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How to Build Your Own Business as a Civil Engineer

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A civil engineer is someone who designs, oversees the building of and supervises the maintenance of buildings, bridges, roads, green spaces and other public areas. An experienced civil engineer can start his own firm and contract with builders, architects and governments to create new structures or improve old ones. Before you can open your own civil engineering business, you must be educationally qualified and have the professional experience necessary to be able to work on your own and to supervise others.

Attend classes at a local university or community college. Earn a bachelor's degree in civil engineering by following the school's prescribed course load.

Apply for an internship with a professional civil engineer, government agency or architect. Gain experience throughout your internship to further your base of knowledge and portfolio.

Continue your school career to earn a Master's degree. Choose a specific path in the world of civil engineering to focus your career. Environmental planning, road construction, green space design and bridge construction are just a few of the areas requiring civil engineers.

Obtain a government or private job as a civic engineer. Provide your portfolio to every prospective employer to display your strengths and base of knowledge as well as your originality in design and maintenance of properties.

Continue to keep records of all of your projects. Add these drawings, photographs, reports and notes to your portfolio in order to build a showcase of your best work to show prospective clients.

Set up your own place of business. Obtain a business license from your local county clerk. Hire an assistant to take care of the daily paper work. Hire a draftsman to complete drawings for your business. Sell your work by showing your portfolio to architects, real estate companies, construction firms, government agencies and large civil engineering firms. Talk to companies you have worked with before to find projects quicker.


After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.

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