Are you curious about how things work and how to make them better? Do you enjoy solving problems and putting your ideas into action? If so, you may want to consider a career in civil engineering. Civil engineering is ideal if you’re socially aware and interested in working with people to solve problems and meet challenges. A career in civil engineering can help build a better future for yourself and for the world we live in.
Civil engineers plan and oversee the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply systems. As civil engineering professional, you will be directly responsible for public safety and welfare. Your buildings must perform according to their specifications. Your highways must carry traffic safely. Theses engineers have to think about many factors in the design process, from the construction and cost of the project, to the environmental impact and life expectancy of the project. They also have to calculate potential hazards such as Mother Nature, and how the project will hold up under environmental pressures. Some civil engineers work in administrative positions such as a supervisor of a construction site to city engineer. Others may work in design, construction, research, and education.
As with any career, success begins with a well-rounded education. Preparation for a civil engineering career should start in high school with core courses in English, algebra, geometry, advanced math, physics and a foundation in history and social studies. A bachelor degree is a basic requirement to becoming a civil engineer. More than 35% of civil engineering graduates today go on to earn a master’s degree. Many pursue a master’s degree later while working. Tuition reimbursement for this is common when you are already employed as a civil engineer. Obtaining a master’s degree or Ph. D. can help you to become an expert in your chosen field. As in any profession, civil engineering education is endless. To keep up with the changes, many choose to continue their education with programs made available by universities and by professional societies, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers (http://www.asce.org/asce.cfm)
Approximately 237,000 civil engineers are employed in the US today. Due to broad-spectrum population growth and a greater emphasis on infrastructure security, more civil engineers will be needed to design and construct large buildings and building complexes as well as safe and higher capacity transportation, water supply, and pollution control systems. Their expertise will also be needed to repair or replace existing roads, bridges, and other public structures. Construction and related industries employ civil engineers, so employment opportunities will vary by geographic area. If the construction industry sees economy related decreases, the need for civil engineers can decrease as well. Civil engineers can earn from $43,000 to $90,000 per year depending on experience and specialization.