A senior civil engineer handles the design, construction, and maintenance of public structures such as dams, bridges, buildings, and roads. It’s their job to ensure that each structure is able to withstand the wear and tear of constant use. Senior civil engineers work primarily in an office setting, although they typically perform on-site inspections to monitor projects' progress and look at potential problems. A senior civil engineer often oversees a team of other engineers and is expected to delegate to, mentor, train, and supervise subordinates. The average work week for a senior civil engineer typically is around 40 to 50 hours; however, unscheduled problems and important deadlines may require the senior civil engineer to have to work nights and weekends.
A senior civil engineer position involves a significant amount of complex engineering work, complex mathematical equations, and high-tech equipment. As a result, senior civil engineers must have at least a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a closely related field. A master’s degree or doctorate may be beneficial, and experience in the field is critical. Because this is a supervisory position and because a senior civil engineer is responsible for ensuring safety, companies often require between six and eight years’ experience working on civil engineering projects. Depending on the company's location, the senior civil engineer may also be required to register with or be licensed by the local government.
Senior Civil Engineer Tasks
- Conduct field assessments and inspections to plan and execute project goals.
- Provide expertise for design and structural considerations, as well as evaluating site-specific needs.
- Manage and advise staff in construction, operations and maintenance projects.
- Present reports on proposals, new techniques, environmental impacts, right of way, etc.