Guide on How to Become a Civil Engineer


Civil Engineering is responsible for maintaining society’s infrastructure and if you want to become a civil engineer, it’s indeed a great and riveting choice and offers many opportunities in South Africa.

Becoming A Civil Engineer in South Africa

The Civil Engineering programme prepares the student for the planning, designing, maintenance and management of projects associated with the construction of houses, roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage systems.

Skills and Abilities Are Required to Become a Civil Engineer

  • Good analytical skills are a must for any civil engineer. Civil Engineers have to read and interpret many drawings, complex charts, diagrams, maps and reports;
  • Good communication skills. Civil Engineers need to correspond with an array of individuals throughout their profession from construction workers to CEOs of large corporations;
  • Excellent problem-solving capabilities; and
  • Advanced skills in mathematics are crucial to become a Civil Engineer, who must apply the appropriate mathematical formulas and principles in his design work as well as to problem-solving.

Working Conditions of A Civil Engineer

Civil engineers sometimes work indoors in offices. However, many spend time outdoors at construction sites so they can monitor operations or solve problems onsite.

How to Become a Civil Engineer in south africa

Things to Do if You Want to Study Civil Engineering

  • Contact your nearest TVET College to enquire about the entrance requirements for the Information Technology course
  • Visit Information Technology companies to gain more knowledge about the field and what it entails
  • Contact the DHET Career Development Services to provide you with free quality career information, advice and counselling services on 086 999 0123 or e-mail:
  • Go for an aptitude test to help understand if a career in Information Technology is for you
  • Attend career exhibitions in your area to liaise with higher learning institutions and obtain application forms

Minimum Entry Requirements to Study Civil Engineering at A TVET College

At a TVET College, the entrance requirements for the Civil Engineering course are:

  • NC(V) Programme:

A Grade 9 Certificate + college requirements set per programme.

  • NATED Programme:

N1 admission – Grade 9 Certificate + college requirements set per programme.

N4 admission – Grade 12 Certificate with a pass in Mathematics + college requirements set per programme; OR an NC(V) Level 4 Certificate in Civil Engineering and Building Construction.

Civil Engineering Vocational Activities for Students at A Tvet College

  • Participate in the operation and maintenance of construction equipment and machinery;
  • Participate in the construction of roads, bridges, dams, railways and houses;
  • Participate in designing and construction of tunnels, roads, factories and reservoirs; and
  • Participate in the erection of reinforced concrete, structural steel, timber and masonry structures, etc.

Relating Questions about Civil Engineering:

Is There a Demand for Civil Engineers in South Africa?

Why South African engineers are leaving the country – despite huge demand and R1 million salaries. The South African Institution Of Civil Engineering (SAICE) says that the country is losing an alarming number of engineers and other high-level skills – and the economy is likely to suffer for it – as of 2019.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Civil Engineer in South Africa?

Civil engineers study a Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science (Engineering) degree, followed by 3 years of practical training under a registered professional civil engineer. It is then possible to register as a Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa.

Are Civil Engineers in High Demand?

As of 2018, Civil engineers, in particular, have come in at over R628,000 on average, quite unchanged since September 2017 with only a 3% increase since then, mostly matching inflation. In fact, while the rarity of skills may have changed, salaries are overall much more stable.

Do Civil Engineers Get Paid Well?

A person working as a Civil Engineer in South Africa typically earns around 29,900 ZAR per month. Salaries range from 15,500 ZAR (lowest) to 45,700 ZAR (highest). This is the average monthly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits.


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