Top 7 Software useful for Civil Engineers

The role of civil engineers plays a crucial role in developing the nation’s infrastructure on a large scale. Behind every successful project, engineers provide precise data with the help software.

In today’s world, software has been designed for a variety of purposes, mainly reducing manpower, speedup operations, increase accuracy, and reducing human error by providing accurate data on board.

Due to the technological revolution, more and more software products are supporting the needs of civil engineers. Today’s software can save, evaluate, and guide engineers as they work on future projects.

If you’re a rookie Civil Engineer, trust me when I say that you’ll need to be familiar with some of the most difficult design, modelling, and operational tools to manage and execute a civil engineering project.

The civil engineering software you use the most will be determined by the kind of projects you work on and your field of interest. As your professional career progresses, you will encounter a wide range of applications.

So, which software is the most demanding and beneficial for civil engineers?


Civil engineering software is a collection of tools that assist civil engineers in process of preparation of data, designing and construction. We’ve compiled a list of the most important software to master in order to become a proficient civil engineer.


Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS that was created by Microsoft. It is used for nearly everything and includes calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications.

You can utilize this regardless of which profile you choose such as execution, surveying, planning, contracts, budgeting, designing, quality control, quantity estimation, etc.

MS Excel is used by everyone. It is used for many kinds of calculations. Excel makes it easier to evaluate data and adjust it as needed.

The system requirements for Microsoft Excel vary depending on which version of the Microsoft Office Suite is installed on the computer, but it should have at minimum a 500 MHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor, 256 MB of system memory, 3 GB of available disc space, and Windows XP, Windows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008 SP2, and Windows 7.


AutoCAD is a software application for 2D and 3D designing and drafting. “CAD” refers to as Computer-Aided Design and Drafting. AutoCAD was initially released in December 1982 as a desktop application for microcomputers with inbuilt graphics controllers, developed and marketed by Autodesk.

AutoCAD is used for a variety of purposes, including the creation of drawings for buildings, Roads, Structure, bridges, etc. The basic software that every civil engineer must learn.

AutoCAD is a demanding software that requires the operation of a powerful computer to fully utilize. Both Windows and Mac PCs can use the software.

The following are the requirements for the 2020 version:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 with Update (64-bit only)
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Update (64-bit only)
  • Processor : 2.5–2.9 GHz processor
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit only) (version 1803 or higher)
  • RAM : Basic – 8GB, Recommended – 16GB
  • Display Resolution : 1920 x 1080 with True Color for conventional displays – High Resolution & 4K Displays
  • Display Card : Basic: 1 GB GPU with 29 GB/s Bandwidth and DirectX 11 compliant Recommended: 4 GB GPU with 106 GB/s Bandwidth and DirectX 11 compliant
  • Disk Space : 6.0 GB
  • Apple macOS Catalina v10.15 (requires Update 2020.1)
  • Apple macOS Mojave v10.14
  • Model : Apple Mac Pro 4,1 or later; MacBook Pro 5,1 or later; iMac 8.1 or later; Mac mini 3.1 or later; MacBook Air 2.1 or later; MacBook 5.1 or later
  • Apple macOS High Sierra v10.13
  • CPU Type : 64-bit Intel CPU (Intel Core Duo CPU, 2 GHz or faster recommended)
  • RAM : 4 GB of RAM (8 GB or above recommended)
  • Display Resolution : 1280 x 800 display with true color (2880 x 1800 with Retina Display recommended)
  • Disk Space : 3 GB free disk space for download and installation

Autodesk provides free AutoCAD access licenses to teachers and students for a one-year period, which can be renewed as long as the school or student who wishes to use the software still fulfills the necessary requirements.


Architects, landscape architects, structural engineers, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineers, designers, and contractors can use Autodesk Revit to create building information models. Charles River Software, founded in 1997, renamed Revit Technology Corporation in 2000, and bought by Autodesk in 2002, developed the original software.

Users can use the software to create a building and its components in 3D, annotate the model with 2D drafting elements, and access building information from the database of the building model.

The following are the requirements for the basic version:

  • Operating System : 64-bit Microsoft Windows 10 or Windows 11
  • CPU Type : Single or Multi-Core Intel, Xeon, or i-Series processor or AMD® equivalent with SSE2 technology
  • Memory : 8 GB RAM
  • Video Display Resolutions Minimum: 1280 x 1024 with true color, Maximum – Ultra High (4k) Definition Monitor
  • Disk Space : 30 GB free disk space

Supporting Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows with Autodesk Civil 3D increases the project’s value. Using specific tools and customized design standards, optimize numerous civil infrastructure projects and streamline time-consuming chores such as intersections, roundabout and corridor design, parcel layout, pipelines and grading.

Civil 3D can be purchased separately or as part of the Autodesk Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Industry Collection.

  • Operating System : 64-bit Microsoft Windows 10
  • Processor Minimum: 2.5–2.9 GHz processor
  • Memory Basic: 8 GB
  • Display Resolution Conventional Displays: 1920 x 1080 with True Color, High Resolution & 4K Displays: Resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 supported on Windows 10 (with capable display card)
  • Disk Space : 16 GB

Microsoft Project is a project management software program that Microsoft creates and sells. It’s intended to help a project manager create a plan, assign resources to tasks, track progress, manage budgets, and analyze workloads.

Although it is a member of the Microsoft Office family, it has never been included in one of the Office suites. Standard and Professional editions are now available. The “.mpp” file format is unique to Microsoft Project.

The Microsoft Office enterprise project management (EPM) product is built around Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project Server.

  • Operating system : Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows Server 2019
  • Memory : 4 GB RAM; 2 GB RAM (32-bit)
  • Hard disk space : 4.0 GB of available disk space
  • Display : 1280 x 768 screen resolution
  • Graphics : DirectX 10 graphics card for graphics hardware acceleration

STAAD.Pro is a structural analysis and design software application that is extensively used across the world. It can apply over 90 international design regulations for steel, concrete, wood, and aluminum.

It can use a variety of analytical methods, ranging from classic static analysis to more contemporary approaches such as p-delta analysis, geometric non-linear analysis, Pushover analysis (Static-Non Linear Analysis), or buckling analysis.

STAAD.Pro may also use a variety of dynamic analytic techniques, including time history analysis and response spectrum analysis. Both user-defined and international code-specified spectra are supported by the response spectrum analysis capability.

Moreover, STAAD may be used to analyze and design a wide range of structural structures, including plants, buildings, and bridges, as well as towers, tunnels, metro stations, and water/wastewater treatment facilities.

  • Operating System : Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1 or 7 32 or 64 bit OS
  • Memory : 1 GB minimum, 2 GB recommended
  • Disk Space : Minimum 500 MB free space
  • Display : Graphics card and monitor with 1280×1024 resolution, 256 color display (16-bit high color recommended.)

ETABS is a multi-story building analysis and design software tool developed by ETABS. The grid-like geometry specific to this form of construction is reflected in the modelling tools and templates, code-based load prescriptions, analysis methodologies, and solution strategies.

ETABS can be used to evaluate basic or advanced systems under static or dynamic settings. Modal and direct-integration time-history studies may be combined with P-Delta and Large Displacement effects for a more thorough assessment of seismic performance.

Under monotonic or hysteretic behaviour, nonlinear connections and concentrated PMM or fibre hinges may capture material nonlinearity. Applications of any complexity may be implemented thanks to intuitive and integrated features.

ETABS is a coordinated and productive tool for designs ranging from simple 2D frames to complex 3D models thanks to its interoperability with a number of design and documentation systems.

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1, 10, or 11 64-bit processor
  • Processor : Minimum: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64, Recommended: Intel i5/i7, AMD Athlon X4/Ryzen, or better
  • Memory : Minimum 8 GB RAM
  • Disk Space : 6 GB to install the software.

In conclusion, There are other software’s that are useful for civil engineers such as Road Estimator, Primavera, Candy, and many more.

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Also Read: What is the main purpose of AutoCAD and its Uses

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