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Tunnelling section engineer

Section engineer

A tunnelling section engineer is involved in the planning and design of tunnelling projects. This can involve designing tunnel structures and procuring the materials needed to construct them.

Average salary*




Typical hours per week


How to become a tunnelling section engineer

There are several routes to becoming a tunnelling section engineer. You could complete a university degree or college course, an apprenticeship, or apply to an employer directly. 

You should explore these routes to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions. 

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.


To become a tunnelling section engineer you will usually require a degree in a relevant subject, such as:

  • Civil engineering
  • Building engineering
  • Construction studies
  • Structural engineering.

You’ll usually need 2 - 3 A levels or equivalent.

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a university course

> Funding advice 

College/training provider

You could study a college course to help you become a tunnelling section engineer. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 4 Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Civil Engineering
  • Level 5 Higher National Diploma (HND) in Construction and the Built Environment.  

You'll usually need 1 - 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a HNC or HND.

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a course near you

> Funding advice


You could complete a civil engineering degree apprenticeship and then specialise to become a tunnelling section engineer.

You’ll need:

  • 5 GCSEs (including English, maths and science) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent
  • 2 - 3 A Levels, or equivalent.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you’ll be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

> Find an apprenticeship near you

> Guide to apprenticeships


If you have previous experience in an engineering role, you could apply directly to a construction company to gain onsite experience as a tunnelling section engineer. You might start out as an assistant to a more experienced tunnelling section engineer and progress as your abilities improve.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a tunnelling section engineer. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

> Find out more about work experience


Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a tunnelling section engineer include: 

  • Knowledge of building and construction
  • Excellent mathematical, IT, and analytical thinking skills
  • Teamworking and communication skills
  • Good attention to detail.

What does a tunnelling section engineer do?

As a tunnelling section engineer, you will be responsible for the design, planning and programming of tunnelling projects.

The job role of a tunnelling section engineer may involve the following duties: 

  • Planning and designing tunnelling projects
  • Overseeing the selection and acquisition of materials 
  • Interpreting contract design documents
  • Acting as the main technical adviser on a construction site for subcontractors, craftspeople and operatives
  • Developing safe systems of work and method statements
  • Monitoring and controlling budgets
  • Ensuring that work carried out is in accordance with the specification
  • Attending regular progress meetings
  • Carrying out day-to-day management of the site
  • Planning work and organising site facilities in order to meet agreed deadlines 
  • Overseeing quality control and health and safety on site
  • Preparing progress reports
  • Resolving any unexpected technical difficulties 
  • Engineering the construction of sprayed concrete chambers and form tunnels
  • Overseeing the use of specialist tunnel boring machines and planning ways to minimise the impact on the environment.

How much could you earn as a tunnelling section engineer?

The expected salary for a tunnelling section engineer varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained tunnelling section engineers can earn £25,000 - £30,000
  • Trained tunnelling section engineers with some experience can earn £30,000 - £35,000
  • Senior tunnelling section engineers can earn £35,000 - £45,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources


Check out the latest tunnelling section engineer vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As a tunnelling section engineer, you could transfer your skills to a similar role such as a civil engineer or structural engineer.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Tunnelling section engineer Plan & engineer the construction of a range of tunnelling section projects. Disc...
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  • Current role Civil engineer Find out what civil engineers do in this Go Construct guide to becoming a civil ...
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