Civil Engineers

(NOC 2131)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Civil engineers plan, design, develop and manage projects for the construction or repair of buildings, earth structures, powerhouses, roads, airports, railways, rapid transit facilities, bridges, tunnels, canals, dams, ports and coastal installations and systems related to highway and transportation services, water distribution and sanitation. Civil engineers are employed by engineering consulting companies, in all levels of government, by construction firms and in many other industries, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3095 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Civil Engineers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. With employment conditions being somewhat seasonal, periods of downtime or layoff throughout the year affect some workers.

The median employment income for 75% of Civil Engineers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $85,001. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$30.00

Median

$52.31

Maximum

Annual Pay

$16,372

Minimum

$76,920

Median

$128,850

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$17.69

Minimum

$31.35

Median

$47.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Civil engineers plan, design, develop and manage projects for the construction or repair of buildings, earth structures, powerhouses, roads, airports, railways, rapid transit facilities, bridges, tunnels, canals, dams, ports and coastal installations and systems related to highway and transportation services, water distribution and sanitation. Civil engineers are employed by engineering consulting companies, in all levels of government, by construction firms and in many other industries, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Civil engineers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Confer with clients and other members of the engineering team and conduct research to determine project requirements.
  • Plan and design major civil projects such as buildings, roads, bridges, dams, water and waste management systems and structural steel fabrications.
  • Develop construction specifications and procedures.
  • Evaluate and recommend appropriate building and construction materials.
  • Interpret, review and approve survey and civil design work.
  • Conduct field services for civil works.
  • Ensure construction plans meet guidelines and specifications of building codes and other regulations.
  • Establish and monitor construction work schedules.
  • Conduct feasibility studies, economic analyses, municipal and regional traffic studies, environmental impact studies or other investigations.
  • Monitor air, water and soil quality and develop procedures to clean up contaminated sites.
  • Conduct technical analyses of survey and field data for development of topographic, soil, hydrological or other information and prepare reports.
  • Act as project or site supervisor for land survey or construction work.
  • Prepare contract documents and review and evaluate tenders for construction projects.
  • Supervise technicians, technologists and other engineers and review and approve designs, calculations and cost estimates.

Sample job titles

  • architectural engineer
  • civil engineer
  • construction engineer
  • environmental engineer
  • geomatics engineer
  • municipal engineer
  • public works engineer
  • structural engineer
  • traffic operations engineer
  • water and sewer engineer

Skills

To work in this field, you should be interested in planning and designing buildings, bridges, dams, roadways, and other infrastructure. Problem-solving and decision-making skills are essential. You should be persistent, curious, and able to think in an analytical and logical manner. The ability to communicate and cooperate with others is important, as engineers often work in teams. Computer skills are also needed. The occupation typically requires good near and far vision.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in civil engineering or in a related engineering discipline is required.
  • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • Licensing by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practice as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).
  • Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, and after three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is offered by the Canada Green Building Council and may be required by some employers.

Other considerations

Engineers often work in a multidisciplinary environment and acquire knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practice in associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing or management. There is considerable mobility between civil engineering specializations at the less senior levels. Supervisory and senior positions in this group require experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,150

employed in 2016

91.5%

employed full-time

13.0%

self employed

15.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
84.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
45.4

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

93.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

70.6%

Halifax

9.5%

Northern

7.6%

Annapolis Valley

7.3%

Cape Breton

5.0%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

39.7%

Professional Business Services

22.4%

Public Administration

16.4%

Construction

5.6%

Utilities

3.9%

Other Professional Services

What is the age of Employment?

31.6%

25-34

28.0%

35-44

15.5%

45-54

15.0%

55-64

5.2%

65+

4.7%

15-24

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

32.5%

35-44

32.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

13.5%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Top levels of education

60.9%

Bachelor's degree

$80,335 median annual income
21.0%

Doctorate

$116,027 median annual income
6.0%

University advanced certificate or diploma

$86,888 median annual income
5.6%

College certificate or diploma

$70,991 median annual income
2.4%

University certificate or diploma

$73,188 median annual income

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.7%

College certificate or diploma

$52,476 median annual income
29.7%

Bachelor's degree

$58,011 median annual income
12.1%

High school

$35,125 median annual income
9.7%

Master's degree

$37,706 median annual income
6.8%

Trades certificate

$54,923 median annual income

Education & training

Civil engineering - General

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of structural, load-bearing, material moving, transportation, water resource, and material control systems; and environmental safety measures.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Engineering - General

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to solve a wide variety of practical problems in industry, social organization, public works, and commerce.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Environmental/environmental health engineering

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of systems for controlling contained living environments and for monitoring and controlling factors in the external natural environment, including pollution control, waste and hazardous material disposal, health and safety protection, conservation, life support, and requirements for protection of special materials and related work environments.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Mathematics - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the analysis of quantities, magnitudes, forms, and their relationships, using symbolic logic and language. These programs include courses in algebra, calculus, functional analysis, geometry, number theory, logic, topology and other mathematical specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Physical sciences - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Professional Engineer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Engineers Nova Scotia
1355 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Y9
(888) 802-7367
(902) 423-9769

Contacts

Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia
PO Box 613, Station "M"
Halifax, NS B3J 2R7
Tel: (902) 461-1325
Fax: (902) 461-1321
Urban Development Institute of Nova Scotia
PO Box 521 Halifax Central
Halifax, NS B3J 2R7
Tel: (902) 442-5017
Fax: (902) 431-7220
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada
130 Albert Street, Suite 420
Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4
Tel: (613) 236-0569
Fax: (613) 236-6193

Job postings

Senior Environmental Engineer

Design Manager

Intermediate-Senior Geoscientist/Environmental Engineer

Supervisor, Wastewater Treatment

Senior Environmental Engineer

Engineer-In-Training (Multiple Positions)

Environmental Engineer (Engineer 1-3)

Environmental Engineer (Engineer 1-3)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Civil & Resource Engineering/Centre for Water Resources Studies

View all job postings