how to become a civil engineer in south africa

31 Jul How to Become a Civil Engineer in South Africa

Do you have a passion and interest in the construction of large-scale structures? Have you decided that you’d like to become a civil engineer but aren’t quite sure what exactly it is that you need to do to become one? At Rumdel we give priority to two main routes: National Diploma in Civil Engineering and B.Sc in Civil Engineering.  

As a civil engineering company and as bursary and training providers, we can confidently help you pick out the right route for you. We discuss how to become a civil engineer in South Africa and the two different ways you can accomplish this goal.  


  1. National Diploma  

If you are more practically inclined and want to steer away from theoryheavy courses, then attaining a national diploma may be for you. This entails 2.5 years of theoretical studies and half a year practical internship with a civil engineering company. You can acquire qualification at a number of Universities of Technology, including Durban and Mangosuthu in KZN, Cape Peninsula in Western Cape, Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Tswane, etcAfter you have attained a National Diploma, you have the option of applying to study towards an Advanced Diploma, which is one year of full time study (replaces the old B.Tech).  

At Rumdel, we place an important emphasis on the practical internship. This is our opportunity to get to know our students and is an insight into their attitudes and capabilities. Important attributes are a willingness to take initiative, get hands dirty and a thirst to learn. Our philosophy is that development is first and foremost the responsibility of the individual. When a student is willing to learn, the sky is the limitwhen a student has demonstrated this intent, we will facilitate this drive (learn more about our training). 


  1. Bachelor of Engineering 

This is a fouryear degree which can be undertaken at the Universities of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Witwatersrand, KwaZulu-Natal and Stellenbosch. Entry criteria are stringent and a strong Matric result in Maths and Science is essential. Whilst this route does not entail the same practical component as the Diploma route, a prerequisite to qualify as a civil engineer is typically a minimum of 6 weeks practical exposure, which can be achieved by working on site during vacations. As with students following the diploma route, demonstration of a willingness to learn and develop is paramount. 


Rumdel has several students following both routes as well as full time engineers who are studying towards the Advanced Diploma.  


After qualifying for your degree or diploma, we encourage our engineers to obtain professional registration as, progressively, more clients are requiring engineers to be professionally registered. The two most common registration bodies are the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Practices (SACPCMP). Both of these registrations require a record of practical experience, demonstration of mentorship and ongoing training.  

Now that you know how to become a civil engineer in South Africa, we hope that you pick that route that’s best suited to you. You are welcome to get in touch with us if you have any further queriers or would like to learn more about our bursaries and training opportunities.  

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