Civil Engineers

(NOC 2131)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Civil engineers plan, design, develop and manage projects for the construction, maintenance, and decommissioning of a wide variety of public and private structures and facilities. Structures and facilities include buildings, roads, airports, railways, bridges, tunnels, canals, dams, ports, water distribution and sanitation systems. Civil engineers work for engineering consulting companies, in all levels of government, construction firms and in many other industries, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Weak growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 95 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

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

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 2585 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 slightly over the next few years, which should provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Civil Engineers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 73% 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

$25.50

Minimum

$37.50

Median

$52.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$16,372

Minimum

$76,920

Median

$128,850

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$37.80

Median

$48.46

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, maintenance, and decommissioning of a wide variety of public and private structures and facilities. Structures and facilities include buildings, roads, airports, railways, bridges, tunnels, canals, dams, ports, water distribution and sanitation systems. Civil engineers work for engineering consulting companies, in all levels of government, construction firms and in many other industries, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Civil engineers:

  • Consult with clients and other members of the engineering team and carry out research to determine project requirements.
  • Plan and design major civil projects like 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.
  • Make sure construction plans meet guidelines and specifications of building codes and other regulations.
  • Create and monitor construction work schedules.
  • Perform 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.
  • Carry out 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

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 job typically requires good near and far vision.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in civil engineering or in a related engineering discipline.
  • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • Licensing by a provincial 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 gain knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practice in related areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing or management. There is movement between civil engineering specializations at the less senior levels. Supervisory and senior positions in this group require experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

1,310

employed in 2016

90.8%

employed full-time

13.8%

self employed

15.7%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
84.3%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
45.4

median age

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

25,875

employed in 2016

91.5%

employed full-time

7.6%

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%

North Shore

7.6%

Annapolis Valley

7.3%

Cape Breton

5.0%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

43.9%

Professional, scientific and technical services

22.6%

Public administration

16.5%

Construction

5.7%

Utilities

3.0%

Manufacturing

What is the age of Employment?

25.0%

25-34

21.0%

45-54

20.0%

35-44

18.0%

55-64

10.0%

65+

5.0%

15-24

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

24.2%

25-34

23.5%

45-54

23.4%

35-44

16.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

60.5%

Bachelor

$76,194 median annual income
20.7%

Master

$84,314 median annual income
6.5%

College Diploma

$74,960 median annual income
6.5%

Diploma Above Bachelor

$84,000 median annual income
1.9%

Diploma Below Bachelor

N/A

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

33.1%

College Diploma

$59,986 median annual income
29.8%

Bachelor

$63,965 median annual income
11.9%

High school

$45,835 median annual income
9.9%

Master

$65,105 median annual income
6.9%

Apprenticeship

$57,773 median annual income

Education & training

Civil Engineering - General

University Program

These programs prepare students 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

Halifax, NS

Engineering - General

University Program

These programs prepare 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

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering

University Program

These programs prepare students 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

Halifax, NS

Mathematics

College or University Program

These programs focus on the analysis of quantities, magnitudes, forms, and their relationships, using symbolic logic and language. They include courses in algebra, calculus, functional analysis, geometry, number theory, logic, topology and other mathematical specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Physical Sciences

College or University Program

These programs focus on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Professional Engineer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

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

Contacts

Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia
Dartmouth, NS
Urban Development Institute of Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada
Ottawa, ON

Additional resources