Careers in Construction Engineering – Civil Engineering Project Management
Project management, whether in civil or structural engineering, is a challenging and exciting role for the right candidate. If you already have skills and qualifications in civil engineering, but enjoy exploring the broader scope of a project; civil project management could be the career path for you.
Job Description for Civil Engineering Project Management Roles
A typical job description for a Civil Project Manager is likely to include the following:
- Making sure that all the aims of the project are met, as well as providing advice and agreeing project objectives from the points of view both of engineering and of the client’s needs.
- Ensuring the quality standards are met.
- Developing and producing health and safety documentation, and carrying out risk assessments.
- Conducting regulatory correspondence regarding demolition, HSE, and other regulatory bodies.
- Ensuring effective recruitment and management of site staff, including subcontractors.
- Overseeing the accounting, costing and billing and monitoring project costs.
- Overseeing submissions of tender, providing technical and practical experience where necessary.
Qualifications and experience
A number of UK universities offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Civil and Structural Project Management. However, many employers are looking for solid civil engineering experience coupled with an appropriate level of project management knowledge as well as (or even instead of) specific qualifications.
There are a variety of routes into civil engineering. The Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) suggests A-levels in Maths and Physics, or a BTEC in Civil Engineering, or the Advanced Diploma in Engineering. After achieving one of these, you stand a good chance of being offered a place on a degree or HND course in Civil or Structural Engineering, accredited by the ICE or the IStructE.
Once you’ve gained your BEng, you can take an additional course in project management, whether that be a postgraduate qualification or a short, intensive course as part of your own professional development. Alternatively, seeking out civil or structural engineering roles which offer opportunities for project management will also give you the right experience.
Civil and structural project managers will usually be expected to complete the SMSTS (Site Management Safety Training Scheme), a five-day course to ensure project managers and other site personnel offer healthy, safe working conditions for construction site employees.
As well as holding the right qualifications, a successful engineering project manager will be someone who can take an overview, has lots of initiative and has a flexible approach.
Continued professional development
CPD is essential in engineering project management, to ensure you stay up to date with the latest technologies and systems. Both the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Institute of Structural Engineers (IStructE) offer a CPD framework, and require CPD for you to retain your membership. You can read our post on CPD here.
Having established yourself in engineering project management, the next stage is to take on larger and more complex projects. From there, you can go on to a more strategic role as a program manager, overseeing several projects at once. Ultimately, you could become a consultant, or progress to executive leadership.
- Earnings are usually between £25,000 and £50,000 a year
- Top salaries can reach £80,000 or more
- Freelance project managers may be paid around £300 to £400 a day
If you’re looking for a position in civil or structural project management, please give us a call on 01252 364 331. You can browse our engineering project management roles here, or click here to register with us.