How to Migrate to Australia as a Civil Engineer?

In this article, we will explain the general process of how a Civil Engineer can migrate to Australia, and the requirements for Civil Engineer Skill Assessment.

Australia welcomes qualified Civil Engineers to migrate to Australia as the building and the construction industry producing around 9% of the Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and generates over AUD360 billion in revenue. Civil Engineer (ANZSCO code: 233211) is currently on the Medium & Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) with access to the broad range of Australian immigration visa programs.

Civil Engineer occupation is in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field and it is currently on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). This means the Australian Government considers Civil Engineer as one of the critical occupations instrumental to rebuild the Australian economy following the economic damaged caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the processing of the nomination and visa application for Civil Engineer will be given the highest priority. In other words, if you are a Civil Engineer and have an intention to migrate to Australia and develop your career in Australia, delay no more as right now is the perfect time to get your planning started! Civil engineer visa holder will have no difficulty to obtain travel restriction exemption to travel to Australia from an overseas location although the Australian border is still closed to most of the other visa holders.

Civil Engineer Skill Assessment

Australian Visa Options for Qualified Civil Engineers

The following are a range of visas that Civil Engineers may apply to work and/or to obtain permanent residency in Australia:

For Civil Engineers, the most practical choices in the General Skilled Migration program are subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa and subclass 491 Skilled Regional (provisional) visa. The typical process is:

  1. Seeking professional migration advice about your eligibility for Australian visa and associated action plan
  2. Obtaining a satisfactory English test result to support your visa application
  3. Obtaining a positive Skills Assessment outcome for your nominated occupation
  4. Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect
  5. Securing a State Nomination through a Registration of Interest (ROI) and a solid application for the state nomination
  6. Once state nomination has been approved, submitting your visa application as soon as possible within 60 days

Alternatively, you may also obtain Australian Permanent Residency by first going through the employment visa route by applying for subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa or 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa. However, the process will be different to the general skilled migration program route. Before you can apply for the said visas, the employer must be an approved sponsor before they can nominate you via the nomination application.

For the subclass 482 visa, the employer will also need to undergo the labour market testing (LMT) process before they can nominate an overseas worker. It may sound complicated, but rest assured our experienced team at Ausdirect Migration will be able to provide you all the assistance and guidance you need along the way.

Civil Engineer Skill Assessment (ANZSCO code: 233211) 

In order to apply for a permanent residency visa or provisional skilled visas through general skilled migration program, you are required to obtain a skills assessment as Civil Engineer. For civil engineers, skills assessment can be organised through Engineers Australia (EA).

Civil engineers’ main duty is to design, plan, organise and oversee the construction of civil engineering projects and infrastructure projects. Civil engineering involves Maths, Materials, Mechanics and Physics but it’s also about team work and creative problem-solving to solve unique engineering challenges. Civil engineers play a critical role to tackle complex challenges such as climate change or natural disasters and to contribute to the circular economy.

For the ANZSCO job definition and description, please read ANZSCO 233211 CIVIL ENGINEER.

There are 6 different assessment pathways for Engineers Australia Skills Assessment:

  • Accredited Qualifications
    1. Australian Qualification Pathway
    2. Washington Accord Pathway
    3. Sydney Accord Pathway
    4. Dublin Accord Pathway
    5. Other Recognised Qualifications – Applies to the holders of a French Diplômed’Ingénieur completed in or after 1970 and listed in the Journal Officiel de la République in the list of institutions habilitated to deliver the title of Engineer for the year of completion
  • Non-Accredited Qualifications/Engineering Managers
    1. Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) Pathway

The exact assessment pathway to choose depends on the country in which your engineering qualification is obtained. You may find out more about your qualification by selecting the relevant country in the list of this website: https://www.ieagreements.org/.

If your qualification is either Not Accredited or from a non-Accord listed country, worry not, you might be able to apply for the Skills Assessment under the Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) Pathway, although this pathway involves more work and time to prepare for your assessment application.

Supporting Documents to apply for a skills assessment varies depending on your chosen pathway, however, the following are some of the common documents required by Engineers Australia:

  • Passport-Style Photograph
  • Prime Identification Document (e.g.: Passport and/or Birth Certificate)
  • Name Change Document (if you ever been known by or used any other name(s). Other name(s) include alternative spellings, patronymic name, maiden names, clan or tribal names)
  • CV/Résumé
  • Evidence of English Language Competency (Engineers Australia accepts General or Academic version of IELTS test results, TOEFL iBT & PTE Academic Test. Australian-qualified engineering graduate or if you hold accredited qualifications from signatory countries where the official language is English is usually exempted. More info: Kindly refer to MSA Booklet.)
  • Education Qualifications (including academic transcript and award certificate/completion letter for Australian / International qualifications)
  • Evidence of Registration (if registration or licensing is mandatory in the country you are currently practising)

Based on the supporting documents you provided, the EA will assess if your educational qualification and/or work experience are at a recognised level and closely related to Civil Engineer.

Once you have your skills assessment is completed, EA will issue you an Assessment Outcome Letter. If it is a positive outcome, you may then submit your SkillSelect (EOI) and/or commencing the relevant processes to be considered for State Nomination.

Contact Ausdirect Migration today to discuss your eligibility for the Skills Assessment, as this is one of the most important steps of your immigration journey.

Skills assessment for other Engineering Skilled Occupations assessed by Engineers Australia (EA)

Besides Civil Engineer (233211), EA is also the assessing authority for other skilled occupations’ skills assessments. The list is as follows:

The occupations with * sign next to them, including civil engineer, are on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

The occupations with ** sign next to them are on the Regional Occupation List (ROL).

English requirement for Civil Engineer

Another important task is to sit an English exam. The minimum English requirement for applying for general skilled migration is “Competent” level. You will need to provide evidence to prove that in the 3 years before being invited to apply for the visa, you have obtained satisfying scores on one of the following test:

Test Score
International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic or General Training) At least 6 for each of the 4 components
Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) At least 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) At least 50 for each of the 4 components
Occupational English Test (OET) At least B for each of the 4 components
Cambridge C1 Advanced test At least 169 in each of the 4 components

If you hold a valid passport from the following countries, you will be deemed as having competent English and you will not need to take an English exam. The countries are the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, and Republic of Ireland.

Competent English is the minimum threshold for applying the general skilled visas. However, if you are seeking nomination for a visa from an Australian state, you may require higher level of English competency depending on which Australian state you are seeking nomination from.

If you can score higher grade, you will receive more points when lodging your Expression of Interest (EOI). If you are at proficient level, you will receive 10 points. If you are at superior level, you will receive 20 points.

For work visas, please find the English requirements in the definition of 186 ENS visa, 482 TSS visa and 494 SESR visas directly.

Although the Department of Home Affairs accepts Occupational English Test (OET) & Cambridge C1 Advanced Test, unfortunately, Engineers Australia does not accept these two English tests for your engineering Skills Assessment.

190 Visa State Nomination for Civil Engineer

  1. Which Australian states are nominating Civil Engineer for a Subclass 190 visa for the 2021-2022 financial year?
    • Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
    • New South Wales (NSW)
    • Northern Territory (NT)
    • South Australia (SA)
    • Tasmania (TAS)
    • Victoria (VIC) – Only if you are able to demonstrate employment in a Victorian target sector
    • Western Australia (WA)
  2.  

  3. Do I need to have a job as a Civil Engineer to be nominated for a Subclass 190 visa?
    • Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – Yes, but your job can be in any position.
      • For Canberra Resident: Must be in paid employment or self-employment in Canberra for at least 6 months. Your employment can be in any occupation. However, if you are working in a highly skilled position (including Civil Engineer), you may be ranked higher in the Canberra Matrix.
      • For Overseas-based Applicant: The ACT migration program is closed for overseas resident in the 2021-2022 program year.

    • New South Wales (NSW) – No, it’s optional.
      • To be considered for 190 visa NSW state nomination: You either have to be working in NSW as Civil Engineer, or in a closely related occupation (closely related means that the occupation shares the first four digits of the ANZSCO code) or have genuinely and continuously resided in NSW for the past 3 months.

    • Northern Territory (NT) – Yes, it’s mandatory, unless you are NT Graduates.
      • For NT Resident: Yes, it’s mandatory. You must have at least 2 consecutive years of full-time employment in the NT as a Civil Engineer or in an occupation related to Civil Engineer. Furthermore, your employment must be available for at least another 12 months.
      • For NT Graduate: No, it’s not mandatory. However, you must demonstrate good employment prospects in the NT as a Civil Engineer or in closely related skilled occupation. Please refer here for what evidence(s) you may provide to show you have good employment prospects in the NT.
      • For Overseas-based Applicant: The NT migration program remained closed for offshore applications while the Australian border is still closed.

    • South Australia (SA) – Yes, it’s mandatory, unless eligible to apply through the Talent and Innovators Program or living and working in outer regional South Australia and eligible for exemption.

    • Tasmania (TAS)- Yes, it’s mandatory, except for Tasmania graduate applicant.
      • For TAS Resident: Must have been working as a Civil Engineer for 6 months before applying for state nomination.
      • For TAS Graduate Applicant: If not currently working in skilled employment, you must provide a career plan that explains how your studies have increased your ability to find skilled work in Tasmania.
      • For Overseas-based Applicant: Currently unavailable to apply from overseas (offshore).

    • Victoria (VIC) – Yes, it’s mandatory.
      • For VIC Resident: Must be currently working in a Victorian target sector using your STEMM skills when applying for state nomination.
      • For Overseas-based Applicant: Currently unavailable to apply from overseas (offshore).

    • Western Australia (WA) – Yes, it’s mandatory.
      • For General Stream: Must be currently working full time or has a full-time job offer in Civil Engineer position or in a closely related occupation. Closely related means that the occupation shares the first four digits of the ANZSCO code. You must also provide a copy of full-time employment contract with at least 12 months remaining on your contract at the time you apply for WA State nomination.
      • For Graduate Stream: Must be currently working full time or has a full-time job offer in Civil Engineer position or in a closely related occupation. Closely related means that the occupation shares the first four digits of the ANZSCO code. You must also provide a copy of full-time employment contract with at least 6 months remaining on your contract at the time you apply for WA State nomination.

491 Visa State Nomination for Civil Engineer

  1. Which Australian states are nominating Civil Engineer for a Subclass 491 visa for the 2021-2022 financial year?
    • Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
    • New South Wales (NSW)
    • Northern Territory (NT)
    • South Australia (SA)
    • Tasmania (TAS)
    • Victoria (VIC) – Only if you are able to demonstrate employment in a Victorian target sector
    • Western Australia (WA)
  2.  

  3. Do I need to have a job as a Civil Engineer to be nominated for a Subclass 491 visa?
    • Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – Yes, but your job can be in any position.
      • For Canberra Resident: Must be in paid employment or self-employment in Canberra for the last 3 months. Your employment can be in any occupation. However, if you are working in a highly skilled position (including Civil Engineer), you may be ranked higher in the Canberra Matrix.
      • For Overseas-based Applicant: The ACT migration program is closed for overseas resident in the 2021-2022 program year.

    • New South Wales (NSW) – Mandatory for Stream 1.

    • Northern Territory (NT) – Yes, it’s mandatory, unless you are NT Graduates.
      • For NT Resident: Yes, it’s mandatory. You must have at least 6 consecutive months of full-time employment in the NT as a Civil Engineer or in an occupation related to Civil Engineer. Furthermore, your employment must be available for at least another 12 months.
      • For NT Graduate: No, it’s not mandatory. However, you must demonstrate good employment prospects in the NT as a Civil Engineer or in closely related skilled occupation. Please refer here for what evidence(s) you may provide to show you have good employment prospects in the NT.
      • For Overseas-based Applicant: The NT migration program remained closed for offshore applications while the Australian border is still closed.

    • South Australia (SA) – Yes, it’s mandatory, unless eligible to apply through the Talent and Innovators Program or living and working in outer regional South Australia and eligible for exemption

    • Tasmania (TAS)- Yes, it’s mandatory, except for Tasmania graduate applicant.
      • For TAS Resident: Must have been working as a Civil Engineer for 3 months before applying for state nomination.
      • For TAS Graduate Applicant: If not currently working in skilled employment, you must provide a career plan that explains how your studies have increased your ability to find skilled work in Tasmania.
      • For Overseas-based Applicant: Currently unavailable to apply from overseas (offshore).

    • Victoria (VIC) – Yes, it’s mandatory.
      • For VIC Resident: Must be currently working in regional Victoria in a Victorian target sector using your STEMM skills when applying for state nomination.
      • For Overseas-based Applicant: Currently unavailable to apply from overseas (offshore).

    • Western Australia (WA) – Yes, it’s mandatory.
      • For General Stream: Must be currently working full time or has a full-time job offer in Civil Engineer position or in a closely related occupation. Closely related means that the occupation shares the first four digits of the ANZSCO code. You must also provide a copy of full-time employment contract with at least 12 months remaining on your contract at the time you apply for WA State nomination.
      • For Graduate Stream: Must be currently working full time or has a full-time job offer in Civil Engineer position or in a closely related occupation. Closely related means that the occupation shares the first four digits of the ANZSCO code. You must also provide a copy of full-time employment contract with at least 6 months remaining on your contract at the time you apply for WA State nomination.

Prospects of Being a Civil Engineer in Australia

Civil engineer is in high demand with very strong future growth prospect in Australia. Civil engineers work across the whole Australia, including in the outback Australia with most of whom are working in the resource and mining sector. They are mostly full-time workers and average working hour per week is 46 hours. According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, the average salary for civil engineer per year is $80,000 in Australia. Entry level positions start at a lower salary and will increase as one becomes more experienced.

Useful Job Search Platforms in Australia

Are you looking for job opportunities in Australia as a civil engineer? Here are some popular job search platforms that could potentially help you securing a job

Ausdirect Migration for Civil Engineer

Our team at Ausdirect Migration is extremely experienced in managing migration programs in relation to Civil Engineer occupation. Our practice has provided top quality migration services to many engineering professionals globally and also engineering employers in Australia. We look forward to hearing from you and the opportunity to work with you along your immigration journey to Australia. We are confident to say our team has the best understanding and experience in the engineering sector and the associated immigration programs in Australia.

Contact Ausdirect Migration today to tailor the best suitable option(s) for your migration, and we will assist you in navigating every step of the process during the journey.

AUSDIRECT MIGRATION