Different Jobs in the Civil Construction Industry


A career in the civil construction industry is a smart move for a number of reasons.

The civil industry is diverse, essential, and growing. It’s why enrolments in civil construction courses are at a high and continuing to increase.

Civil construction courses cover all of the skills for construction jobs required for the day-to-day running of communities. This spans anything from transport — including roads, airports, and railways — to defence and general infrastructure.

As you can imagine, an incredible array of tradespeople with specialist skills needs to come together in order to execute these civil construction projects. As infrastructure projects grow, there is always a need for civil construction skills — and they will always be in demand.

Whether you’re good at operating machinery or want to specialise in a certain material, there are jobs in construction that are tailored to how you see yourself working.

While on-the-job learning as an apprentice may help you get a foot in the door in your first job, you’ll need to look at further study if you want a long-term career working in civil construction.

A Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations RII30820 is a logical step forward for anyone in this industry, and you can choose to specialise in a specific role.

What are the most common jobs in civil construction?

Take a look at the brief overviews of each of the different jobs in the civil construction industry below as you consider your next career move.

Earthmoving Plant Operators

As a plant operator, you’ll be operating the machinery that excavates soil, ore and rock. Heavy machinery is also used to move and load materials, compact surfaces, and break up materials like paving or rock obstructions.

Earthmoving is a requirement at the early stages and ongoing stages of any major civil project, from quarry work to building a new highway.

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Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators

Operators of this kind are in charge of operating stationary and mobile heavy machines, cranes, hoists, lifts, and winches.

Your role is to safely move items, be they materials, equipment or even people, from one place to another.

In this position, your projects may range from shipyards to mines or even new roadways.

Structural Steel Construction Workers

Steel construction workers deal with steel in the various ways it is used on every civil construction site.

From erecting and taking down secure scaffolding, to assembling rigging to position and moving parts of the civil infrastructure, the job of a structural steel construction worker boasts a lot of variety.

Paving and Surfacing Layers

In this job, you’ll be laying surfaces for roads, footpaths, airstrips, and many other surfaces, depending on the job.

You may choose to specialise in bituminous surfaces, which are used for roads and airstrips.

Other Mobile Plant Operators

There are plenty of mobile plant operators other than earthmovers.

These include roles like:

  • Paving plant operators
  • Railway track plant operators
  • Street sweeper operators

Jobs in construction require the ability to cope with harsh and sometimes unpredictable outdoor working environments. For the civil construction industry, in particular, you’ll have to enjoy practical, hands-on work.

As a labourer or machine operator, you’ll need good hand-eye coordination to ensure your work is carried out precisely and safely. You’ll also need to be accountable for your own work, as well as work well within a dynamic team environment to bring a project to life.

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Want to work at a civil construction site?

There are a number of ways to progress your skills to specialise in one of the fields in civil construction.

However, a traineeship or apprenticeship after completing Year 10 is often a requirement to make that first step.

Talk to your networks to find someone willing to take you on, and do your research about how to ensure you find the right mentor at this early stage. You can also find a traineeship through a professional association, with the confidence that you’ll be put in contact with someone who abides by the necessary regulations and requirements.

For those already working in the civil construction industry, you’ll be looking to boost your skills through specific civil construction courses.

Depending on your level, this might be anything from a Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations RII30820 to a diploma.

You can also take part in short courses, if you would prefer to get a taste of a profession before diving in head-first.

With flexible learning options that often allow you to keep working while you study, it’s an economical way to further your career, quickly, without sacrificing your income.

Whichever path you choose, there are plenty of job opportunities in construction for every skill set and level, and clear pathways to reach them.