What to Expect From Civil Engineering Salaries Worldwide

Civil engineers have the opportunity to go virtually anywhere in the world because of the types of projects they work on. Find out what you can expect in terms of salary around the world.
Nader Mowlaee
Civil Engineering Salaries around the world dewikinanthi/pixabay

If you're looking forward to a career that gives you the opportunity to build bridges, design tunnels and maintain and construct other infrastructure projects, then a career in civil engineering is an ideal career path to pursue.

The great part about being a civil engineer is that your career can take you across seas as you can work on ancient structures in Greece, take care of planning the design of bridges in Berlin, building roadways in the Middle East, or working on other projects across the world.


That's because civil engineering jobs are all over the world. But it's a good idea to know how much money civil engineers around the world earn on average to get a sense of what you can expect when negotiating a civil engineering salary. Here are some important factors to consider:

What Affects Your Civil Engineering Salary?

Several elements may impact your civil engineering salary, including the location of your company, your level of expertise and the amount of experience you have. For instance, civil engineers in the United States make an average annual salary of $65,189, according to PayScale. However, PayScale reports that civil engineers in Australia make an average of $73,051 AUD---about $50,798 USD---per year. Even the city, county, state or province where civil engineering jobs are may impact pay. For example, ZipRecruiter reports that civil engineers in Ontario, Canada make an average of $62,498 USD per year while civil engineers in Quebec bring in an annual salary of $77,011 USD.

Your experience may also impact how much you make as a civil engineer. For example, senior civil engineers in the United States make an average of $119,600, according to Glassdoor. But PayScale reports that senior civil engineers in Toronto, Canada, make an average of $100,964 CAD or about $76,697 USD. So, it's worth considering the trajectory of your career path as a civil engineer.

The type of civil engineering role you hold also impacts how much you make. Some of the top three jobs for the highest civil engineering salary include engineering project managers, engineering managers, and senior civil engineers, making as much as $196,000 per year in the United States. Your industry may impact your pay, too. For instance, data from the May 2018 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports civil engineers made the most working for the federal government excluding postal service jobs, bringing in a median annual salary $95,380.

You may also notice that different sources provide various ranges of salaries for civil engineering jobs. For instance, data from PayScale highlights that civil engineers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) make an average annual salary of 74,604 AED or $20,311 USD. On the other hand, data from the Economic Research Institute (ERI) reports that civil engineers in the UAE make an average of 269,209 AED per year or $73,294 USD. This amount can also look different on a monthly basis. For instance, ZipRecruiter reports the U.S.-based civil engineers bring in an average of $6,418 per month. So, it's a good idea to consult different sources to get an idea of how much to expect from your engineering salary.

How Much Do Entry-Level Civil Engineers Make?

The average annual salary for entry-level civil engineers varies across sources. PayScale reports that entry-level civil engineers in the United States make an average of $55,827 per year. However, ZipRecruiter reports the annual pay for U.S.-based civil engineers just starting out in their careers as $49,833. If you're just starting out in the field of civil engineering, then it's a good idea to see what civil engineering jobs pull in around the world. Civil engineers typically require at least a bachelor's degree for an entry-level position. Indeed's data notes junior civil engineers in the United States make an average of $64,177 per year. Glassdoor reports an even higher annual salary for entry-level civil engineers in the United States at $87,353 per year. However, civil engineers who are just starting their careers make 23,070 BRP or about $28,705 in the United Kingdom, according to Indeed.

Entry-level engineers usually need a bachelor's degree to get started in their career paths. It also helps to get your degree from an ABET-accredited school, as many companies around the world hire future civil engineers from these programs due to the strong educational foundation and skills you get from ABET-accredited programs. While it is possible to advance your career and earn more money, a professional license is beneficial. 

What Do Salaries for Civil Engineering Jobs Look Like Around the World?

If you want a sense of what to expect from a civil engineering salary in a country you're considering working in, it's worth comparing salaries for civil engineering jobs around the world. Here are some common annual salaries for civil engineers worldwide, according to ERI:

Final Thoughts

A career in civil engineering offers lucrative benefits from the potential to make high-paying salaries to plush benefits packages. But knowing the best civil engineering salary requires some research, so it's worth comparing salaries of civil engineers from around the world if your plan is to work abroad. Just use this guide as a starting point to have an idea of what to ask for when you're negotiating your engineering salary.