Start your Career with a Civil Engineering Internship
As you approach the penultimate year of your Civil Engineering program, it’s time to begin the countdown to your internship. First, of course, you must be excited, knowing you’re about to start your career with a Civil Engineering Internship.
The world literarily belongs to Civil Engineers. And why not? They’re the ones who design, construct and maintain society’s physical structure. As the world evolves and becomes more sophisticated, and buildings threaten to outnumber human beings, civil engineers have their work cut out for them, trying to keep up with the demand for more beautiful buildings with the latest designs. It inadvertently means that Civil Engineering is one of those always in-demand professions.
As a student of this branch of engineering, you have your work cut out for you, keeping up with what’s new in the design and construction industry. It’s a lot of hard work, and if you want to be successful, what better way than to start your career with a Civil Engineering internship?
What is Civil Engineering Internship?
Civil Engineering Internship is a workplace training that prepares students of Civil Engineering for a career in that field. In an internship, students learn about construction and everything related to it. The internship can be a short-term experience of about 45 days, a long-term of 12 months, or even longer. As an intern, this is a period of learning about the field, making connections, and discovering your skills, both hard and soft. Your internship may lead to a full-time job offer. So if you choose a career in Civil Engineering, an internship is the springboard toward achieving your dream.
Is Civil Engineering Internship Important?
There is a vast difference between the study of engineering and the practice of it. Therefore, if you plan to have a career in the industry, an internship is an experience you must not take lightly. Apart from the fact that an internship will look good on your resume, here are other reasons why a Civil Engineering Internship is essential.
1. You can gain more knowledge about the industry through an internship.
2. It gives practical experience of the different features of construction.
3. Interns have busy schedules, with little time to learn about the diverse industry. As a Civil Engineering Intern, you will visit construction sites and participate in the planning and design of such sites.
4. Civil Engineering Internship helps you understand construction and how things work at a site.
What are the functions of a Civil Engineering Intern?
Your duties as a Civil Engineering Intern will depend on the organization that employs you. However, the general functions of a Civil Engineering intern include the following:
1. Assisting the organization’s engineers to achieve their goals.
2. Modeling certain aspects of a project using computer-aided design (CAD).
3. Maintaining databases
4. Drafting designs according to instructions
5. Maintaining records of materials and other relevant features of a project
6. Reviewing and discussing designs or projects
What are the Educational Qualifications for a Civil Engineering Internship?
You can become a Civil Engineering intern with a high school degree or GED (General Educational Development Test). But if you plan to have a career in this field, you must be in engineering.
A. You must have a superficial knowledge of engineering courses like Civil3D and AutoCAD.
B. You must be getting a Bachelor’s degree or a higher diploma in Civil Engineering, Architecture, or a similar field.
What are the needed skills for a Civil Engineering Internship?
A Civil Engineering intern must have both hard and soft skills. Know that each skill set is as important as the other. Therefore, you need to complement your hard and soft skills. The skills you need will depend on the field of Civil Engineering you desire. So, you will need either or all of the following skills:
1. Civil 3D
- To draft design drawings in AutoCAD Civil 3D for bridge works such as props and wing walls.
- To create surfaces, placements, outlines, and passageways in designing driveways
- For drafting drawings and measuring material quantities for bid comparison.
- To verify and document designs.
2. GIS (Geographic Information System)
- You need GIS to add scanned drawings of water, storm, and sewer utilities.
- To produce maps, tables, and reports.
- To create and develop coordinates for airspace using analysis.
- To track status map updates.
3. Roadway Design
- To perform roadway design activities for residential and commercial roads and winter months.
- To build estimates for roadway designs and construction areas.
- For PowerPoint presentations
- To create simulations and results for company clients
5. Cost Estimates
- To design and prepare cost estimates for projects
- Cost estimates for management purposes
Other Hard Skills are
- Geotechnical skills
- Engineering design
- Data collection
- Aided design
- Engineering Drawings
- Project Management
- Engineering Calculations
If you don’t already have them, you will surely pick up these soft skills during your Civil engineering internship.
1. Leadership Skills
Although interns are not at the managerial level, this is a bonus, especially if you intend to pursue a career in the organization. When the time comes, you will want to show you can handle a higher position. It is a people-managing skill that every employer would like to see.
2. Organizational Skills
Putting the different aspects of a project together requires a certain level of organizational skills. You must know what stage of the project preparation comes before the other so that you don’t end up putting the cart before the horse.
3. Communication Skills
You will work in teams or present a PowerPoint slide during your internship. Good communication skills ensure that you relate well with your teammates and present your slides in a manner your audience will understand.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get a Civil Engineering Internship with an organization?
There are no Civil Engineering internships waiting for you to pick up. Therefore, you must try to land your dream job.
1. Join professional engineering societies
Engineering societies help you connect with current students, alums, and industry professionals. It would help if you had these people for valuable advice and even job opportunities when it’s time.
2. Take online courses
There are websites where you can find engineering courses to boost your knowledge and improve your resume. Try Coursera and Udemy for free online courses to gain the necessary skills.
3. Browse the internet
The internet is still a sure way to land your desired internship. Organizations post vacancies on their websites or use advertising platforms to do so. So get a list of companies you’d like to intern with and get moving!
Read Also How to get an internship with Reputable Organizations for more ideas.
Are there professional organizations that offer Civil Engineering internships?
Many professional organizations offer Civil Engineering internships. Examples are
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- American Society for Engineering Education
- Stantec Inc.
- Institute of Civil Engineers
What types of companies offer Civil Engineering Internships?
Construction companies offer Civil Engineering Internships. Examples of such companies are
- AECOM Technology Corporation
- Tata Projects
- Government Offices
Is a Civil Engineering Internship paid or unpaid?
It depends on the company. Paid Civil Engineering internships require you to bring your knowledge from school to the organization. You will use this knowledge here as you will be physically present at the office.
Unpaid internships exist too, where you intern with a non-governmental or not-for-profit organization as a volunteer. In such a situation, you primarily work from anywhere part-time. Being an unpaid intern does not mean you do not receive any form of payment from the organization. Sometimes, unpaid interns receive stipends for work done. Before you intern with any organization, ensure that you have this conversation about your service condition.
How can I gain respect as a civil engineering intern?
If you aim to make an impact or get noticed during your internship, here are a few things you can do:
- Never come late to work
- Dress according to the organization’s dress code
- Be respectful to your colleagues
- If you don’t understand something, say so
- Be truthful at all times
- Be enthusiastic about your work
- Never reject a task, no matter how menial
- Be ready to work late if necessary
If you have chosen a career in Civil Engineering, now’s the time to start planning for the best way to break into the engineering field. You can start by becoming an intern. The benefits of a civil engineering internship can never be over-emphasized. Whether paid or unpaid, working with the proper organization is a step in the right direction. So start your Civil Engineering career today with an internship, and you’ll find that your dream career is within your reach.