Civil engineers design, construct and maintain physical environments including roads, dams and buildings. They design, construct and manage transport systems, gas and water supplies, private and public buildings and facilities.

Where civil engineers are employed

Civil engineers may work in offices or spend their time on-site. They may be required to work long hours and meet strict deadlines while working under minimal supervision. Civil engineers deal with various professional, skilled and semi-skilled people. Consulting and contracting engineers often travel interstate and some travel overseas.

“I am frequently involved in the design and assessment of buildings, bridges, dams, towers and tunnels but also sometimes design more unusual structures such as off-shore works for desalinisation plants" – Nicole Anderson –Structural Engineer.


Full-time civil engineers in South Australia generally earn more than $1,600 per week.

Graph of pay scale for Civil engineer

Job prospects

In 2011 there were 811 people employed full-time as civil engineers in South Australia, compared with 493 in 2006.

How to become one

Usually you need a degree in engineering with a major in civil engineering. At school consider English, maths, chemistry, physical sciences and physics. For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in SA, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities, visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Licensing or registration requirements

In South Australia there are no licensing or registration requirements. Engineering is a self-regulated profession that focuses on recognition through membership with professional bodies to gain professional standing within the industry. Many employers prefer candidates with recognition and or membership with Engineers Australia.

The highest level of formal recognition is through the Chartered Status Professional Development pathway with Engineers Australia. 

Recognition of engineering qualifications and skills obtained outside Australia

For engineers that have completed their training overseas, it is helpful to have overseas skills and qualifications assessed when looking for work.

If you come to South Australia as a migrant you may already have a pre-migration assessment from a professional body that indicates the status of your qualification(s) and work experience. This is often all you need for the purposes of looking for work.

If you do not have this pre-migration assessment, you can access assessment services through Engineers Australia. This assessment will examine your qualifications and work experience to determine recognition levels and whether you are eligible to join National Registers and gain Engineers Australia Chartered status.

For information about assessment of overseas qualifications, and looking for work in Australia visit Recognition of overseas qualifications or contact Skilled Arrival Services on 08 8303 2420 or email

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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