Ever wondered who builds the railways and roads, bridges and barrages, stadiums and sewers? Civil engineers step up to create the world around us and make sure all structures are safe, secure and reliable.
If you’re a methodical and creative person, a career in civil engineering could be right for you. Let’s look at how you can start your journey with a civil engineering apprenticeship.
Jobs in civil engineering
Of course this one’s on the list. As a civil engineer, you can choose to specialise in a range of disciplines from flood risk management to pipeline infrastructure and roads. As well as planning and designing large construction projects, civil engineers help develop effective and sustainable materials that improve the way public works operate.
Surveyors carry out surveys (unsurprisingly) to check commercial, industrial and domestic buildings for problems and structural safety. To transition into surveying, you’ll need to be registered as a RICS Chartered Surveyor.
While civil engineers plan building projects, construction managers oversee them to ensure everything runs smoothly. This includes making sure all on-site work complies with safety regulations, estimating budgets and sticking to the schedule.
CAD is the computer system that civil engineers use to plan and design structures. It allows them to create 2D (otherwise known as surface modelling) and 3D (solid modelling) replicas of their designs to ensure they meet building regulations, architectural requirements and other compliance. CAD technicians have advanced knowledge of this software and usually lead the design process.
Structural engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering. Whereas civil engineers plan the time frames and overall design of a project, structural engineers use mathematics to test and design the structure. They make sure it can resist high loads, pressure and environmental changes.
Civil engineer apprenticeships
The great news about civil engineering is that there are multiple ways to get into it, and that doesn’t just mean going to uni. If you prefer more flexibility and are keen to get paid ASAP, an apprenticeship is the way the go. Here’s where you can find the best ones.
You’ll graduate this five and a half-year programme with a Level 6 civil engineering apprenticeship, which is the equivalent of a degree. That’s right, you can earn a full bachelor’s degree while earning a great wage.
You can find a range of high-quality civil engineering apprenticeships across the whole of the UK on the ICE (Institute of Civil Engineers) website, including a Railway Engineering Design Technician opportunity and a Civil Engineer Design Management Degree scheme. The programmes range from Level 3 to Level 6, so you’ll surely find one that suits your career path.
As one of the world’s leading engineering and construction companies, Murphy Group offers a five-year degree-level Civil Engineering Apprenticeship. Although you can study anywhere in the UK, you’ll get your degree from Warwick University. You’ll spend one week in Warwick studying, then complete 6-8 weeks of on-site work… and repeat!
Imagine designing civil aerospace projects at Rolls Royce. Apprentices at Rolls Royce have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge jet engines and other fascinating projects to help build a sustainable future. Register your interest to get notified about upcoming apprenticeship opportunities.
Civil engineering is serious business. Your work will directly impact the safety of real-world structures that’ll be used by hundreds, thousands or even millions of people. With that in mind, you’ll need to eager to learn, conscientious and focused. It takes a village to build a civil structure, so it’s a good idea to develop your team-building abilities and your communication skills.
Besides your soft skills (which are your personal traits), most civil engineering apprenticeships require a minimum of five GCSEs are grade 4 and above. Put extra effort into your maths and science!
The great thing about civil engineering is that there are numerous pathways that you can go down in the future, including specialising in nuclear, water or environmental engineering. But before you get to that point, make sure you absorb all the information, opportunities and learning that you can. After all, how can you specialise if you haven’t tried everything?
If civil engineering doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, why not research opportunities in construction, IT or science instead?