18 Profitable Civil Engineering Business Ideas [2023]

Updated: November 16th, 2023

Are you looking to start your own civil engineering business but unsure where to begin?

With the right business plan and skills, civil engineers have many potentially lucrative entrepreneurial opportunities.

This article will highlight 18 profitable civil engineering business ideas to start in 2024.

Whether you want to start small as an independent contractor or a consultant or build up a larger firm offering multiple services, you’re sure to find some inspiring concepts here.

We’ll highlight real-world case studies of civil engineering businesses, estimates of startup costs, earnings potential, and more to put you on the path to civil engineering success.

So read on to start mapping out your future thriving civil engineering enterprise today!

Here they are:

1. Start a construction consulting business

A construction consulting business provides a valuable service to the construction industry and offers expertise and guidance in various aspects of construction projects, including project management, budgeting, quality control, and regulatory compliance. Construction consultants act as impartial advisors, helping clients navigate complex projects, avoid costly mistakes, and streamline operations.

This sector not only offers a rewarding and intellectually engaging career for civil engineering professionals but also plays a vital role in enhancing the efficiency and success of construction endeavors.

How much you can make: $60,000/month

2. Sell construction equipment

The global construction market is set to grow to $222.14 Billion in the next few years. Therefore, the construction equipment business is one of the ideas that can be rewarding to sales professionals.

Reselling heavy construction equipment can be a great way to earn some cool cash. The construction equipment can include heavy-duty vehicles, engineering equipment, and heavy hydraulics.

Before launching, conduct feasibility studies and collect the address and details of all the construction sites and construction companies within your reach. Then, write a business plan focusing on the construction sites and companies listed above. Finally, to profit from selling construction equipment, source it carefully from manufacturers with a good reputation.

How much you can make: $20,000/month

3. Start a property development business

Property development involves the acquisition of land or existing buildings, followed by improvement of the property, and finally selling or leasing the improved property for a profit.

Developers take substantial risks in acquiring the property, securing financing, obtaining permits, designing the project, and overseeing the construction.

Property development can be highly profitable, offering significant returns on investment.

Property developers add value by transforming raw land or outdated buildings into modern and functional spaces like residential, retail, industrial, and commercial real estate.

How much you can make: $200,000/month

4. Start a construction youtube channel

A construction YouTube channel involves creating and posting videos related to construction, renovation, tools, techniques, and other topics of interest to engineers, builders, and infrastructure improvement enthusiasts.

The channel produces regular videos showcasing new construction products, documenting build projects, providing how-to tutorials, and more.

Revenue can come from YouTube ad shares, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, digital products, and premium content for subscribers.

Running a successful construction YouTube channel allows builders and contractors to showcase their skills, connect with an audience, establish authority, and monetize their knowledge and content.

How much you can make: $40,001/month

5. Start a furniture polishing business

Are you looking for an easy-to-start business idea within the home improvement niche? How about starting a furniture polishing business? Professional wood polishing restores the furniture’s shiny and appealing look.

To start a furniture polishing business, you need antique restoring skills. Then, you need to research the target market to understand the estimated demand for your services. Research the competition, and decide how much to charge to attract your first customer. Once you have started getting customers to your business, focus on delivering quality results, so they recommend your service to friends, family, and colleagues.

How much you can make: $166,000/month

6. Start a tiny house building business

People love living in small spaces. They're affordable and easy to maintain. Starting a tiny house-building business is a great way to help people and make money. You need to be licensed and insured to work in the state you live in, and you will also need a business license. Additionally, you will also have to research how much it costs to build a tiny house as well as what materials are needed for the project.

Tiny houses are becoming increasingly popular, offering a unique opportunity for you to get involved in the construction industry. The tiny homes industry is expected to grow to 3.57B by 2026.

How much you can make: $295,000 — $10,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 700 days (?)

7. Start a transport and logistics business

A transport and logistics business moves goods and materials from one location to another. Depending on your client’s needs, you can use a truck, train, boat, or plane. To start this business, you will need a fleet of vehicles, a team of drivers, and a warehouse or storage facility. You will also need to obtain the licenses and permits to operate legally.

To operate this business, you must communicate with your clients to understand their shipping needs and negotiate prices. You will then need to plan routes and schedules for your drivers and ensure that all goods are transported safely and efficiently. You will also need to track shipments and update clients on the status of their deliveries.

In addition to transportation, you may also offer warehousing and storage services. This service would involve receiving and storing goods in your warehouse until they are ready to be shipped out. You may also provide value-added services such as packing and labeling to help your clients save time and effort.

Overall, running a transport and logistics business requires strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and excellent customer service. If you are up for the challenge, this can be a rewarding and lucrative business opportunity.

How much you can make: $12,000 — $415,000/month

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

Explore 3 Transport And Logistics Business Success Stories

8. Start a chimney repair business

Brick and stone chimneys require maintenance and upgrade to keep them structurally sound and functional. Some regular chimney repair tasks will include repairing and replacing rain pots, rebuilding chimney crowns, and installing new bases and flashing counters.

Thus, starting your own chimney repair business can be a very profitable, so long as you have basic masonry skills and experience. To start, you can offer the services to your neighbors just to showcase what your business offers. If you are not an experienced mason, you can hire skilled professionals and outsource the orders to them.

How much you can make: $21,000/month

9. Start a plumbing business

With hands-on knowledge in plumbing, you can start a business that focuses on diagnosing and repairing plumbing issues, installing fixtures, and maintaining plumbing systems.

As a plumber, your day-to-day activities will involve responding to service calls, troubleshooting plumbing problems, conducting installations or repairs, and providing guidance to clients on plumbing-related matters.

How much you can make: $40,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $7,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 365 days (?)

10. Start an online courses business

If you're a mechanical engineer, you can share your knowledge and make money by creating an online course.

Start by picking a specific area in mechanical engineering that you know well, like designing cars or understanding how engines work. Make your course interesting with videos, assignments, and helpful materials. Create a user-friendly website where people can access your course, and use social media and emails to tell others about it.

When people enjoy your course and find it helpful, they'll spread the word, and your business will grow. As you gain experience, you can even add more courses or explore other engineering topics to expand your online teaching business.

How much you can make: $500 — $500,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

Explore 6 Online Courses Business Success Stories

11. Start a pool installation service

A pool installation service specializes in building and constructing new swimming pools for both residential and commercial clients.

This process involves obtaining necessary permits, preparing the site, installing plumbing and drainage, constructing the pool shell, adding finishes such as tiles and coping, installing equipment like pumps and filters, and completing landscaping and fencing around the pool area.

To run a successful pool installation service, it is essential to have skilled contractors with experience in excavation, masonry, plumbing, and working with pool materials.

Starting a pool installation service can be a profitable venture, as there is a high demand for new backyard pools and water features.

How much you can make: $8,000/month

12. Start a project management tool

A project management tool business involves developing software that helps managers and teams organize, plan, and track projects.

Features may include task lists, Gantt charts, time tracking, resource planning, collaboration tools, reports, and more.

You can offer the software as a web or mobile application through a software-as-a-service subscription model.

Building an innovative and user-friendly project management tool has excellent business potential as organizations constantly seek solutions to improve workflow, accountability, and efficiency.

How much you can make: $3,000 — $1,466,666/month

How long does it take to build: 271 days (?)

Explore 14 Project Management Tool Success Stories

13. Start a lawn care service

Are you ready to begin your lawn care business and be your boss? A lawncare business offers lawn aeration, Seeding, fertilizing, soil acidity tests, and controlling weeds, among other services. If you love creating amazing landscapes, consider starting a lawn care company.

To start lawn care legally and run it profitably, you must register the business legally. You can get into a franchise or start a business from scratch. Decide what lawn care services you will offer and your target clients.

To offer effective service, purchase lawn care equipment, and hire skilled lawn care personnel.

How much you can make: $375,000/month

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

14. Start an air conditioner installation business

Air conditioner installers sell, install, inspect and repair AC systems to ensure the system functions at optimal levels throughout.

According to statistics, demand for HVAC services will increase by 15% in the next few years. The continuing growth of commercial and residential construction are some factors responsible for the increased demand for HVAC services.

Therefore, air conditioner installation sales and installation can be a great business idea. To start an air conditioning installation business, register, license, and insure your business.

How much you can make: $200,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,000 (?)

15. Become an interior designer

Interior designing involves making indoor spaces safe, functional, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential & decorative items such as colors, lighting, and materials.

The global luxury interior design market is growing at a CAGR of 9.0%. The growth metrics show there is great potential for entrepreneurs targeting households.

If you are starting a luxury interior design business, focus on style and specialty. Add valuables with creative professions, such as interior design, so you stand out from the rest. Ensure you hire the right people and hone the brand identity.

How much you can make: $100,000 — $415,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

Explore 3 Interior Designer Success Stories

16. Start a construction equipment rentals company

Construction equipment rental can be a profitable business idea, and the need for equipment rental has grown over the last few years. With the increased cost of construction equipment, renting has been a solution for many businesses. Especially new startups in the construction industry are opting for equipment rentals instead of purchasing as this is more cost-effective.

If you are starting a tools and equipment rental business, study the market and find which type of construction equipment gets more demand. Focus on regions where you will have more customers and less competition. Offering quality service will attract repeat business and more referrals.

How much does it cost to start: $5,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 30 days (?)

17. Start a surveying business

Surveying is a business that involves the measurement, analysis, and mapping of land, structures, and other features of the earth's surface. Surveying professionals, also known as surveyors, use specialized equipment and software to collect and interpret data that is used for construction, land development, and other purposes.

To start a surveying business, you must have a thorough understanding of math and geospatial technologies and a solid attention to detail. You will also need to be licensed as a surveyor in your state, which typically requires a degree in surveying or a related field and passing a written exam.

To run a successful surveying business, you must build a strong reputation in your community by providing accurate, reliable, and timely services to your clients. You should also continually educate yourself on the latest technologies and techniques in the field and stay up to date on any changes in local regulations or laws. Additionally, it is important to have strong communication and project management skills, as you will often be working with multiple clients and stakeholders on complex projects.

In terms of marketing your business, networking with local builders, developers, and other professionals in the construction industry can be a great way to get your name out there and attract new clients. You should also consider building a website and leveraging social media platforms to showcase your services and portfolio.

Overall, a surveying business can be a rewarding and lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in working in a technically-skilled and data-driven field. With the right knowledge, skills, and marketing strategies, you can build a successful surveying business that provides valuable services to clients in your community.

How much you can make: $1,600,000/month

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

18. Become a roofing contractor

A roofing contractor installs and repairs roofs on homes, offices, and commercial buildings. The construction industry is snowballing, and demand for roofing contractors is growing exponentially. Therefore, starting a roofing company or becoming a roofing contractor can be a big business idea.

To start the roofing business, you must complete technical training and become certified as a professional roofing contractor. Once you have the certification, you can apply for the roofing license and start marketing your business.

How much you can make: $665,000/month

meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.