Civil Engineer

A civil engineer is a person who practices civil engineering – the application of planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating infrastructure while protecting the public and environmental health, as well as improving existing infrastructure that may have been neglected.

Civil engineering is one of the oldest engineering disciplines because it deals with constructed environment including planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.

The term “civil engineer” was established to contrast engineers working on civil projects with the military engineers, who worked on armaments and defenses. Over time, various sub-disciplines of civil engineering have become recognized and much of military engineering has been absorbed by civil engineering. Other engineering practices became recognized as independent engineering disciplines, including chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.

In some places, a civil engineer may perform land surveying; in others, surveying is limited to construction surveying, unless an additional qualification is obtained.


Civil engineers usually practice in a particular specialty, such as construction engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, land development, transportation engineering, hydraulic engineering, and environmental engineering. A civil engineer is concerned with determining the right design for these structures and looking after the construction process so that the longevity of these structures is guaranteed after completion. These structures should also be satisfactory for the public in terms of comfort. Some civil engineers, particularly those working for government agencies, may practice across multiple specializations, particularly when involved in critical infrastructure development or maintenance.

Civil engineers generally work in a variety of locations and conditions. Much of a civil engineer’s work is dealing with non-engineers or others from different technical disciplines, so training should give skills preparing future civil engineers in organizational relationships between parties to projects, cost and time. Many spend time outdoors at construction sites so that they can monitor operations or solve problems onsite. The job is typically a blend of in-office and on-location work. Most work full-time.

Even though they are in the field with other workers, civil engineering graduates are not just “builders”. The civil engineering team determines what must be done technically to build a structure according to what the architect has made.

A civil engineering graduate has an engineering degree and needs to have good analytical and planning skills. In addition, at this time, computer skills and the use of software related to planning must also be mastered well by an engineer.

Later, civil engineering can be divided into four more specific majors, namely:

  1. Structural, which focuses on the structure of a building or infrastructure.
  2. Geotechnical, studying soil and its readiness as the foundation of a structure.
  3. Environment, which will seek to reduce the negative impact of development on the environment.
  4. Building structures, which dwell more deeply on the use of building materials and their application to structures.
  5. Construction management, focuses more on resource management, costs, and ensuring the construction runs smoothly.
  6. Hydrology, related to water management such as construction of reservoirs, drainage, and others.

In addition to technical expertise, an engineer will also have other skills such as:

  • Analysis
  • Problem-solving
  • Management and organization
  • Creative

All soft skills are useful when you apply civil science when you work later. That’s why, you need to get work experience to hone these skills.

Career Prospect

A building or infrastructure has many elements. Well, as a graduate of civil engineering, you will be able to work specifically in the field that you have studied. The more specific you are in taking the field, the greater your chances of getting into this field of civil engineering.

Jobs such as construction expert, construction manager, quality control analyst, quality control manager, property provider, airport infrastructure expert, as well as bridge infrastructure expert all come from civil engineering.

If you want to focus on working for the country, some government agencies that always need civil engineering graduates are the Ministry of PUPR, ESDM, City Planning and Parks Office, and BUMN related to development.