Civil Designer

Design buildings, roads, sewer systems, and other public structures.
picture of Civil Designer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$29,000 – $70,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Civil Designers do?

Civil design is an area of Engineering that deals with the creation, modification, improvement, or installation of public works. These projects cover a range of areas, including transportation, air, structures, water systems, and land use. Pretty much anything that the public uses, or has access to, falls under the umbrella of civil design.

Civil Designers plan, sketch, diagram, and generally design structurally sound buildings and processes. The beauty of the profession of Civil Designer is the sheer number of opportunities in the field.

With an Associate’s degree and the right amount of computer savvy, you can start out as a Civil Engineer’s right hand. As a Civil Designer, you use computer software to create an initial design, or evaluate problems within an existing design. Design examples include bridges, train depots, courthouses, sewer systems, and roads. With more experience and schooling, your responsibilities (and pay) increase.

At the Civil Engineer level, you evaluate the client’s needs, create the entire design, and supervise the construction. You understand local building codes and land-use laws within the industry, and have an in-depth knowledge of materials, environmental factors, and budgets. In other words, at this level, you manage the entire project from start to finish, the original design being just one aspect in the process.

Regardless of the level you work at, you should brush up on your computer software knowledge. This job is becoming increasingly reliant upon computer-aided design (CAD) software. Programs such as Microstation, Geopack, and AutoCAD Civil 3D are everyday names in the business.


Should I be a Civil Designer?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Civil Engineering Designer

    How to become a Civil Designer

    Most Civil Designers have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:o9bvaa&chl=no+college+%2812%25%29|certificate+%2850%25%29|associate%27s+%2822%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2817%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,12,50
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