Business Ideas For Civil Engineers: For civil engineers, entrepreneurship can seem like an abstract idea – something other people do, but not something you’re ready to take on just yet. However, with the right education and preparation, you can turn your hard-earned skills into a lucrative business venture that will allow you to make your own rules.
Business Ideas For Civil Engineers
Here are 10 great business ideas for civil engineers that have worked in the past, and that have the potential to work again in the future.
1) Web Development And Design
This can range from starting your own website (if you’re able to design it), to working with someone as a developer, designer, or project manager. This is an excellent side business idea for civil engineers who love technology and want to be part of all of its growing advancements.
If you’re knowledgeable in all things web development, there are plenty of people who need help in building out a website or learning how to build one that works well with mobile devices. Many times, if a company isn’t quite sure what direction they want to go in or how much money they should spend on certain features, these small businesses will reach out to freelancers for design services.
You could potentially get paid significantly more for helping a small business develop their ideas into something even greater than before — but it could also lead to long-term work if you have strong enough ties with them. We would recommend meeting with some developers first before doing anything yourself; depending on what area of Web dev and SEO knowledge you possess, they may be willing to mentor you!
It doesn’t hurt at all to ask! Make sure that if you plan on getting serious about this type of freelance gig, though, that you familiarize yourself with pricing guidelines within your niche first.
2) Land Surveying
One of many ways civil engineers can turn their expertise into a business idea is to create a land surveying company. If you’re experienced in utilizing equipment like total stations, you could design work for yourself as well as for clients who need survey work done on buildings or property.
Many states require licensed land surveyors to inspect construction projects, and jobs like these are often available to independent contractors. With time and experience under your belt, you could even open up an office that caters to larger projects. Either way, becoming a land surveyor can be a great way to start a business based on your engineering background.
Create a CAD-Based App: Computer-Aided Design (CAD) is used by every type of engineer across several industries. By creating an app that uses its functions and making it available on different platforms (such as iPhones or Androids), you could develop a powerful income stream from an industry with high demand.
While working at your day job, determine what problems engineers encounter most frequently when using computers within your industry; from there, build out user interface mockups to see if people will want to use such an app.
3) Road Design and Maintenance
This is a classic business idea that won’t be going away anytime soon. It can also be a lucrative one, since many cities struggle to maintain even simple roadways. There are only so many people who work for public works departments and city planners. The good news is that you don’t need a degree in civil engineering to do it; instead, you can partner with local governments to gain access to some of their data and land maps.
Once you know your region well enough, you’ll be able to create useful digital tools that help people avoid construction zones or plan more efficient commutes by letting them take back roads while they know they’re not congested. Local government workers would love to have those tools available, but maintaining something like Google Maps just isn’t feasible for cash-strapped cities.
4) Construction Engineering and Management
Starting a business in construction is one of the best ways to go. After all, everyone needs a roof over their head and your company can be that supplier. There are so many options within construction engineering to get started in – you can do anything from brickwork, carpentry and scaffolding right through to roofing, plumbing and air conditioning systems.
Some businesses start off small but grow quickly – just look at Sir Robert McAlpine who began by supplying sand and cement for local builders before starting his own firm. Your first step should be going online and doing some research on how other civil engineers have gone about setting up their companies in different countries so you’re able to take inspiration from people who have already been there.
5) Bridge Design
There are different types of bridges, and each type can require a different degree of construction expertise. A suspension bridge is a good example; to build one, you will need both civil engineers and architects who have experience in structural design. If you’re looking for an idea with more longevity than a typical business, get into building some new bridges in your area.
As long as there are people who drive cars or use trains, bridges will be needed to move them from one place to another. There’s even room for customization; add some unique features to make yours stand out from other bridges in your city or state! Just don’t forget about pedestrians – think about how walkers will interact with your creation.
Building walkways (if they aren’t already included) is likely going to require additional permits that go beyond what you may need if you’re just constructing a bridge for vehicles. Also keep in mind that adding any unnecessary frills can increase costs substantially: simple is usually better when it comes to designing simple structures like these!
You also want your design(s) to be functional without being boring: take cues from existing bridges and avoid making something so innovative that it’s difficult to construct, maintain, or update over time.
6) Water Engineering
Constructing and maintaining of pipelines and aqueducts, sanitation infrastructure, and waterways are also within civil engineering. This involves surveying rivers and other water bodies as well as supervising treatment plants that treat wastewater.
It’s important to note that these jobs usually require a degree in civil engineering. According to Payscale, an entry-level position for a civil engineer requires an average salary of $66,800 per year. For experienced engineers, though, it can pay anywhere from $97,000 to over $170,000 annually.
The process of designing and building a structure requires a solid knowledge of architecture principles. You’ll likely be studying both building structures (structural design) and construction methods (architectural systems), which will give you an understanding of how buildings work. Most civil engineers complete some form of licensure exam before starting their careers, which helps with business acumen as well.
Depending on your employer, you might also have to take and pass state or national exams for certification. As your career progresses, you can continue to gain new licenses, specializations or certifications that qualify you for more management roles within your company or attract other businesses looking for someone with specialized skills in a niche area like geotechnical engineering.
8) Quantity Surveying
If you have a passion for construction, quantity surveying might be right up your alley. Your primary duty will be to ensure that construction companies are staying within budget and on schedule with their projects. The best part? You’ll get to solve problems on a daily basis, meaning you’ll never be bored. However, becoming a quantity surveyor is an incredibly competitive field; you’ll likely need at least 5 years of experience as a structural engineer or surveyor before pursuing certification from a professional body like CQS.
There are also several exams you must pass in order to receive licensure (the stamp of approval). But if getting inside existing structures and creating new buildings sounds interesting, consider getting involved in setting up new businesses—there’s plenty of opportunities in every sector! To learn more about quantity surveying, check out our guide to civil engineering careers.
9) Construction Technology
Construction tech is one of those fields that, in theory, shouldn’t be as far behind Silicon Valley as it is. After all, technology can have a big impact on an industry that’s moving in increasingly large (and expensive) circles. But don’t let its current standing fool you: Construction tech is already taking off, with millennials leading the charge.
10) Architectural Technology
If you’re an engineer or architect, you may be able to consult on construction projects. You might be involved in creating building designs and working on energy efficiency, material selection, computer-assisted drafting, estimating budgets or business planning. If you’re good at math and technology—and love design—this could be a promising field for your business idea.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that even if you’re a licensed professional engineer or architect, most states require architectural consultants to be licensed as well. That means passing another exam and meeting specific continuing education requirements. It can take years of training to become fully qualified for many civil engineering jobs—but it’s worth it if you want your own business.
Also Read: Business Ideas For CS Students
As a civil engineer, you have many career options. Once you have a good idea of what kind of business or product you want to start, gather as much information as possible about your industry and potential market. Research any licensing requirements and make sure you are able to meet them before diving in.
Look for mentors in your field and make sure to learn from them as much as possible. Lastly, find success with your business; it’s likely going to take some time but with hard work and dedication, anything is possible! Good luck!