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Occupation Details

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Civil / Construction Engineer

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€35k > 65
Civil Engineer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€35 - 65
Related Information:
Construction Engineer 45-55
Civil & Structural Engineer 40-65

Progression into management and director positions can see salaries rise into the 65,000 to 100,000+ range.
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: January, 2019

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Output from the education and training system is not expected to be enough to meet growing demand. Shortages are only beginning to emerge and are small in numbers, although the reduced supply indicates that these shortages could be exacerbated in future years.

National Skills Buletin 2018

Occupational Category

Civil Engineers & Construction Project Managers

Also included in this category:

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 8%
Non-Nationals: 10%
With Third Level: 86%
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At a Glance... header image

Works on the design and construction of structures like bridges, roads and railways.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:2

Maria O'Neill
Civil Engineer

Maria works as an Assistant Resident Engineer supervising a water supply scheme for the Local Authorities. She did her Leaving Cert in St. David's in Greystones, and went on to UCD to complete a Civil Engineering Degree.

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Kieran McGrath
Civil and Structural Engineer
Kieran McGrath is a Civil and Structural Engineer working in the Civil and Environmental Department in ESB. Kieran graduated from CIT and decided to pursue the graduate programme at ESB as it would allow him to work both nationally and internationally.
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Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Civil Engineer - from: icould [UK] Video

The Work header image

The work of civil and structural engineers combines site and design work.

Civil engineers work on projects that involve multidisciplinary teams including architects, quantity surveyors and building services engineers. Construction Engineering a professional sub-practice area of Civil Engineering.

Civil engineers work in offices and sometimes on building sites. Office duties include computer modelling of all kinds of extreme events such as floods in rivers and traffic jams on bridges. Civil engineering has many sub-disciplines such as Structural Engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, and hydraulic engineering. It is the broadest of the engineering fields.  
Civil Engineers also supervise technicians making detailed drawings for use on-site, write and check specifications for projects, plan work and keep records of progress, plant stock and finance. They must decide what the best materials are for a job and also what sort services are needed to service a building.  
Most large projects involve multi-disciplinary design teams that can include Civil Engineers, Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Building Service Engineers and occasionally specialists such as Geologists, Ecologists and Archaeologists.  
When a construction project is under way, Civil engineers on-site are responsible for making sure that the work is being carried out according to the designs, plans and estimated timescale. They are therefore involved in extensive liaising with the other disciplines and with the client and/or contractor, local landowners and the public. 

They use specialist equipment to survey the site to make sure that construction work is being carried out in the right place and that the structure is safe; for example, that steel reinforcement is correctly in place. They also supervise construction workers and engineering technicians.

Due to current demand in this field, graduate starting salaries are often above average.

Municipal Engineering

Municipal engineering is a branch of civil engineering. It deals with the public services controlled by local authorities, central government, water companies and nationalised industries. It includes operation and maintenance of road and traffic systems, street lighting, public buildings, coastal protection, water supply and the disposal of sewage and refuse. They also gather and analyse data on municipal projects and prepare reports.  
Municipal engineers are mainly involved in design work for construction projects. They must consider the impact that the scheme will have on the environment at this stage. They may conduct ground surveys and produce detailed designs before preparing a contract so that engineering companies can bid for the work. Computers are an essential tool in this work. Municipal engineers then manage the construction project by supervising the contractors and by making sure that the work is being carried out according to the specifications in the contract. 

Municipal engineers also have a monitoring role. They are involved in reviewing road parking and street lighting, for example, and they must identify possible changes as well as new schemes. They then advise on the services that are needed and talk to the public and central government. Most municipal engineers specialise in an area like construction, environment, hydraulics or transportation. They create plans on computers which test and predict problems with the structure

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Manage and direct staff members and the construction, operations, or maintenance activities at project site.


Provide technical advice regarding design, construction, or program modifications and structural repairs to industrial and managerial personnel.


Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards.


Estimate quantities and cost of materials, equipment, or labor to determine project feasibility.


Test soils or materials to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations, concrete, asphalt, or steel.


Compute load and grade requirements, water flow rates, or material stress factors to determine design specifications.


Plan and design transportation or hydraulic systems and structures, following construction and government standards, using design software and drawing tools.


Analyze survey reports, maps, drawings, blueprints, aerial photography, and other topographical or geologic data to plan projects.


Prepare or present public reports on topics such as bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions.


Direct or participate in surveying to lay out installations or establish reference points, grades, or elevations to guide construction.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others: Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.


Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment: Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.


Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Provide Consultation and Advice to Others: Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Design: Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Building and Construction: Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.


Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.


Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a civil engineer you will work as in a team with a number of people including other engineers, sub-contractors, clients, quantity surveyors and local authorities.  
You will need to keep up-to-date with the latest materials, methods and techniques in design and construction. Computers are often used to calculate dimensions, produce accurate drawings, keep records and help plan the order of work. A good understanding of maths and physics is beneficial. You must be able to delegate work and work to schedule  
Civil engineers also need to cope with and solve any problems or difficulties that may arise on-site.

Entry Routesheader image

Entrants to Civil Engineering are usually graduates with a degree in Civil Engineering or related subject areas such as Structural Engineering, Construction Engineering, or Geomatics among others. Several colleges and IOTs throughout the country offer relevant courses. [See course list on this page]
Work experience in related areas during summer holidays, in order to gain extra practical experience is always valued by employers.

From 2013, graduates who wish to become Chartered Engineers must hold an accredited Masters degree (Level 9) or equivalent.

The Engineers Ireland CPD training programme organises, promotes and delivers a wide variety of technical and non-technical training courses, workshops and seminars which are available both in-house, and as public courses.

Civil engineering graduates can work as a civil engineer, technologist or technician. They have a creative, diverse and challenging career and make a real contribution to the needs of both modern and developing societies all over the world.

Employers of civil engineering graduates include:

  • ARUP
  • PM
  • OPW
  • Irish Rail
  • Government bodies
  • Local Authorities
  • Irish Defence Forces

Last Updated: October, 2014

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Civil Engineer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Civil Engineer - from: GradIreland
Go..Civil Engineer - from: STEPS

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Engineers Ireland
Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
Tel: (01) 665 1300
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Institute of Civil Engineers
Address: 1 Great Georges St, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: STEPS - Engineers Ireland
Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
Tel: (01) 665 1340
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Industry Expert

Career Articles

Kieran McGrath - Civil & Structural Engineer
Claire O'Hara - Civil Engineer

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Architecture, Construction & Property
Engineering & Manufacturing

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