How to Become a Concrete Engineer


Are you interested in the composition of building materials? Does the idea of a career that allows you to apply technical engineering skills with abilities in project management appeal to you? How about a career that allows you to exercise judgment and make decisions? If so, a career as a concrete engineer is worth considering.


If you want to know more about the ins and outs of this career, then read on; we’ll fill you in on the details, including an overview of what these engineers do, how much they can earn, and what you’ll need to qualify!



Education Needed to Become a Concrete Engineer

Education in Canada

The basic educational requirement for working as a concrete engineer is a four-year bachelor's degree in civil engineering from an accredited school. Some employers however, may require that you have a master’s in civil engineer, with a major in a concrete engineering.


Education in the United States

In the United States, you'll likely need to complete a bachelor's degree program in civil engineering accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).


Coursework: In both Canada and the United States, courses towards your civil engineering degree courses may include integrated design, fluid mechanics, construction materials and computer-aided design (CAD). 





Concrete Engineer Job Description

The description of a concrete engineer has to do can vary from one job to the next, as they can perform many duties within the concrete industry. For example, they may be responsible for creating the concrete mix itself, or designing and building infrastructure projects that involve concrete.


Concrete engineers aren’t limited to working in such hands-on roles either; they may work in other capacities as well. For example, they may be involved in concrete-related research, teaching engineering students, consulting for government and private industry, or project management.  



Typical Job Duties

Although the job duties of concrete engineers can vary greatly, depending on their level of responsibility and the type of project they are working on, (among other factors) they are generally responsible for the following:


• Might be involved in determining the budget of a project

• Overseeing the execution of construction projects

• Making informed decisions concerning the use of appropriate types of concrete for specific projects

• Ensuring projects will result in the production of safe structures

• Liaising with construction workers, clients, other engineers and architects

• Maintaining current knowledge of different types of concrete and their various applications



Licensure For Becoming a Concrete Engineer

As a concrete engineer, if you intend to offer your services to the public, you are required to obtain professional engineer (PE) licensure. You will also require PE licensure in order to public project and to supervise other engineers and engineering technicians.

If you are not licensed, you may still work on engineering projects under the supervision of a licensed engineer.


Getting Licensed in Canada


• Licensure as a Professional Engineer in Canada generally requires the following:

• A four-year bachelor's degree in a recognized engineering program

• At least four years (typically) of acceptable work experience under the supervision of a Professional Engineer

• A minimum of three acceptable references

• Successful completion of an approved examination in law, ethics and professionalism


Getting Licensed in the United States


To be licensed in the United States as a PE, you generally need to meet the following requirements:


• A degree from an accredited engineering program

• A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam

• Relevant work experience

• A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam



Personal Characteristics Needed to Be Successful

If you plan on enjoying what you do for a living (highly recommended!) then having some of the following characteristics will help you a great deal.


• You enjoy being innovative

• You enjoy work that involves the application of engineering principles

• You enjoy doing work that requires precision

• You enjoy working with people from a variety of professional backgrounds

• You like the idea of a well-paying and relatively stable career

• You have self-confidence and the ability to make difficult decisions





Fundamental ‘Soft’ Skills Needed

For this line of work, it’s important that you have some fundamental skills, not including the technical skills and competencies you’ll learn in a civil engineering degree program and refine in the workplace.


Without these skills, it will be hard to make it through an engineering degree program, (or even qualify for one) let alone execute key job functions.


• Excellent abilities in math and science

• Able to make accurate, precise calculations

• The ability to analyze large amounts of data

• Able to communication ideas clearly, in writing and in person

• Good teamwork skills

• The ability to visualize three-dimensional objects from two-dimensional drawings

• The ability to think logically and solve problems



Who Employs Concrete Engineers?

The following types of organizations are those that typically employ concrete engineers:


• Colleges and universities

• Concrete manufacturers

• Construction companies

• Consulting agencies

• Engineering or architectural design firms

• Government agencies (all levels of government)

• Private research organizations



Salary Level Typical to This Field

The salary level you could earn as a concrete engineer can vary, typically depending on the following factors:


• Your level of education

• Your level of experience

• Whether or not you have the PE designation

• The specific responsibilities of your job

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• Many other factors


Unfortunately, there is no salary data available specifically for Concrete Engineers from reliable sources. However, this occupation does fall within the broader category of civil engineers, and there is plenty of reliable information for their approximate earnings.


Concrete Engineer Salary Canada (Alberta figures only): According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Civil Engineers occupational group earn an average wage of $50.43 per hour, with an overall average salary of $99,194 per year.


Concrete Engineer Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in the Civil Engineers occupational group is $79,340 per year.



Job Opportunities - Current Openings

Our job board below has "Concrete Engineer" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.



Working Conditions for Concrete Engineers

Working Hours: Concrete engineers typically work regular business hours, but due to the need to meet deadlines, they may occasionally have to work evenings and weekends. Depending on the needs of the company they work for, they may be able to work flexible hours.


Work Setting: Working environments for concrete engineers can be quite varied. Their time may be divided between working at the office on a computer, sitting in a meeting, working in a lab or visiting a project work site.



Career Advancement Possibilities

As a concrete engineer first entering the field, you will likely start as a junior level engineer, and work under the supervision of Professional Engineers. Once you have accumulated some experience, and proved your competence and work ethic, you can move into roles of greater responsibility and pay, such as Project Engineer, or Team Leader.


After further proving your abilities in these roles, you may advance even further, into roles such as Head Engineer, or other management roles. You may also choose to apply the knowledge you’ve gained into different kinds of roles, such as Sales Engineer, or teaching at the college or university level.



Similar Occupations in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to this one, as they may be in the same field, or they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and/or responsibilities.


• Civil Engineer

• Civil Engineering Technologist

• Construction Manager

• Materials Engineer

• Reliability Engineer

• Structural Engineer



References for this Career Guide

To find out more about what these engineers do, what qualifications you’ll need, how much you could earn, and other details of this career, please consult the following resources:


Occupations in Alberta: Civil Engineer.” (March 31, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 7, 2019.

Architecture & Engineering:Civil Engineer.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 7, 2019.

Explore Careers: "Civil Engineer.” (n.d.). National Careers Service website. Retrieved November 7, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Concrete Engineer

The 'Relevant Fields of Study' section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a concrete engineer. Scholarships matched to those fields of study can be found on our Civil Engineering Scholarships page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point for becoming a concrete engineer. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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