If you are a civil engineer looking to work for a bigger company or just a student preparing for this profession, keep on reading about the biggest civil engineering companies in Europe!
First of all, we have to make it clear what is ‘civil engineering’, and which jobs it includes in its meaning. Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that works with construction, design, and maintenance of built environment, such as bridges, roads, building, canals and many more. The word ‘civil’ is there to distinguish the engineering from ‘military engineering’, which is a practice of building and designing military associated buildings, lines of transport or communication. So, basically, civil engineering is the second oldest discipline in this branch. Moreover, even though it seems as just building and constructing, there is a whole science behind it. To start engineering, it is necessary to know a lot about mathematics, history, and physics. In addition, recognizing materials, having knowledge of geography, geology, environmental studies, hydrology, etc., are essential. It is one of the professions with the widest range of possibilities, and hence, in the same time very demanding. Therefore, there are fourteen sub-disciplines of civil engineering. Depending on the area of work, there are different types. So, not to bother you with all of them, we would just mention few important ones such as: Coastal, Environmental, Geotechnical, Forensic and Earthquake Engineering.
This high demanding profession requires a lot of studying in order to start working, but it mostly pays off. If you are reading this article as a future civil engineering student, this part will interest you the most. The bachelor studies last from three to five years and after that, there is a possibility of specializing in some of the already mentioned sub-disciplines. In most countries, a bachelor’s degree is just a first step towards professional certification. After finishing a degree program, the engineer must deal with a lot of requirements before being certified, such as exam requirements and work experience, to name few. Once the engineer is certified, he or she becomes a professional engineer and depending on the country and the region, that title has a different name. For the USA they are called professional engineers, while in Europe – European engineer. Even though it seems as hard work, don’t give up! The salaries for this job are high all around the world. However, how much you earn differs if you work for a small or big engineering company, of course.
The first institution for civil engineering was founded in 1818 in London, and it was called ‘the Institution of Civil Engineers’. One year later, the American University of Norwich became the first private college where this subject was taught. Even though we couldn’t find which civil engineering company was first developed in the world, we found which ones are the biggest. Some of the biggest engineering companies in the USA are URS Corporation, United States Army Corps of Engineers and Jacobs Engineering Groups, to mention few. However, in order to find the biggest ones in Europe, we did a proper research. If you are interested in some particular European country, for now, we can offer you to read about Top 7 Construction Companies in France.
To create our list of biggest civil engineering companies in Europe, we firstly researched credible sources such as Engineering Career Coach and Columbia University in New York to get familiar with the topic of civil engineering and its major companies. In addition, to see which companies in Europe are the biggest ones, we used The Statistics Portal to see which companies earn the most, based on sales per year. To be sure with numbers, we checked also each of listed companies’ annual report for the year 2015. Finally, we ranked 12 engineering companies in Europe, starting from a company that makes the least amount of money per year to come to the company that earns the most. The amounts are shown in dollars, as well as in euros, as it is main European currency. Let’s check out the list of biggest civil engineering companies in Europe!
12. Laing O’ Rourke/ UK
Sale per year: $2.4 bn = €2.1 bn
This company was founded in 1978 by Ray O’Rourke, its main chairman. This private civil engineering company has headquarters in Dartford, a city in the United Kingdom, but it has spread also with its operations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
11. Hochtief/ Germany
Sale per year: $19.9 bn = €17.7 bn
This German construction company is one of the best in this country. It was founded in 1874 in Essen, a little city in Germany where you can still find its headquarters. Chief executive and chairman is Marciano Fernandez. It operates globally, in the USA, as well as in Australia through a 53.43% shareholding in CIMIC Group. Currently, it has 51, 490 employees.
10. NCC/ Sweden
Sale per year: $7.5 bn = €6.7 bn
In the Northern part of Europe, NCC that ranked 10th on our list of biggest civil engineering companies in Europe is the second leading construction and property development company. It has around 16,500 employees and 4% of market share! Moreover, their field of work is very wide. They build residential and commercial properties, constructing industrial facilities and public buildings, roads and civil engineering structures. The company was founded in 1890 when a Swedish businessman Axel Johnson established it firstly under the name ‘North Star’, which later became NCC.
9. Koninklijke Bam Groep/ Netherlands
Sale per year: $8.2 bn = €7.4 bn
Koninklijke Bam Groep or Royal Bam Group, was founded in 1869, by Dutch businessman Adam Van Der Wal. In 1994, on 125th its anniversary the company received the right to add ‘Royal’ to its name. It has headquarters in Bunnik, Netherlands, and around 20, 370 employees.
8. Ferrovial/ Spain
Sale per year: $10.8 bn = €9.7 bn
We are continuing our list of biggest civil engineering companies in Europe with Ferrovial, that is previously named Grupo Ferrovial, is a Spanish multinational company that deals with design, construction, financing, transport… it is an infrastructure and services operator. The company is a part of the IBEX 35 capitalization-weighted stock market index, and its headquarter is in Madrid. Rafael del Pino y Moreno founded the company in 1952. At first, it was a railroad construction company, and afterward, it developed more. As an interesting fact, Ferrovial in Spanish means”railroad”.
7. Balfour Beatty/ UK
Sale per year: $13 bn = €11.6 bn
This company has headquarters in London, but works not just for UK customers, but also for those in the US. Moreover, it developed its businesses in Australia, Canada, the Middle East and South East Asia. Balfour Beatty was founded in 1909 by George Balfour, mechanical and electrical engineer, and Andrew Beatty, who was an accountant. They offer construction services, support services, and infrastructure investments.
6. Strabag/ Austria
Sale per year:$14.6 bn = €13.1 bn
This company was developed out of two businesses: Lerchbaumer, which Anton Lerchbaumer founded in 1835, also known as ILBAU, and Strassenwalzenbetrieb, founded in 1895, known as STRABAG. Services it offers are building construction and civil engineering, infrastructure construction, tunneling and facility management. The company has many subsidiaries and it functions on project-basis, as well. Strabag’s headquarters are in Vienna.
5. Eiffage / France
Sale per year:$15.8 bn = €14.1 bn
The fifth biggest civil engineering company in Europe is French Eiffage that ranks 5th on our list of biggest civil engineering companies in Europe. It was founded in 1992 by merging several companies. Besides construction, it deals with real estate development, energy and concessions. Major projects of Eiffage were Copenhagen Metro, Channel Tunnel and Millau Viaduct. From 2016, its chief executive is Benoît de Ruffray. The company has around 70, 000 employees.
4. Skanska/ Sweden
Sale per year: $18.3 bn = €16.4 bn
Number one Swedish civil engineering company that ranked 4th on our list of biggest civil engineering companies in Europe was founded 130 years ago! It was developed in Stockholm, where it still has its headquarters. It had around 48,470 employees back in 2015. In Europe, Skanska works within Construction, Homes, Commercial property and Public Private Partnerships. Besides that, the company operates with North America, as well.
3. Bouygues/ France
Sale per year: $36.3 bn = €32.4 bn
Bouygues was developed in 1952 by Francis Bouygues. Now, his son Martin is the leading man in Paris, where are the headquarters of the company. It has around 120,000 employees. By the services they offer, there are few Bouygues groups. One that is specialized in construction is called Colas and Bouygues Construction, then real estate development group is Bouygues Immobilier, the one for media is TF1 Group, and finally for the telecommunications, the group is called Bouygues Telecom.
2. ACS/ Spain
Sale per year: $39.1 bn = €34.9 bn
ACS or Grupo ACS, is a company that is known worldwide as one of the best in the construction and infrastructure development industries, not just civil, but industrial as well. It was founded in 1997 in Madrid, where you can still find its headquarter, by merging two different companies: OCP Construcciones, S.A. and Ginés Navarro Construcciones, S.A. The key person of ACS is Florentino Pérez, who is a chairman and CEO at the same time. The company employs around 210,000 people. It has projects all around the world.
1. Vinci/ France
Sale per year: $43.1 bn = €38.5 bn
Finally, on the top of our list of biggest civil engineering companies in Europe we can find Vinci, one of the most famous French companies in this branch. It is considered not just as the biggest company in Europe, but one of the few in the world as well! It was established in 1899 and founded by Alexandre Giros and Louis Loucheur, by the name Société Générale d’Entreprises S.A. Later, in 2000, it changed its name to Vinci. The headquarters are in a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, called Rueil-Malmaison. One of the biggest jobs they have done was in 2013, when they have built an express-lane highway system in Atlanta, Georgia, for 440 million euros.