As a civil engineer you’re likely to find work in a wide range of sectors. Although it’s particularly prominent in the construction industry, civil engineering is a broad field that encompasses a variety of sub-disciplines such as the production, environmental and transport industries too.

Civil engineering has spearheaded the innovation and development of our societies in recent years as it provides real life solutions to problems we face on a day-to-day basis. It therefore has, and always will be, a vitally important profession.

In this mini guide we’ve explained some of the job opportunities likely to be available to you as a civil engineer. This list is by no means exhaustive though, so if you specialise or are interested in another aspect of civil engineering that we haven’t discussed below, please do get in touch with our team today to find out what type of opportunities are available for you.

Consultant or Contractor?

The vast majority of civil engineers either work as a consultant or a contractor –

  • Consultants – Consultants work closely with clients and are involved in the project from day one. It is their responsibility to design the structures and solutions, so most of their work is office-based.
  • Contractors – Contractors are the ones who actually build the project and bring the vision to life. Most of their work is spent on-site managing teams/sub-contractors and overseeing the implementation of the design.

They are two very different types of roles so it’s important you know which type you’re best suited to.

What Industries & Sectors Can Civil Engineers Work In?

Here are some of the main industries and specialisms civil engineers work in –

Coastal & Marine

Civil engineering projects within the coastal and marine industry focus on protecting coastal communities from erosion and rising sea levels. This includes the design and creation of both hard defences (like concrete sea walls) and soft defences (like man-made beaches). Engineers in this field may also be involved in the building and maintenance of ports and offshore wind farms to help control tidal energy.

Energy & Power

The energy and power industries rely on civil engineers to design and build the infrastructure that creates energy. This can include decommissioning a nuclear power plant, maintaining an oil platform and installing wind turbines.


Civil engineering is massive in the ongoing maintenance of airports. Airside infrastructure such as runways and taxiways often require modifying, as do the terminal buildings and cargo facilities.


In this field of engineering engineers study and assess the ground of the area where a structure either currently stands or is planned to be built. This includes analysing the soil and rocks to ensure that the foundations are safe and stable.


Some civil engineers specialise in the environmental industry and become environmental consultants. They apply the principles of engineering with soil science, biology and chemistry to develop effective solutions for all sorts of environmental problems. They are usually involved in efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, water pollution, public health and so on.


Highway engineering focuses on the design, construction and maintenance of roads, bridges and tunnels. This includes implementing both permanent and temporary measures that not only ensure the effective transportation of people and goods, but also help to reduce traffic congestion, minimise environmental impact and better road safety.


Civil engineers who specialise in the rail sector work to design, build and maintain railway systems. This includes improving the infrastructure, tracks, drainage, power and earthworks of the systems.

Civil Engineering Jobs Bristol

If you’re an enthusiastic civil engineer looking for a career change or fresh start, please don’t hesitate to contact the team here at BMR Solutions today. With over 30 years of experience in technical recruitment we help talented engineers in the south west of the UK find a job perfectly suited to their skill set.

We’re a trusted team with the network and support structure needed to help open the door to a range of exciting and unrivalled opportunities.

Get in touch today >

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