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Civil Engineer
Civil engineers are responsible for the planning, designing, maintenance and management of projects to do with the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage systems. Civil engineering may be the oldest of the all the engineering disciplines and today, civil engineering encompasses a range of specialized fields which include structural design, marine, environmental, construction, hydraulic engineering, transportation, and geotechnical engineering.

Many civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions, from supervisor of a construction site to a city engineer. They may supervise the work of surveyors, draughtsmen, technicians and other workers and may also carry out research, lecture or serve as consultants for engineering, construction or architectural firms. Others may work in design, construction, research and teaching. The work environment, therefore, ranges from quiet modern offices to remote areas in rugged terrain. They may have to travel or move from place to place to work on different projects. The actual work setting depends on the speciality chosen and on the size, location and financial resources of the employer.   

Engineering graduates usually begin work under the supervision of experienced engineers and are gradually given more responsibilities as they gain experience. Some engineers with experience and additional education move into administration or management. Many high-level executives in industry began their careers in engineering.

For civil engineering technicians and technologists, see Engineering Technicians and Technologists.

Satisfying Aspects
- solving problems
- wide variety of specialities available
- knowing that your work is of benefit to society
- working as part of a team
- good salaries, with benefits

Demanding aspects
- having to travel
- sometimes having to work long hours
- the long period of preparation and study required to register as a professional civil engineer
- having to continue your education throughout your career to keep up with the latest technological advances in your field

A civil engineer should:
- have an aptitude for science and mathematics;
- be able to visualise objects three dimensionally;
- be creative and have initiative;
- be accurate and persistent;
- be able to make decisions;
- show good judgement;
- work well with others;
- express ideas clearly;
- have good health and stamina
- have managerial qualities   
- be able to manage and organize projects

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Information Technology, Geography, Engineering and Technology

Note: The Engineering Faculties of some universities offer a support programme to help students to become self-sufficient and capable of completing the very demanding engineering course. The programme is aimed at students from communities which lack proper education facilities.

Degree: Civil Engineering is offered at many universities, e.g. UCT, UP, US, UKZN, UJ and Wits. The engineering degree requires a minimum of 4 years of study at a recognised university.

BTech degrees and Diploma Courses in Civil Engineering are also offered at CPUT, CUT, MUT, TUT, DUT and some TVET colleges.

A person who has obtained a recognised BSc(Eng) or BEng degree is then eligible for registration as an Candidate Engineer. After gaining at least 3 years of appropriate practical experience, a civil engineer may register as a Professional Engineer under the auspices of the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

- Government departments and provincial administrations
- Municipalities
- Construction companies
- Engineering or architectural firms
- such organizations as: Mittal Steel, Sasol, Eskom and CSIR
- universities of technology and universities
- self-employment, the necessary experience and initiative, as a consultant

South African Institution for Civil Engineering
Private Bag X200
Halfway House, 1685
Tel: (011) 805-5947/8/5953
Fax: (011) 805-5971

Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA)    
Private Bag X691
Bruma, 2026
Tel: (011) 607-9500
Fax: (011) 622-9295