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Local recognition vital for civil engineer jobs

Published on Friday, 14 Sep 2012
Louisa Yeung

Are there any civil engineering jobs in Hong Kong? I'm looking for a civil engineer position in the city. I have lived in the US for more than 20 years and have worked as a civil engineer for just over a year. Right now, I'm looking for any chance to return to Hong Kong and desperately need help and advice on what to do and how to go about it. Chak

You have taken a positive step by seeking advice about the Hong Kong recruitment market because hiring activity for civil engineers is hectic in the city at the moment.

Most civil engineering positions in Hong Kong require long-term and project work with major industrial or commercial companies, as well as businesses in the growing property market. There are also job opportunities with Hong Kong-based organisations expanding into the mainland and, as such, these roles will require travel to China.

The Hong Kong government also hires civil engineers for its own expansion projects, mainly on a contract basis. So if you are planning to relocate here, there are good prospects.

To give yourself the best chance of securing a position, you should determine whether the qualifications that helped you secure your job in the US are also valid in Hong Kong. To do this, contact a professional engineering association here and ask them about recognised qualifications in the engineering job market. Some examples of these associations include the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

If your qualification is recognised here, that's great; if not, you need their advice on qualification accreditation policies and procedures and the training you need to become qualified.

Another point to consider is your proficiency in written and spoken Chinese, as these skills will help you to liaise with colleagues and clients in Hong Kong and the mainland. If you equip yourself with these, alongside your technical civil engineering capabilities, employers are likely to be interested in you.

You seem to have the right experience to secure a civil engineering job, but you also need the right qualifications and language skills.

Louisa Yeung is the managing director of Michael Page International in Hong Kong and Southern China. It is one of the world’s leading recruitment companies, operating in 164 offices in 34 countries worldwide.

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