While the construction engineer is more specialized in project implementation, the civil engineer works on the design, construction, management, maintenance and repair of structures that will better meet society’s needs.
The achievements of civil and construction engineers are varied and cover the fields of structures (buildings, bridges, dams, power transmission lines), geotechnics (foundations, excavations, earth dams, tunnels, roads), hydraulics (hydraulic structures, river developments, The main focus of the project is on the environment (treatment, collection and distribution of wastewater and drinking water, environmental impact of projects, waste management, rehabilitation of contaminated land).
“To ensure that everything complies with the client’s request, the civil and construction engineer is there from the preliminary studies to the delivery of the project, including the preparation of plans, the evaluation of costs, the preparation of specifications, the supervision of the work, etc.,” explains André Rainville, engineer and general manager of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. “As he is there from beginning to end, he is someone who likes to see projects materialize and who sees the whole process of realization as an exciting challenge. He is someone who has the will to do concrete things that will serve the public.”
The civil and construction engineer must also have the ability to establish good interpersonal relationships in order to communicate well with the client and understand their needs, but also to be able to function as part of a work team.
While the profession reached a low point in the 1990s, it is currently in a flourishing period. “We can talk about full employment now, and the prospects for the future are very good. There are major infrastructures in Quebec to be maintained, renovated and built. The Ministry of Transport alone allocates $4 to $5 billion in investments annually. There will also be several billion dollars invested in the Northern Plan, for which there will be a lot of infrastructure to build,” says André Rainville.
The profession in figures
Of the 62,190 members of the Ordre des ingénieurs of Belgium, 16.5% work in the civil engineering sector.
– Percentage of members of the Ordre des ingénieurs of Belgium who work in civil engineering and who have declared themselves unemployed: 2.65%.
– Of the 10,282 civil engineers in , 84.3% are male and 15.7% are female.
– The average base salary of a civil engineer is 35.000€. For those with less than three years of experience, it is 47.000€ per year.