You could say Civil Engineering dates back to around 2,600 B.C., when the first Egyptian pyramid was built by Imhotep, the first acknowledged engineer in history.
A civil engineer basically deals with developing the plans and managing all the steps of a construction project, such as buildings, roads, bridges, railways, etc. However, you should not mistake them with architects.
While architects come up with the ideas and design, civil engineers take these ideas further and adapt them taking into account factors like natural disasters, the purpose of the project, and more.
Top countries for studying a Master's in Civil Engineering
Picking the right country for your Civil Engineering studies is important because it can influence your future career. Some countries have more job prospects than others. Some countries have better universities than others in this field. That’s why it’s important to go for the countries that have the best offer for your future career:
- Masters in the U.S.;
- Masters in Australia;
- Masters in the UK;
- Masters in Canada;
- Masters in Denmark;
- Masters in Germany;
- Masters in Poland.
One of the international students from Ghana, that went to study in Italy, told us why he picked Constructions as his degree:
"My whole educational life has been in my home country, Ghana, and I felt that I needed a change in order to experience and acquire the necessary skills and to learn internationally accepted ways of going about the day-to-day activities in my chosen field i.e. Construction."
6 Popular jobs to convince you apply for a Civil Engineering Master’s
1. Construction engineer
A construction engineer will be responsible for the design, management, and supervision of various construction projects, like buildings, roads, bridges, etc. As a construction engineers you will have to consider environmental issues and construction regulations related to your project.
In addition, you’ll identify aspects that might negatively impact the construction work. You will work with architects, construction managers, planners, and surveyors. Some Master’s programmes that might direct you towards this career path are:
- International Project Management (Construction) at Glasgow Caledonian University, in the UK
- Advanced Engineering Management - Construction Management at the University of Birmingham, in the UK
You can also work in Construction Engineering with a Master’s in Environmental Engineering which is a bit more relaxed in terms of curriculum.
2. Structural engineer
Structural engineers design structures like buildings, bridges, tunnels, railways, etc., and act as consultants for architects or contractors. You will have to decide what structural systems and materials to use, while considering natural factors (like snow, wind, etc.) and consult with other team members such as materials engineers and environmental engineers. Some programme that can get you on the fast track for this kind of job are:
- Management and Engineering in Structural Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, in Germany
- Structural and Building Products Engineering at Kaunas University of Technology, in Lithuania
An alternative pathway to a career in structural engineering is taking a Master’s in Architecture, either after a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering or after a degree in Architecture.
3. Building control surveyor
As a building control surveyor, you will have to first make sure that building regulation and legislation is followed for the construction project. Some of the main duties will be to inspect and test foundations, drainage, or building materials.
In case the building doesn’t meet all the necessary requirements you will have to suggest a solution that eliminates safety risks while avoiding delays and extra expenses, or to propose demolition. Some specialized graduated programmes in this field are:
- Sustainable Building Information Management at Jönköping University, in Sweden
- Building Energy Design at Aalborg University, in Denmark
You can also develop a career in the building control area if you pursue a Master’s in Materials Engineering.
4. Water resource engineer
Water resource engineers are in charge of developing equipment and systems for water resource management facilities. You will deal with the design, management, and maintenance of these systems. Other important tasks include evaluating storm drainage and flooding and creating systems that pump water out of flooded areas.
You’ll work with structural engineers in order to gather information about the construction of dams and reservoirs. Some targeted Masters you can pursue are:
- Water Science and Engineering programme at IHE Delft, in Netherlands
- Water Science and Management at Utrecht University, in Netherlands
Alternatively, you can also work in water engineering with a Master’s in Hydrology & Water Management.
5. Building services engineer
You will have to deal with the design, installation and maintenance of all the services that are needed to allow the building to function accordingly. These services may include acoustics, health and safety, heating, lighting, power and supply. If you are attracted by this job prospect you can check Civil Engineering programmes like:
- Engineering of Building Processes and System at the University of Bologna, in Italy
- Building Surveying programme from London South Bank University, in the UK
6. Quantity surveyor
Working mainly as a consultant, your job will involve finding solutions to minimise the costs of a project, while still keeping the required standards and quality. During the construction process, you’ll keep track of time and labour costs, monitor each step, make financial estimates for clients and advise them on legal and contractual matters. Examples of Civil Engineering Masters that can prepare you for this type of job are:
- Smart Cities and Urban Policy at Ecole Polytechnique, in France
- Quantity Surveying at London South Bank University, in the UK
But you can also get there with a Master’s in Sustainable Development.
Average salaries for civil engineers
Civil engineers can be employed by local or national authorities or they can work for a private company. The demand for civil engineers will continue to be on the rise, as the need for infrastructure projects will increase.
The job of a civil engineer is pretty well-paid. Here are some average income numbers for Civil Engineering jobs around the world, according to PayScale:
- United States - 50.800 EUR / year;
- United Arab Emirates - 22.850 EUR / year;
- Germany - 32.200 EUR / year;
- Australia - 46.560 EUR / year;
- Canada - 41.500 EUR / year;
- Denmark - 53.300 EUR / year.
Apply right now to a Master's in Civil Engineering
You can now apply with Studyportals to a Master in Civil Engineering to one of our partner universities abroad. You can apply whenever you want, and it won't cost you anything.
Check the available Masters and see which of the degrees match your background and interests. Start the application process by filling in your student profile. You will soon get contacted by one of our application counsellors who will assist you further. We’ll then apply on your behalf. Find out more about applying to a Master's degree with Studyportals.