How to Find a Highly Qualified Civil Engineer

Posted by

Getting your site prepped for construction is arguably one of the most critical steps of the building process. You have to ensure that the site you are going to build on is level, and can support a structure. This is why working with a civil engineer on construction sites is so important. Finding the right engineer can be difficult, so here is how to find a highly qualified civil engineer. 

Figure Out What Type of Civil Engineer You Need 

Like many fields in construction, civil engineers have different areas of expertise. While every civil engineer will have a similar base of knowledge to do their job, you may find yourself needing someone that has a specific set of skills. 

Here are the most common types of civil engineers out there.

  1. Structural Engineers
  2. Construction Engineers
  3. Environmental Engineers
  4. Geotechnical Engineers 
  5. Transportation Engineers
  6. Water Source Engineers 

Each type of civil engineer will know how to evaluate a site and figure out what work needs to be done before construction. But each specialty ensures that you can find a civil engineer to fix a specific problem. 

If you are building near environmentally delicate areas or water sources, you may need to hire an environmental engineer. If you are just working on the structure and construction, then a structural engineer could be a good fit. Once you determine which type of civil engineer you need to work with, you can continue your search for the right worker. 

Create a Tailored Job Description 

Before you start asking around for the best civil engineers, you can find talent in several spaces with detailed job descriptions. Before an engineer hops onto a project, they’re going to want to know the details of what they’re getting into. 

This includes what type of job you are working on if it is commercial or industrial. How long the project is going to be and how long their involvement would be. As well as what type of expertise you need from a civil engineer. 

Ask for References from Colleagues 

When you work in the construction industry, word of mouth can go a long way. If you have colleagues or even competitors that do similar work to you, ask them about the civil engineers they work with. 

You’ll be able to get a good sense of who is available and the type of work that they do. Better yet, you can get a first-hand account of how that person was to work with. 

Asses Their Skills 

Once you have a list of candidates, you’ll need to assess their skills and knowledge base. You can do this during interviews and talking about their past work. A qualified civil engineer should have a portfolio of past work to show you. They should also be able to do the following on a job site:

  • Site Analysis
  • Site Grading 
  • Materials Proposals 

These are some of the fundamental skills a civil engineer needs to have before working on a site. You can learn more about the details of each of these skills with resources from ZP Architects

Civil engineers will be able to use computer programs alongside their site work to quickly change and adapt designs. All of these skills put together can determine if they are right for the job. 

Check their References 

Your civil engineer candidates should also provide you with a list of references. These references should know firsthand if your candidate has the right knowledge base to get the job done.

Look for Organization and Communication  

Lastly, a qualified civil engineer will be an organized individual that can communicate. Civil engineers will have to manage their projects and work with others on your team. If they aren’t able to stay organized, your timelines and budgets can be negatively affected. A civil engineer that is confident in their abilities and can relay that information to you and your team will be a good fit for your project. 


A qualified civil engineer is a must-have for large scale constructions. They’re the first people to figure out if a site is prepared and ready to be built on. Without them, you could find yourself running into zoning or environmental violations. Finding a qualified individual may feel like a challenge, but once it clicks you’ll be able to hit the ground running on your new build.