Civil Engineering Associate

Civil engineering associates help civil and structural engineers plan and design the construction of infrastructure and property projects.

  • Entry-level education

    VET qualification

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Civil Engineering Associate do?

Civil engineering associates help civil and structural engineers plan and design the construction of projects such as roads, airports, railways, buildings, bridges, dams and drainage systems. They also help with commercial, residential, and land development. Civil engineering associates work under the direction of licensed civil engineers.


Work activities

As a civil engineering associate, your duties would include:

  • assisting with initial site surveys
  • arranging for lab analysis of soil, rock and materials samples
  • creating engineering design plans, by hand or with computer aided design (CAD) software
  • preparing estimates of labour costs and the amount and type of materials
  • drawing up timescales for the delivery of supplies, equipment and labour
  • negotiating with suppliers to get value for money when buying resources
  • inspecting projects and supervising progress
  • reporting problems to site managers and preparing reports for engineers.

Key skills and interests

To become a civil engineering associate, you would need:

  • a flair for maths and science
  • good problem-solving skills
  • the ability to understand engineering drawings and principles
  • IT skills for computer aided design (CAD) work
  • good organisational and supervisory skills
  • teamworking skills.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You would typically work standard hours, Monday to Friday. You could work shifts, including weekends and nights, when on site. You might also be part of an on-call roster to deal with out-of-hours problems.


You would work in all weather conditions, and would be expected to wear a safety helmet and protective footwear on site.


How to become an Civil Engineering Associate?

Entry Level Education

To become a civil engineering associate you usually have to complete a VET qualification in engineering that is recognised by Engineers Australia. Entry to these courses usually requires you to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

Graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia as Engineering Associates.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of civil engineering associates is projected to about as fast as average for all occupations.

As infrastructure continues to age, civil engineering associates will be required to assist civil engineers, who manage projects to rebuild bridges, repair roads, and upgrade structures such as dams and water treatment systems. Civil engineers and engineering associates also work on renewable energy projects such as large-scale photovoltaic cell installations, or large scale wind turbine projects.

Although Federal and State governments continue to face financial challenges and may have difficulty funding all the projects that need attention, some of the projects that have been delayed will ultimately have to be completed in order to build and maintain critical infrastructure.


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