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Civil Engineer: Alternative Careers

You may find that your international training and experience as a civil engineer are not immediately accepted in B.C. The analytical and math skills you have already acquired, along with your problem-solving and communication skills, can be used in alternative careers.

You may wish to get certified as either an Applied Science Technologist (AScT) or Certified Technician (CTech). You can also consider alternative careers in construction.

Civil Engineering Technologist / Technician (NOC 2231)

You assist civil engineers in the design and construction of buildings and other structures. You may work in structural engineering, municipal engineering, construction design and supervision, highways and transportation engineering, water resources engineering, geotechnical engineering, environmental protection or technical sales.


Two to three year diploma program for technologists or one to two year program for technicians, PLUS two years of related work experience



  • aptitude for science, math and computers
  • ability to draw conclusions from data and communicate technical information clearly
  • precise and detailed work habits
  • practical, hands-on approach
  • good interpersonal and problem solving skills
  • skills in organization and teamwork

Wages: median hourly wage $28
Source: WorkBC Career Profile;  ASTTBC

Cost Estimator / Construction Estimator (NOC 2234)

You calculate construction project costs, and how long they will take to complete. You review building drawings and specifications, visit construction sites, and research current material prices.



  • strong math, organization, analytical, writing and communication skills
  • computer skills with estimating software and document management programs
  • interest in planning, decision making, problem solving, working with people, and the financial aspect of construction

Wages:  median hourly wage $35
Source: WorkBC Job Seekers Career Profiles

Home & Property Inspector (NOC 2264)

You inspect buildings to identify and report on structural defects, and provide detailed reports on the condition of the property/house being inspected.



  • strong math, organization and analytical ability
  • writing and communication skills
  • computer skills
  • decision making, problem solving, working with people in different trades and professions with many property interests

Wages: median hourly wage $36
Source: WorkBC Job Seekers Career Profiles

Construction Inspector (NOC 2264)

You inspect buildings, bridges, highways and construction sites to ensure that specifications, building codes and safety regulations are observed


  • post secondary education in construction, civil engineering or architectural technology is usually required
  • several years of experience as a qualified tradesperson in a construction trade such as plumbing, carpentry or electrical may also qualify you to work as a construction inspector


  • knowledge of construction techniques, building codes and standards
  • well organized and analytical
  • ability to communicate information clearly and precisely
  • good mathematical skills.

Wages: median hourly wage $36
Source: WorkBC Job Seekers Career Profiles

Employment Outlook

Civil Engineering Technologists & Technicians

While most civil technology jobs are found in mid- to large-size cities, jobs in rural areas are available in government departments, transportation, and with consulting firms. Opportunities will be available in both the private sector and government.

Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 2231)

job opening outlook in BC NOC 2231

Source: WorkBC Career Profile

Construction Estimators

The Construction industry is tied to the economy. When the economy is booming, typically construction activity follows and vice versa.

Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 2234)

job opening outlook in BC NOC 2231

Source: WorkBC Career Profile

Construction and Home Inspectors

Employment demand for construction inspectors is largely driven by the construction industry. Building inspection services for prospective home buyers is a growing source of employment.

Job Openings Outlook in BC (NOC 2264)

job opening outlook in BC NOC 2264

Source: WorkBC Career Profile


You may want to consider upgrading your skills to increase your employment options in this field. The following courses may improve your current skill set:

Engineers Canada

has extensive information for internationally trained engineers at Roadmap to Engineering in Canada

Engineering in BC – Langara

Introduction to Engineering in BC at Langara College:  Courses are designed to prepare internationally trained engineers with industry specific skills to gain employment in an engineering environment.

Introduction to Construction Inspection

Public Works Association of B.C. (PWABC) comprehensive construction inspection three day workshop.

Home Inspection Certificate Programs

Douglas College

Part-time program; ten courses available, three days per course, offered on weekends. Completion of all courses and exams can lead to certification through Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (BC) .


Part-time certificate program. Completion of all courses can lead to certification as Certified House Inspector (CHI) through Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC)

Searching for Jobs

Construction Job Centre

T-Net British Columbia: BC Technology Job Search

Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, Job Bank



Volunteering in the Field

Volunteering can help you to explore a new career and learn more about engineering and technical work in B.C. You will meet new people and build a network of contacts that may lead to information on job openings and an inside connection at a potential employer.

Go Volunteer

Volunteer BC

Society of Internationally Trained Engineers of BC Volunteering

Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia Volunteer Opportunities

Helpful Resources

Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC (ASTTBC)

Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia – Property Inspectors (ASTTBC-PI)

British Columbia Construction Association

Home Inspectors Association B.C.

Vancouver Regional Construction Association

Fastest Growing Industries: Construction

Choose the following links for further assistance: