Welcome to todays post where I’ll be looking at the 10 best side hustles for civil engineers to supplement their income.
Civil engineering is a fascinating profession that involves designing, building, and maintaining critical infrastructure like roads, bridges, dams, and commercial buildings.
As a civil engineer, you gain technical skills in areas like engineering design, project management, drafting, analytics, and surveying.
Most civil engineers have full-time jobs, but taking on a side hustle can be quite rewarding. A side hustle simply refers to a secondary job or gig outside your regular 9-5.
As a civil engineer, your specialized skillset makes you an ideal candidate for certain high-earning freelance roles that leverage your existing abilities.
The great thing about side hustles is they allow you to boost your income while retaining the flexibility to work at your own pace around your primary career.
The extra money can allow you to save more, pay off debts faster, or fund the hobbies and activities you enjoy outside work.
And side hustles aren’t just about financial gain – they allow you to utilize your hard-earned engineering talents in new ways and continue learning. Maybe you’ll discover new professional passions in the process!
So if you’re a civil engineer interested in supplementing your income, here are 10 tempting side hustles that are practically built for your skillset.
1. Construction Management/Consulting
Leveraging your civil engineering knowledge by consulting on construction projects is a natural fit. You can put your skills to use in various ways:
- Advise contractors and architects on the most cost-effective designs and construction methods
- Provide inspections at project milestones to ensure buildings meet safety codes and standards
- Offer project management services overseeing timelines, budgets, and contractor coordination
- Use your analytical insights to assess and mitigate project risks
The great thing about construction consulting is it allows very flexible working arrangements. You can consult on a project-by-project basis, work completely remotely, or just pick up a few hours supporting weekends and evenings.
And as a technical expert, you can charge over £30 per hour for your specialist insight. Consulting on just a couple medium-sized projects per month can deliver very healthy earnings.
The irregular schedule also allows you to balance side hustle work alongside your normal career.
Construction consulting lets civil engineers give back to the industry in an advisory capacity while setting their own schedules.
Your expertise governing important things like safety and efficiency is invaluable, making construction consulting very rewarding financially and personally.
2. Infrastructure Inspection
Civil engineers can also take on infrastructure inspection work as a flexible and rewarding side hustle. This involves visually assessing infrastructure like:
- Commercial buildings
You’ll use your trained eye to identify safety issues or areas needing maintenance work. Many infrastructure inspections are conducted periodically to provide safety certificates and inform replacement schedules.
These are often structured as contract gigs allowing very flexible working arrangements around your regular job.
You may conduct inspections early mornings, evenings, or weekends for a few extra hours a week. The work leverages your existing engineering knowledge to evaluate infrastructure integrity.
Infrastructure inspection provides a valuable public service, giving back to communities by helping maintain safe bridges, dams, railways and commercial sites.
Your engineering insights make you the ideal candidate for noticing hazards and deficiencies. And you can build a healthy side income around your current commitments with this important work.
3. Freelance Design Work
If you enjoy the design aspect of civil engineering, a great side hustle is taking on small freelance projects.
This allows you to still flex your drafting muscles and creative talents designing buildings while avoiding the intensity of full-scale construction projects.
Some examples of freelance design gigs include:
- Drafting floor plans for home extensions, attic conversions, or basement remodels
- Designing blueprints for garages, sheds, or accessory dwelling units
- Preparing permit-ready designs for homeowners to submit to councils
- Creating 3D renderings to help clients visualise designs
These small residential jobs allow you to utilise your CAD software skills, knowledge of building codes, and artistic talents for supplemental income.
They provide design practice and creative outlets between larger projects at your day job.
The beauty of freelance design side hustles is you have total control over which projects you take on and the rates you charge.
You set your own flexible working hours around existing commitments. So whether you just want a few extra hours each week or take on work intensively for a period, the choice is yours.
Offering freelance design gives civil engineers a chance to stretch their creative muscles and build lasting value for appreciative homeowners needing designs to enhance their properties.
4. Traffic Engineering Consulting
Urban congestion is an ever-growing problem in cities globally. Consulting with civic departments offers civil engineers a chance to implement traffic engineering solutions to improve the lives of local communities.
Some examples of traffic engineering consulting projects include:
- Auditing the effectiveness of existing traffic signalling systems
- Analysing traffic volume data to propose new patterns optimising flow
- Designing infrastructure improvements like roundabouts and merging lanes
- Modelling the traffic impact of new commercial developments
- Assessing road safety and providing upgrade recommendations
These gigs allow you to leverage your traffic analysis skills and infrastructure knowledge. And you’ll implement real change for municipalities by optimising systems impacting thousands of drivers.
Most traffic engineering consulting is done on a project basis working with city councils and traffic departments. So you dictate which projects fit your schedule and interests while commanding lucrative hourly rates.
It’s also an entirely remote side hustle allowing flexible working from your personal office or even abroad!
Traffic engineering consulting lets civil engineers use their specialised skills to relieve urban congestion through infrastructure improvements – all while benefiting from high pay and a flexible work-life balance.
Leveraging your knowledge by tutoring the next generation of engineers is an extremely rewarding side hustle. You can teach civil engineering fundamentals to college students struggling with concepts like:
- Statics and mechanics
- Structural analysis
- Geotechnical engineering
Alternatively, you could tutor high school students in skills needed for future engineering studies like mathematics, physics, design, drawing, and more.
Tutoring plays to civil engineers’ strengths – helping others understand technical engineering challenges by breaking down complex problems into understandable chunks.
And imparting wisdom to struggling students is extremely fulfilling.
You also have total flexibility deciding your tutoring subject matter, availability, rates, and learning formats (in-person, online, group sessions, etc).
It’s easy finding clients by registering with online tutoring platforms reaching countless students globally.
If you gain satisfaction from mentoring budding engineers as they grapple with unfamiliar concepts and problems, tutoring is perfect.
You support the next generation while earning good income at times suiting your personal schedule.
6. 3D Modelling Services
Modern civil engineering leans heavily on 3D modelling software like Revit to visually represent infrastructure designs. You can put your modelling skills to use creating 3D renders for architectural and engineering firms.
Some examples of freelance 3D modelling gigs include:
- Developing BIM models of building frameworks
- Creating detailed site map visualisations for land development projects
- Modelling intricate infrastructure elements like bridges, overpasses, tunnels
- Producing 3D animated walkthroughs of building interiors
- Leveraging VR to let clients interactively review designs
These gigs allow you to flex your abilities using Revit, Civil 3D, Infraworks, and other modelling programs – without the demands of full-time design projects. Firms are often happy to outsource 3D modelling tasks to external specialists.
It’s also 100% remote work you can perform outside normal work hours from a home office. Your skills are highly sought after, making it possible to command great rates. This helps build savings for the future while opening up time for other pursuits.
For civil engineers who relish producing visual designs, 3D modelling side gigs are perfect. You translate infrastructure visions into stunning 3D worlds for clients, all with unbeatable lifestyle flexibility.
7. Resume/LinkedIn Profile Writing
As a civil engineer, you know what skills and experiences infrastructure firms seek in candidates. Why not put that insider perspective to use helping other engineers polish their resumes and LinkedIn profiles?
Some of the services you can offer include:
- Optimizing resume structure/content to pass applicant tracking systems
- Tailoring resumes/profiles for specific civil engineering roles
- Translating project metrics and technical details into compelling achievements
- Perfecting the language used to be more engaging for recruiters
- Ensuring critical skills aren’t buried or downplayed
This leverages your understanding of civil engineering hiring practices – a true insider’s perspective that generic resume writers lack.
And you’ll help fellow engineers land their dream jobs in the infrastructure sector by ensuring they showcase themselves in the best possible light.
As an independent document writing service, you set your own hourly rates and choose how many clients to take on. It’s easy work compatible with full-time employment, and your insider expertise makes you stand apart.
So if you want to empower the next generation of civil engineers by making sure their applications shine, add resume and LinkedIn profile editing to your side hustle list!
8. Blog/Create Online Courses
Blogging and creating online courses are fantastic mediums for civil engineers to share their technical knowledge with the world. You could create tutorials teaching topics like:
- Engineering fundamentals – statics, mechanics, physics, etc
- Design and drafting skills – CAD, Revit, modelling, drawings
- Construction methods – planning, equipment, processes, safety
- Infrastructure maintenance – inspection methods, improvement strategies
- Sustainability practices – reducing environmental impacts
- Career advancement – licensure requirements, skills development
Online learning is a rapidly expanding industry. By publishing your insights to blogs/courses, you build a library of helpful engineering content.
And niche technical tutorials are hugely valuable for students and professionals looking to develop their skills.
The key benefit of blogging/online courses is earning passive income. Once content is published, it continues generating revenue through affiliate links, ads, and subscriptions.
So the upfront time investment pays off over the long term with steadily accumulating earnings.
It’s extremely rewarding watching your expertise directly help students grasp concepts that empower their professional growth. And the flexible nature means you create content during pockets of spare time without impacting your main career.
Blogging and online course creation enable civil engineers to share their wealth of infrastructure knowledge – changing lives while earning long-term passive earnings. It’s a side hustle with immense personal and financial upside.
9. Handyman Services
As a civil engineer, you have technical abilities valuable for completing handyman jobs like:
- Basic plumbing work – installing new pipes/fixtures, repairing leaks
- Electrical services – wiring lighting systems, fitting ceiling fans, replacing switches
- Carpentry tasks – fences, decking, drywall, door hanging, fitting windows
- Masonry/bricklaying – small wall or path building/repair projects
- Painting/decorating – interior rooms or external facades
- General repairs – moving furniture, hanging decor, leakage stopping
You can offer these services periodically to residential and commercial customers needing a helping hand with property maintenance.
The benefit of handyman side work is directly using your practical building talents honed during years as an engineer. And nothing beats the satisfaction of completing tangible jobs that bring visible improvements for customers.
The flexible nature of handyman gigs allows working to your own schedule, only selecting jobs that match your expertise and availability.
You can control the tempo – from lightly supplementing income with occasional jobs, right up to making it a substantial side business.
If you want satisfying small-scale projects that leverage your technical competencies for good money, handyman services are a great option!
10. Drone Services
Leveraging drone technology is an emerging opportunity for civil engineers to offer unique aerial inspection services. Some examples include:
- 3D drone mapping of construction sites to capture project progress and survey earthworks
- Aerial imaging of commercial buildings and land parcels for real estate marketing
- Infrared drone scans helping identify leaks or areas of damp/heat loss
- Capturing detailed imagery of roofs, towers, bridges for defect analysis
- Surveying and mapping inaccessible land areas like forests, marshes, or large rural properties
You already have the civil engineering insights to accurately analyse and report on imagery. And by piloting the drone yourself, you can provide an end-to-end inspection service capturing fantastic birds-eye content.
Drone operation courses are quick to complete if you don’t already have your pilot license. This allows offering professional aerial imagery tailored to client goals like marketing, safety analysis or planning applications.
It’s extremely flexible project-based work with each flight taking just an hour or two, earn great rates. Plus, you’re at the cutting edge leveraging drone tech to supplement your skillset.
So don’t overlook drones as the basis of a solid side hustle. Drone services are an invaluable, emerging offering ripe for growth in infrastructure.
I hope this article has sparked some ideas for capitalizing on your civil engineering expertise with a rewarding side hustle. While the options are plentiful, the best side hustles tend to:
- Leverage your existing technical skills: Whether it’s CAD drafting, project management, infrastructure analysis or 3D modelling. Build on what you already know.
- Provide flexibility: The beauty of side hustles is fitting work around your current commitments on your own terms. Seek gigs allowing control of your workload.
- Give personal satisfaction: Apply your expertise to projects contributing value to society – like optimising infrastructure safety.
- Have upside potential: Tutor students who’ll become our future engineers or develop blog content that continues paying you for years to come.
To get started, identify gaps in your local market that align with your abilities and interests. Setup an online profile outlining your services and register with freelancing platforms used by infrastructure firms to find new clients.
Thanks for reading – now it’s time to start putting your infrastructure expertise to highly rewarding use!