Civil engineering

Information on civil engineering apprenticeships and what career opportunities there are in this sector.

A man working on a laptop Civil engineering deals with the design and construction of buildings, bridges, pipelines, railways, water supply networks, roads and other crucial parts of our society.

As a construction civil engineering apprentice there are various pathways that you can choose from. Every day on the job will be different, as all sorts of circumstances and issues arise on any large-scale project that involves so many people and resources.

Intermediate level apprenticeships

The intermediate level apprenticeship has four different pathways and, depending on the pathway you choose, your role will vary considerably.

As a construction operative you would work on a construction site or public place, laying drainage, placing street iron works, laying pavements and excavating holes and trenches.

Formworkers work on construction sites moving and handling resources to fabricate and repair forms for concrete pouring and to dismantle the formwork afterwards.

In a Highways maintenance operative role you will work in a public place or highway, repairing surfaces, laying drainage, placing street iron works, kerbs and pavements, installing vehicle safety fencing on highways, excavating and repairing.

Plant mechanics are based either on a construction site or in a workshop, repairing vehicles for various construction operations such as excavators, earth movers, forklifts, telescopic handlers and dumper trucks.

Advanced level apprenticeships

On the plant maintenance advanced level apprenticeship you might learn to specialise in hydraulics and electrical components.

This is a perfect springboard for further qualifications that could lead to a degree in civil engineering or management roles.

In all roles you will need to be willing to travel to sites or, in some cases, stay in lodgings while working away from home. You will also need to have a reasonable level of fitness as many occupations are physically demanding. You should be able to work quickly while paying close attention to detail. Good maths skills are needed to take measurements as well as the ability to follow plans and written/spoken instructions. An awareness of health and safety is also necessary.


The starting salary is between £10,000 and £16,000.

Find out more about civil engineering apprenticeships?

Further information on these apprenticeships can be found from Construction Skills [new window].


Reproduced from The Apprenticeship Guide [new window]

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