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How to land a job as a civil engineer

The work of a civil engineer is often varied, interesting, challenging, and extremely rewarding, as you get to use both your brain and your hands

What exactly does a civil engineer do?

A civil engineer designs, builds and maintains construction projects including buildings, roads, bridges, dams and other necessary infrastructure. Often this also involves adapting infrastructure systems like energy and water supply, waste networks and flood defences to keep them running efficiently. Simply put, a civil engineer almost literally shapes the world we live in.

The work of a civil engineer can take place in all kinds of environments, including offices, laboratories, studios, outdoors or underground. Wherever there's some kind of infrastructure that needs to work, a civil engineer isn't too far away.

So, what do you have to do to become a civil engineer?

Firstly, there are a couple of check boxes you'll probably need to tick from the outset. Most importantly you'll need to be reasonably good at maths and science, as your work will require a lot of calculus and understanding of scientific principles. It'll also be helpful if you enjoy problem-solving, designing things and have an analytical mind.

To become a civil engineer you'll also need some kind of formal qualification. The Cert IV in Civil Construction Design course currently offered by TAFE NSW is a good start as it begins with the basics and has no entry requirements. It's also a popular pathway to the Diploma of Civil Construction Design.

Did you know you can begin your TAFE studies while you're still at school?

This is through the TVET program. TVET stands for "TAFE-delivered vocational education and training" and covers many industry areas relevant to engineering such as Metal and Engineering, Electrotechnology, Automotive, Construction and Information and Digital Technology. It means you can learn valuable workplace skills and gain hands-on experience while you're still at school. The TVET program has been developed by the Board of Studies and can count towards your HSC. Upon completion of your TVET course you'll be awarded a Certificate qualification or statement of attainment, which is nationally accredited and recognised. If you're interested in starting your training while still at school, speak to a career advisor either at your school or your nearest TAFE NSW college.

The work of a civil engineer is often varied, interesting, challenging, and extremely rewarding, as you get to use both your brain and your hands. It's also a vocation that's usually very well paid. So what are you waiting for?