When you choose civil engineering, you are opening the doors to a world of opportunity
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is the world’s leading professional body for civil engineers and technicians. We are committed to helping our members make a positive difference to society and to shape a better world. ICE is at the forefront of addressing the great challenges and opportunities we face, such as the drive to net zero and the integration of smart technology.
Civil engineering is an exciting and rewarding career that transforms lives. An apprenticeship is a great way to enter the profession and earn while you learn.
ICE will support you throughout your civil engineering apprenticeship and beyond. From free student membership and scholarships to our internationally recognised professional qualifications, we’ll help you advance your career.
What is civil engineering?
Civil engineering is about roads and railways, schools, tunnels, buildings, hospitals, water and power supply and much more. Things we take for granted but would find hard to live without.
When you choose civil engineering, you are opening the doors to a world of opportunity.
What do civil engineers do?
Civil engineers are problem-solvers and use new technologies through their work. They design, create and connect the world around us, and make our villages, towns and cities work for the people that live there.
Civil engineering professionals have the power to transform lives by designing and building safe structures and providing essential life-giving services. They tackle global challenges like climate change and pollution and support disaster relief efforts.
‘Civil engineer’ covers a huge range of jobs, across a broad range of sectors. You’ll see lots of examples throughout this guide. You could be a civil engineer, civil engineering technician, (see the Construction section of this guide). Or a power engineer or water treatment technician (Energy section), an engineer or engineering design and draftsperson (Engineering and Electrical section), a marine engineer (Marine section), or a wide range of roles in transport infrastructure (Vehicles and transport section). The possibilities are immense.
Whatever your background, gender or age, civil engineering is a rewarding, creative and fun career. No day is ever the same, it’s a team effort and the pay is good—and there simply aren’t enough engineers to go around.
Top civil engineering career facts
Salary: The average starting salary for UK civil engineers is around £30,000 rising to £70,000 for experienced engineers.* Professional qualification with an institution like ICE can help you earn more and those at the top of the profession earn well over £100,000.
International: Civil engineers’ skills are in demand across the world, and many get to travel to exciting places.
Opportunities: Studying to become an engineer can open doors to other careers: it keeps your options open!
Wellbeing: Civil engineering regularly features in polls of the top happiest jobs!
Development: It’s a career which has clear routes through study and qualification.
Status: Qualified engineers have a high status similar to doctors and lawyers.
Employment: The UK needs lots more civil engineers in the near future.
You can find out more about the amazing projects civil engineers work on and the fascinating range of roles in civil engineering at ice.org.uk/wice
Why choose a civil engineering apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a fantastic way to kick-start your career in civil engineering as you can put what you learn into practise: earning and learning whilst getting a qualification.
You’ll usually be employed by a civil engineering company enabling you to gain the technical skills and industry knowledge needed for your role.
You will work on projects that make a difference to communities and gain invaluable experience from knowledgeable colleagues and tutors. You’ll work as part of team and contribute to real-world change.
At the end of your apprenticeship, you will have an industry-recognised qualification, no student fee debts and should be in a full-time, permanent job.
How to find a civil engineering apprenticeship
You can approach engineering companies direct for apprenticeship opportunities or search via the government’s ‘Find an apprenticeship’ service website. In England, The National Apprenticeship Service also lists opportunities.
ICE support for apprentices
ICE offers unrivalled support to help you to excel. Our team of membership experts will be on hand throughout your apprenticeship to help you to reach the standards needed to complete your apprenticeship and become professionally qualified.
Our FREE Student membership is perfect for apprentices in civil engineering and the built environment:
Support your learning with access to our free resources
Connect with other apprentices, students and civil engineering professionals
Get advice to help you make the right career choices
Learn about the industry at our free events
Apply online at ice.org.uk/students
As an apprentice you can also apply for our QUEST Technician scholarship.
The scholarships are recognised by employers as a sign of excellence, and you could gain financial support of up to £1,000. Applications open in autumn each year. Find out more at ice.org.uk/questtechnician
Our internationally recognised professional qualifications—Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer and Chartered Engineer—command respect, and will put you on the road to a successful career.
With ICE as the End Point Assessor, you can apply to become a professionally qualified Engineering Technician (EngTech MICE) on completion of your technician level apprenticeship, or Incorporated Engineer (IEng MICE) on completion of your degree level apprenticeship.
A professional qualification will increase your professional status and influence with colleagues, employers and the public and will help you earn more.
Become part of a global civil engineering community
Your ICE membership will open the door to our global community of over 96,000 built environment professionals in 150+ countries.
Membership also unlocks access to a wealth of resources to boost your ongoing development—so rest assured that beyond achieving professional qualification you can continue to learn, keep your skills and knowledge fresh, and be ready to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
You can take advantage of unparalleled networking opportunities with like-minded civil engineers to share and exchange best practice, keeping you and other ICE members at the cutting-edge of industry transformation.
You can also access a range of financial and wellbeing support for ICE members and their families through the ICE Benevolent Fund.
Civil engineers transform lives
Find out how ICE can transform yours, visit: ice.org.uk/future#apprenticeships
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