Civil engineers design and supervise the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage systems. Some civil engineers specialize in areas such as environmental, transportation and water resources.
Civil engineers may work at construction sites as well as in offices. Some engineers work in remote areas or foreign countries. Overtime is often required.
The middle 50 percent of civil engineers earn between $41,800 and $74,550. Starting salary offers for candidates with bachelor's degrees average about $36,000 per year, master's degree candidates, $42,000 and Ph.D. candidates $58,600 per year.
Helpful Skills and Subjects to Study
Engineers should be creative, inquisitive, analytical, and detail oriented. They should be able to work as part of a team and be able to communicate well, both orally and in writing. Important courses include algebra, geometry, physics, and chemistry.
Other workers who use scientific and mathematical principles include engineering, natural science, and computer systems managers.
Education & Training
A bachelor's degree in engineering is generally required for entry-level jobs. All 50 states and the District of Columbia require licensure for civil engineers. This licensure generally requires a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program, four years of relevant work experience, and successful completion of a State examination.
Employment of civil engineers is expected to increase faster than the average for all jobs. Additionally, openings will result from the need to replace workers who transfer to another occupation or leave the work force. Employment opportunities, however, will vary by region and may decrease during economic slowdowns, when construction is often curtailed.
Sources for Additional Information
1420 King Street, Suite 405
Alexandria, VA 22314-2794
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET)
111 Market Place, Suite 1050
Baltimore, MD 21202-4012