAD systems make it easy to modify designs and generate working blueprints for construction crews. A comprehensive list of necessary skills and abilities for civil engineers can be found at MyMajors.com.