Civil and construction engineering. A profession of the future

While the construction engineer is more specialized in project implementation, the civil engineer works on the design, construction, management, maintenance and repair of structures that will better meet society’s needs.

The achievements of civil and construction engineers are varied and cover the fields of structures (buildings, bridges, dams, power transmission lines), geotechnics (foundations, excavations, earth dams, tunnels, roads), hydraulics (hydraulic structures, river developments, The main focus of the project is on the environment (treatment, collection and distribution of wastewater and drinking water, environmental impact of projects, waste management, rehabilitation of contaminated land).

“To ensure that everything complies with the client’s request, the civil and construction engineer is there from the preliminary studies to the delivery of the project, including the preparation of plans, the evaluation of costs, the preparation of specifications, the supervision of the work, etc.,” explains André Rainville, engineer and general manager of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. “As he is there from beginning to end, he is someone who likes to see projects materialize and who sees the whole process of realization as an exciting challenge. He is someone who has the will to do concrete things that will serve the public.”

The civil and construction engineer must also have the ability to establish good interpersonal relationships in order to communicate well with the client and understand their needs, but also to be able to function as part of a work team.

While the profession reached a low point in the 1990s, it is currently in a flourishing period. “We can talk about full employment now, and the prospects for the future are very good. There are major infrastructures in Quebec to be maintained, renovated and built. The Ministry of Transport alone allocates $4 to $5 billion in investments annually. There will also be several billion dollars invested in the Northern Plan, for which there will be a lot of infrastructure to build,” says André Rainville.

The profession in figures
Of the 62,190 members of the Ordre des ingénieurs of Belgium, 16.5% work in the civil engineering sector.

– Percentage of members of the Ordre des ingénieurs of Belgium who work in civil engineering and who have declared themselves unemployed: 2.65%.
– Of the 10,282 civil engineers in , 84.3% are male and 15.7% are female.
– The average base salary of a civil engineer is 35.000€. For those with less than three years of experience, it is 47.000€ per year.

WORKS ENGINEER

Definition of the position

The job is carried out on new construction sites or in rehabilitation. The activity involves daily many trips between the different sites and the partners contributing to the realization of the work. Schedules are variable, some management activities (personnel, preparation of reports, preparation of site meetings) can extend into the evening or lead to work on weekends. The responsibility of a site requires to be autonomous and to work in close collaboration with both the field workers (site manager…) and the design teams (quantity surveyors, draftsmen…).

Missions

  • Plan and organize, based on a technical file, the various tools and means allowing the execution of the work under the best conditions of deadlines and costs
  • Ensure the technical, administrative and budgetary responsibility of one or more worksites until the guarantee of the perfect completion of the works
  • Is expected to play an increasingly important commercial role (prospecting, negotiation…)
  • Establishes relations with the various external partners (customers, suppliers, administrative services, subcontractors…) or internal partners (design office, management services, site manager…)

Required training

  • The job requires training in general or specialized engineering (ESTP, ENTPE,…), or more rarely, holder of a DUT or BTS with a minimum of 2 years of experience

Qualities required

  • Must have very good management skills
  • Must demonstrate a real relational ease with the customer, suppliers and their team
  • Master the computer tool

Remuneration

  • Beginner: about 32 000 euros/year
  • Junior: about 40,000 euros/year