Civil Engineering Internship Guidelines

Civil engineering internships are a great chance for aspiring engineers to experience the job they are pursuing. Internships provide comprehensive levels of training and experience in essential skills areas. This practical experience is vital for improving job and career prospects at entry level.

Finding a civil engineering internship

If you're currently getting your qualifications, start looking for your internship early. Finding the right internship that addresses your field of interest can be difficult. Begin by talking with industry professionals. Establish that good background information and goals. Try to have a few possible internships scouted out in advance. It's advisable to have some contacts with the providers, so you can get current information when applying. To find the right internship, there are several good industry and academic sources:

  • The Civil Engineers Association or equivalent in your country. This is definitely the best place to start, talking to professionals and getting some experienced advice.
  • The local government engineering department in your area. Local knowledge can be invaluable, and finding somewhere close to home is always a good idea. Your county or province will almost definitely have something for civil engineering trainees, so you may not have to look too far for your internship.
  • Academic sources: Your lecturers and trainers will have plenty of industry contacts. Civil engineering is a true professional field, and professional networks are common. Ask about your field of interest and internships and you'll get a lot of ideas, at least.

Applying for an internship

When applying for an internship, you're required to do an interview, and submit a resume. The minimum requirements for civil engineering internships can be very detailed and specific so be sure to ask the employer question that you have a clear understanding of the requirements. 

Interview preparation

There are several primary areas of interest to employers in civil engineering that you must address in the interview:

  • Motivation: This means your career aspirations, and how they relate to the internship. Employers need to see strong motivation based on a clear career path. Credible candidates have motivations which directly relate to type of internship.
  • Experience: As an entry level applicant, you may not have much of a resume, although some internships may require up to two years of prior experience. Your experience must be relevant to the internship, and show appropriate skill levels. Be prepared to answer questions which will explore your prior experience in depth.
  • Knowledge base:  If you don't have prior experience, this will be the main area of emphasis. Your qualifications, technical knowledge, and ability deal with the work of the internship will be tested. Research in detail, preferably with an employer contact, the technical requirements of any internship.

Uses of a civil engineering internship

An internship gives major career advantages at entry level. Nothing improves self confidence like experience. This is what a civil engineering internship can do for you:

  • It makes you far more competitive when going for future jobs
  • Proves competence at industry required levels
  • Shows areas of proven experience and performance standards
  • Provides important professional references