Students’ Career Guide to Civil Engineering

Few careers can fill one’s life with a sense of purpose the same way civil engineering can. Civil engineers are an important aspect of our daily lives and their influence can be seen everywhere.

Whether you’re driving on a highway, sitting in a stadium, or simply getting a glass of water from your faucet, a civil engineer was responsible for making that possible.

civil engineers constructing a tunnel

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Civil engineers are responsible for ensuring society functions smoothly and efficiently. It’s their responsibility to envision, design, build, implement, and maintain crucial infrastructure systems in both the public and private sectors.

This means civil engineers have the opportunity to work for the government on municipal, state, and national levels as well as for corporations and homeowners. The projects they work on can include a wide range of structures and systems including dams, bridges, roads, sewers, airports, tunnels, and much more.

On a more specific level, some of the duties a civil engineer is responsible for include:

  • Mapping and surveying of land for projects
  • Using design software to draw up system plans
  • Cost and risk analysis for tools, building materials, environmental hazards, and more
  • Ensuring projects comply with all necessary regulations
  • Maintenance and repair

What is the Job Outlook for Civil Engineering?

In addition to the meaningful work, the civil engineering field also has a bright future with career opportunities expected to grow by 7% between the years 2021 and 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It’s estimated that there will be approximately 24,200 civil engineering job openings available each year over the course of the next decade.

Civil engineering also provides a source of stable income in your life with the median salary in 2021 being $88,050 per year.

Careers in Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is a broad field with many different opportunities. Should you choose to pursue a career in civil engineering, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of specialty jobs. These include:

Construction Engineers: The role of a construction engineer is to plan and develop general construction projects. This includes managing the budget and timeline of the project and can include structures such as bridges, roads, and airports.

Structural Engineers: These civil engineers ensure a structure’s stability and safety. This is done through analysis of the structure’s strength, construction, and overall durability.

Coastal Engineers: Coastal engineers specialize in projects that are related to water. It’s their job to oversee construction while also protecting the environment from harm.

Transportation Engineers: Engineers who specialize in transportation can work on everything from simple streets to complex city mass transit systems.

Environmental Engineers: These specialists use their skills to find engineering solutions to environmental problems. Some examples of the work they do include air and water purification, chemical treatment, sustainability, and climate change.

Surveyors: Surveyors play a crucial role in the planning of a project. It’s their job to measure and map the area of the project to establish its boundaries and property lines.

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