So You Want To Be A Civil Engineer In Malaysia? Here's How.


So, I heard that you want to be a civil engineer in Malaysia?


civil engineers working in Malaysia

As one of the main branches of engineering, civil engineering deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of all built environments. This includes public infrastructure like bridges, tunnels, highways, railroads, airports, and many more.  

Famous structures in Malaysia that were born form the work of talented civil engineers are the well-known Penang Bridge, tourist attraction KLCC Twin Tower, and Masjid Jamek Mosque. Civil engineers often work with architects onsite to test the stability of the soil and foundation of the building before laying out a plan based on the budget and requirements of the project. They also have to consider safety procedures and the potential risks of the project on the environment.  

KLCC Tower in Malaysia.
The KLCC Twin Tower

As a civil engineer, you get to work both indoors and outdoors. Your work contributes to the improvement of society by building amenities and facilities that the public use every day. Thus, a civil engineer in Malaysia is highly regarded as they play an important role in building luxury residences and skyscrapers for the advancement of the nation.  

Civil engineers often deal with problems in a practical, hands-on approach and need to have solid decision-making skills. If you like finding solutions to a problem and brainstorming ways to improve a system, then civil engineering can be for you. 


What are the skills required to be a Civil Engineer? 

To be a successful civil engineer, you need to learn certain skills that can help you grow into your role. When you first start out in the job market, don’t expect to be a civil engineer right away as it takes a lot of industry knowledge and experience to be a good one. Hence, you can start by brushing up your technical knowledge of the industry.  

As a fresh graduate, you can start by taking on entry-level positions, such as Assistant Engineer or Junior Site Engineer. Your duties will include drafting blueprints, taking note of building sites, mapping the layout, and assessing individual costs of the project. 

Civil engineers in Malaysia discussing a project.

A civil engineer requires an in-depth understanding of engineering fundamentals and various technology to implement it in the process of planning, designing, and construction. You also need to know how to use design software, such as AutoCAD, in order to test the model’s functionality. 

As you move up to take on bigger projects, you’ll need to know how to use certain tools and equipment during construction, such as bulldozers, tankers, and conveyors. This is important in order to ensure that no one gets hurt when the machines are being used.  

Civil engineers also need to have good organizational skills to manage the team and plan around the project’s allocated budget and strict deadline. To do this, you need to be a good teamplayer to understand and allocate individual tasks, communicate with clear intention, and supervise the overall project to adhere to the deadline 

A civil engineer explaining the details of the layout to a client.

Other responsibilities of a civil engineer include performing risk management around the area, communicating with architects and clients, solving developmental problems, and ensuring that construction is in line with safety standards as well as visiting the site from time to time. 


How can I be a Professional Civil Engineer in Malaysia? 

To practice as a civil engineer in Malaysia, you must have at least an Engineering degree in Civil Engineering or a similar qualification in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. The qualification must be recognized by the Engineering Accreditation Department, Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) 

The applicant also has to be registered as a graduate engineer with BEM if they wish to be employed in Malaysia. The required qualifications to register as a Graduate Engineer are: 

  • An Engineering Degree awarded by Malaysia 
  • An Engineering Degree awarded by other countries 
  • Graduates with an Engineering Technology Degree 

You can read up on the full registration procedure here 

Once graduate engineers have fulfilled 3 years of employment, they are eligible to apply as a Professional Engineer. They will follow a route that requires them to complete a Professional Assessment Examination, which involves the following requirements: 

  • 2 years of general training for professional development 
  • 1 year of professional and career training for exposure to engineering practice 
  • 1 year of training in Malaysia under the supervision of a Professional Engineer in the same branch of engineering as the graduate 
  • Has successfully passed a Professional Assessment Examination conducted by the Board  

You can view the full requirements here 

The starting salary for a civil engineer in Malaysia ranges between RM2,800 to RM3,200. However, this number can go up based on the years of experience you have as an engineer. Civil engineers with 2 – 5 years of experience can have a potential 42% of increase in their monthly salary, whereas an engineer with 5 – 10 years of experience can have a 31% increase.   

A civil engineer in Malaysia mapping the project.

The working hours of a civil engineer depends on the lifecycle of the project and volume of responsibilities they carry. A typical working day for a civil engineer is between 8 to 10 hours, but it can reach up to 12 hours for an entire week if they have to work overtime! 

Still deliberating about a career as a civil engineer in Malaysia?  Here’s a quote to wrap up your thoughts with! 


“Go for civil engineering, because civil engineering is the branch of engineering which teaches you the most about managing people. Managing people is a skill which is very, very useful and applies almost regardless of what you do.” 

-Sir John Harvey Jones 


Now that you’ve learned so much about the profession, do you think it’s the right career choice for you? 

 Hit us up at +60 11-2069 9087 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation!  

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