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Changing career to civil engineering

Already working but want to be a civil engineer?

Career changers bring valuable skills and experience into the industry and can help fill some of the skills gaps. Employers are open to people who have worked in related sectors although you may need to do some additional learning or training.

If you have A-levels or Scottish Highers or equivalent, including maths, then you have 3 broad options:

  • Study for a degree
  • An apprenticeship
  • Vocational courses

See our 18+ years career advice for more information.

There are still routes into civil engineering but it will be a longer journey. See our advice for 16-19 years to find out more.

Civil engineering involves maths. You are likely to need the equivalent of a GCSE 5 grade in maths (or grade B if taken before 2017) for level 3 vocational courses or an apprenticeship. You will need an A-level at C grade or higher to move on to a degree course.

Your local further education colleges may offer relevant evening courses – if you want a more gradual route back into the world of studying.

Family commitments

If you want to switch career to civil engineering and have family responsibilities it might be useful to consider:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Combine paid employment in industry with training
  • Part-time HNC or HNDs
  • Study while working – either in civil engineering or your current role until you can move into civil engineering
  • A local university or further education college

Check what relevant courses they have, and if they have links with civil engineering companies to help you get a foot into industry.

Further information

For general advice about changing career check out

ICE QUEST scholarships and awards

ICE's QUEST scheme offers scholarships and awards for students, graduates and professionally qualified members at any level.

Get in touch

If you have more questions about changing career to civil engineering, then get in touch with us.