Civil engineers help oversee public construction projects such as bridges, roads, and utility plants. Their duties include designing, inspecting and approving construction on these projects. In the United States, the civil engineer salary averages at $63,955 per year. Civil engineers from Canada earn C$64,085 ($49,470) each year. While in the UK the same professionals make £30,285 ($42,318) per year.
People with the same job living in Australia make AU$72,215 ($56,838) per year, while those from Switzerland win around CHF72,157 ($76,317) each year. The median pay for civil engineers in Norway stands at NOK579,265 ($75,033) per year.
Civil Engineer Salary Influencers
Factors such as the work sector, experience, and seniority of position can shape the earnings of civil engineers. Generally, pay rises with more experience and management responsibilities. Further, certain skills also influence salaries. For example, according to PayScale, civil engineers in Canada with skills in using “AutoDesk AutoCAD 3d” earned 3 percent above the national average. PayScale reports that civil engineers in Australia with project coordinating skills were paid 7 percent above the national average.
A mix of private and government sector employers fill positions for civil engineers. For example, approximately 46 percent of civil engineers in the United States work in engineering services firms. Federal, state and local government agencies combined to employ nearly three in 10 civil engineers in the United States. Typically, private sector firms may offer higher salaries than government employers who may be limited by the availability of public funds or budget priorities.
2. Geographical Area
|Civil Engineer Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||Switzerland||Norway|
|Hourly Wage||$28.40||C$28.68 ($22.15)||£14.89 ($20.79)||AU$30.51 ($24.00)||CHF34.69* ($36.69)||NOK277.51* ($36.07)|
|Annual Wage||$63,955||C$64,085 ($49,470)||£30,285 ($42,318)||AU$72,215 ($56,838)||CHF72,157 ($76,317)||NOK579,265 ($75,033)|
*These figures are estimated based on the annual pay information available.
Civil Engineer Salary in the US
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that civil engineers had an annual salary of $89,730 as of May 2016. Those in the top 90 percent of earners made above $132,880 per year. However, within “Oil and Gas Extraction” sector was found the highest median salary, at $125,010.
Civil Engineer Salary in Canada
As reported by PayScale, civil engineers in Canada earned around C$64,085 per year. They also received annual bonuses of up to C$10,108 and profit sharing of up to C$10,416. Therefore, the total pay ranged from C$45,050 to C$101,115 per year.
Civil Engineer Salary in the UK
The pay for civil engineers in the United Kingdom runs between £21,314 and £46,331 per year. To that add up bonuses of up to £4,825 per year, totaling a salary of £20,787 to £48,725 each year.
Civil Engineer Salary in Australia
In Australia, the median salary, as reported by Payscale, is AU$72,215. Pay runs between AU$51,047 and AU$107,681 per year, after bonuses and profit sharing of AU$10,323, respectively AU$14,899 per year.
Civil Engineer Salary in Switzerland
Civil engineers in Switzerland earn CHF72,157 per year. They get bonuses of up to CHF10,304 each year. Therefore, in an annual basis, the salary range is CHF20,511 to CHF124,791.
Civil Engineer Salary in Norway
The salary for a Norwegian civil engineer stands at $75,033 each year, meaning NOK579,265. While after bonuses and profit sharing they make earnings between $48,576 and $104,681 annually.
In Canada, salaries generally rose consistently with experience. PayScale reports that entry-level civil engineers in Canada start at C$60,000 each year. In the five-to-ten year interval, pay ranged from C$73,000 to C$87,000. Those in their late career, or with more than 20 years experience, earned C$101,000 per year.
As “starters,” civil engineers in the United Kingdom make £28,000 every year. Those in the “Experienced” category earned from £24,000 to £39,000 each year, while “highly experienced engineers,” or “senior chartered engineers” made from £40,000 to £50,000 per year.
For civil engineers in Australia, entry-level experience translates to a starting salary of AU$66,000, rising to AU$82,000 by year five. Those with at least 10 years of experience make about AU$100,000, while late-career civil engineers (more than 20 years of experience) earning AU$119,000 per year.
Civil engineering is a full-time occupation, with these professionals often working over 40 hours per week. The average work week for civil engineers in Australia lasts 43.9 hours, compared to 40.2 hours for all occupations overall. In the United States, approximately one-quarter of civil engineers logged over 40 hours of work per week.
In order to monitor projects, civil engineers often work outside the office and may work beyond traditional office hours. Civil engineers who work in government may travel to inspect construction for compliance with governmental regulations, deadlines, and standards. However, in some cases, after-hours emergencies at job sites or public facilities may necessitate the availability of civil engineers to offer solutions or oversight.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
According to PayScale, bonuses for civil engineers in the United States range from $226 to $9,670 on an annual basis. Additionally, in Canada, bonuses reached as high as C$10,108. While, in Australia, civil engineers earned bonuses up to AU$10,323 per year.
Generally, firms and government agencies in the United States and Canada determine the pension and other benefits for employment. Normally, civil engineers employed by governmental agencies have time off for federal or state-recognized holidays. While Norwegian law affords civil engineers occupational insurance and pension.
In Australia, Switzerland and Norway salaried civil engineers are entitled to paid holidays and paid leave up to four weeks per year. Moreover, Australian civil engineers have their retirement funded through superannuation or contributions by employers. In Switzerland, employees receive benefits through a three-tier system. The first two levels combine Old Age and Survivors’ Insurance and mandatory employer contributions and afford civil engineers retirement benefits equal to 60 percent of their earnings. In the third pillar, contributions by employers are voluntary.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11 percent rise in employment of civil engineers by 2026, which translates to 32,200 additional jobs. Opportunities may abound in certain regions of Australia as well, as there were 43,000 civil engineers in Australia as of November 2015.
The need of agencies to replace aging and outdated infrastructure, build new roads and plants to accommodate traffic and population and undertake environmentally-sustainable action will drive the demand for civil engineers. Additionally, construction companies and other clients will rely on civil engineers to procure necessary permits from environmental and other government agencies and ensure that projects meet environmental laws and regulations.
However, budgetary constraints may suppress construction projects and the use of civil engineers. For a complete overview of the field, we suggest you read about the structural engineer salary, as well.
To conclude, civil engineers will have solid job prospects as infrastructure upgrades and replacements are needed and planned. With government regulations and standards comes the need for government-employed engineers to enforce them and privately-employed engineers to ensure compliance. Generally, more experience, skills in project management or coordination, and employment in the private sector can bring higher compensation.