Introduction

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings and railways. 

Civil engineers are responsible for the basic needs and facilities (or infrastructure) of a modern society and play a vital role in it. Their jobs can range from planning to designing, and to construction, operation and maintenance, involving new and existing infrastructure. 

Why study a Civil Engineering Degree in Australia?

  • High quality education from high-ranking universities 

According to QS Ranking by Subjects in 2023, Australia has five universities in the top 50 in the world for a degree in Civil and Structural Engineering—the University of New South Wales (16th), the University of Sydney (20th), the University of Melbourne (22nd), Monash University (31rd), and the University of Queensland (45th). Added to this, Australia has a further eight universities in the top 51-100. Therefore, a degree in Civil Engineering in Australia will be highly-regarded internationally.    

  • Employment Potential after Graduation 

Australia is one of the biggest countries in the world in terms of size. With the ongoing plan from the government to develop regional areas, there is a high demand for employment in construction-related fields. It is expected that employment for Civil Engineering professionals will grow very strongly in the next 5 years—from 64,900 in 2021 to 73,600 by 2026. In addition, statistics from JobOutlook shows that median pay for full-time workers in this industry is AU$2,211 per week. Moreover, 91% of employees in the industry are full-timers, much higher than the average of 66%.   

  • Post-study Work Visa 

After completing at least 2 years of a higher education degree in Civil Engineering, you are eligible to apply for a 2-8 year Post-study Work Stream Visa (visa 485). Students can utilise this time to earn more work experience as well as to prepare for a migration pathway. 

What civil engineering courses are available in Australia?

In Australia, there is a diverse range of civil engineering courses available, which can meet your career goals, academic qualification and your English levels. 

  • Study Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology: The Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology program aims to prepare students for technical roles in the engineering industry. Graduates of this program may find employment as engineering technologists, technical officers, or engineering assistants, working alongside engineers on various projects related to civil, mechanical, electrical, or other engineering disciplines. 
  • Study Associate Degree in Engineering: An Associate Degree in Engineering is a two-year undergraduate program that provides students with foundational knowledge and skills in engineering. This course, therefore, is suitable for students who wish to pursue a career in engineering but might not be ready to commit to a full four-year bachelor’s degree program. Graduation from this course, graduates can seek for entry-level positions as engineering technologists, engineering assistants, or continue their education to obtain a higher degree in engineering.   
  • Study Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) (Honours): The Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) (Honours) is a comprehensive undergraduate degree program that focuses on preparing students for a career in civil engineering. This course spans four years of full-time study and after graduation, students can work as professional civil engineers, involved in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of essential infrastructure projects. 
  • Study Master in Civil Engineering in Australia: The Master of Civil Engineering in Australia is a postgraduate degree program designed for individuals who have completed a relevant undergraduate engineering degree or have equivalent qualifications and wish to further specialise in civil engineering. The program spans one to two years of full-time study and offers advanced coursework, research opportunities, and practical experiences to enhance students’ expertise in the field of civil engineering.
  • Study PhD in Civil Engineering: A PhD in Civil Engineering is the highest academic degree in the field, and it is typically pursued by individuals who have a strong passion for research, innovation, and advanced expertise in civil engineering. Completion of a PhD in Civil Engineering opens up various career paths, including academic positions as lecturers and researchers in universities, research institutes, or government agencies. Additionally, PhD holders may pursue high-level roles in industry and government organisations, where they can lead and contribute to projects and advance the field of civil engineering. 

What are entry requirements to study civil engineering in Australia?

  • For the Advanced Diploma course, normally applicants are required to have completed Year 12 or equivalent and attained IELTS 5.5   
  • For an Associate Degree, normally applicants are required to have completed Year 12 or equivalent and attained IELTS 6 (with no band less than 5.5)  
  • For the Bachelor’s degree course, normally applicants are required to have completed Year 12 or equivalent and attained IELTS 6.5 (with no band less than 6)  
  • For the Master’s degree course, normally applicants are required to have completed a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or equivalent or received a Graduate Certificate in Civil Engineering and attained IELTS 6.5 (with no band less than 6)  

Where can I study civil engineering in Australia?

Advanced Diploma  

  • TAFE QLD – Advanced Diploma of Engineering   
  • RMIT – Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology (Civil Engineering Design)  

Associate Degree 

  • TAFE QLD – Associate Degree Civil Engineering   
  • RMIT – Associate Degree in Engineering Technology  
  • TAFE SA – Associate Degree in Civil and Structural Engineering (Design Drafting)  
  • TAFE SA – Associate Degree in Civil and Structural Engineering (Site Management)  

Bachelor (Honours) 

  • Federation University – Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering  
  • Swinburne University of Technology – Bachelor of Engineering (Civil & Infrastructure)  
  • University of Queensland – Bachelor of Engineering (Civil)  
  • Queensland University of Technology – Bachelor of Engineering (Civil)  
  • RMIT – Bachelor of Engineering (Civil & Infrastructure)  
  • UNSW – Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering with Architecture  
  • University of Sydney – Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering)  
  • Monash – Bachelor of Civil Engineering   

Master 

  • Flinders University – Bachelor of Engineering (Environment) (Honours)/Master of Engineering  
  • University of Melbourne – Master of Civil Engineering  
  • University of Adelaide – Master of Engineering (Civil and Environmental Engineering)   
  • Swinburne University of Technology – Master of Engineering (Civil)/ Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation  
  • University of Newcastle – Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 

How to pass a skill assessment for a civil engineer in Australia?

Passing a skill assessment for a civil engineer in Australia is an essential step if you intend to migrate to Australia. The authority to approve the skill assessment for civil engineers is Engineers Australia (EA). Below are steps to prepare for your application if you have completed a civil engineering course in Australia.  

Step 1: Check you qualification  

If you have successfully completed your qualification in Australia, and it is included in Engineers Australia’s list of accredited programs, you are eligible to apply directly through the Australian qualification pathway. Therefore, before enrolling in a civil engineering course, you must investigate if your intended course is on the accredited programs. If not, you will need to write a CDR to apply for a skill assessment.  

Not sure which civil engineering courses are accredited by EA? SOL Edu, one of the best education agencies in Brisbane can help. Our team will offer you free consultation and free application process.  

Step 2: Determine your occupation  

For the purposes of migrant skill assessment, your qualification and experience must be fall within four occupational categories, which are:  

  • Professional engineer 
  • Engineering technologist  
  • Engineering associate  
  • Engineering manager  

In the online application, you will need to choose your specific engineering occupation or qualification from a dropdown list (that includes 31 engineering occupations).  

If you are not sure which occupation you should choose from, contact SOL Edu today at [email protected] or 07 3003 1899. Our team will reach out to you within 24 hours at the latest.  

Step 3: Gather necessary documentation  

To submit a civil engineering skill assessment application, you need to prepare:  

  • Your ID documentation (Passport or driver licence 
  • A passport-sized photo 
  • English certificate: 6.0 IELTS with no band score under 6.0 
  • Graduation Certificate 
  • Academic transcripts  
  • Your resume with details of work experience (not accredited course) 
  • Written statement including evidence of your continuing professional development (not accredited course) 
  • Your career episodes (not accredited course) 
  • Summary statement (not accredited course) 

Step 4: Submit your application  

You must submit online, through EA website and you may need to wait for up to 15 weeks to have your assessment outcome.  

What is the PR pathway for civil engineer (civil engineering PR pathway)?

Step 1: Apply for a 485 visa 

After completing a at least 2 years civil Engineering Course, you are eligible to apply for visa 485 (Post Graduate Work Stream). You are required to have at least IELTS 6.0 (no band less than 5) to apply for this visa.  

Under visa 485, you will have more time to prepare yourself for permanent residence (PR) or a temporary visa that can lead to a PR. 

 

Step 2: Apply for a PR or a visa that can lead to a PR 

There are plenty of pathways that can help you migrate to Australia after you have completed an accredited civil engineering course in Australia. Below are the common options:  

Skilled visas    

  • 189 – Skilled Independent (subclass 189) – is a points-tested visa, allowing you to live and work permanently in any state or territory in Australia. The minimum score that you are required to be considered for a visa invitation is 65, but you may need a higher score to increase your chance of getting an invite.   
  • 190 – Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) – is a permanent residence visa but you need a nomination from one of Australian states or territories to apply for this visa. Each state may have its own occupation list and additional requirements, so you must investigate if you meet all the state’s eligibility criteria before asking for a nomination.   
  • 491 – Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491) is not permanent, but it can lead to a PR (visa 191). You must commit to stay and work in your nominating regional Australia for a minimal period of time and achieve at least 65 points to be apply for this visa.    

Employer Sponsored visas   

FAQs

What qualifications do you need to study civil engineering courses?

To study civil engineering courses in Australia, the specific qualifications required may vary depending on the level of study you wish to apply to. However, some common qualifications needed to pursue civil engineering courses are as follows: 

  • For the Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree course, normally applicants are required to have completed Year 12 or equivalent and attained IELTS 5.5   
  • For the bachelor’s degree course, normally applicants are required to have completed Year 12 or equivalent and attained IELTS 6.5 (with no band less than 6)  
  • For the master’s degree course, normally applicants are required to have completed a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or equivalent or received a Graduate Certificate in Civil Engineering and attained IELTS 6.5 (with no band less than 6)  

What should I do if I do not meet the entry requirement for a Bachelor of Civil Engineering?

If you do not meet the entry requirement to directly enroll in a bachelor’s degree of civil engineering, you can choose the Diploma pathway option. It means that you can study the Diploma of Civil Engineering for one year (the entry requirement for this course is only 5.5 IELTS) and then transition to 3 years Bachelor of Civil Engineering. The total study duration is still 4 years which is the same as the Bachelor of Civil Engineering – direct entry program.    

 

What is the tuition fee for studying a civil engineering master’s degree in Australia?

The tuition fee for a civil engineering course varies depending on the study levels and universities. For a G8 Australian university, you normally need to pay around 50,000 per year to study a Master of Civil Engineering degree but for lower ranking universities, the tuition fees are cheaper, around 40,000 per year.  

 

How long does it take to study masters in civil engineering in Australia?

The length of master program in civil engineering depends on your background.  

  • If you have completed a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering for 4 years, then your master course may take 1 year only.  
  • If you only complete a Graduate Certificate in Civil engineering, then you need to enrol an up to 2-year master course. 

 

What is the benefit if you enrol in a 2-year master course of a civil engineering?

If your master course spans 2 years, you are eligible to get a 485 visa to stay longer in Australia. If your courses are accredited by EA, you can apply for civil engineering skill assessment which is used for migration purposes. However, not all universities in Australia offer an accredited course, so please check your course carefully before applying. Alternatively, contact SOL Edu, one of the best education agencies in Australia and our team will provide you with free confutation and free application process.  

What are the career outcomes after graduation from a civil engineering course?

  • Civil Engineer 
  • Geotechnical Engineer  
  • Quantity Surveyor  
  • Structural Engineer  
  • Transport Engineer  

What is the expected salary as a Civil Engineer in Australia?

On average, a civil engineer in Australia can earn around AU$110,000/year with a starting salary for entry-level graduates of up to AU$90,000/year. Most experienced workers have an annual income of up to AU$141,500 (Data from the website, Talent Australia). 

Interested in studying Civil Engineering in Australia? 

Contact SOL Edu, one of the best education agencies in Brisbane today for free counselling, and a free application process!