What Can You Do With A Civil Engineering Degree?

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Believe it or not, you probably encounter results of civil engineering every day. Civil engineering is the process of designing and constructing parts of your everyday environment, such as bridges and roads. It also involves the regular upkeep and maintenance of these finished products. With a degree in civil engineering, you have the power to help create a world that impacts society every single day.

Areas of Study in Civil Engineering

Civil engineering consists of many more specific areas of study. It is an industry that requires knowledge in many engineering subcategories, some of which are briefly described below.

Offshore engineering – process of designing, constructing, and performing maintenance on man-made structures underwater, including pipelines and oil platforms

Forensic engineering – process of examining why specific parts are not functioning properly and exploring possible ways of addressing the issues

Municipal engineering – process of designing, constructing, and performing maintenance on structures arranged by city and township officials

Construction engineering – process of designing, constructing and performing maintenance on airports, bridges, railroads, etc.

Architectural engineering – process of designing and constructing specific buildings

How to Get a Civil Engineering Degree

After reading about types of engineering and you find civil engineering appealing, consider exploring advancing your education to find a career that is a perfect match for you. You should start researching trade schools or universities with civil engineering programs towards the end of your junior year in high school and begin submitting applications to various schools in the beginning of your senior year.

The Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University offers students four different degrees in civil engineering–a bachelors degree, two master degrees, and a doctoral degree. In these degree programs, students build their knowledge in various forms of math and science in order to set the foundation for their further education in engineering. They learn the basics of engineering and explore the ins and outs of civil engineering, learning how to apply the knowledge they gain to the civil engineering industry upon graduating with their degrees.

The Georgia Institute of Technology provides students with the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering as well as a joint bachelors and masters program for civil engineering. These programs are meant to help students gain the knowledge they need to succeed in becoming a civil engineer. Courses cover topics like hydrology, transportation engineering, construction engineering, and more. Georgia Tech offers various options for students to specialize in, and the school also provides opportunities to study and work abroad as well as performing academic research projects to get a better understanding of the world of engineering.

Iowa State University offers graduate students an excellent Master of Science in Civil Engineering. With the opportunity to specialize in Construction Engineering and Management, this masters degree program is ideal for people interested in advancing in the civil engineering industry. The program helps students gain a better understanding of construction methods and operations as well as various management techniques to become successful leaders. Students are able to complete projects to help them gain research and hands-on experience to further prepare them for higher careers. The two-year program also allows students to take courses in areas like finance and marketing to learn how these topics can be applied to the field of civil engineering, as well.

Careers in Civil Engineering

People with civil engineering degrees often work in either an office or on a construction site. It is possible, however, to work in both from time to time. In this section, you will find various career paths you can travel with a degree in civil engineering and descriptions of a few of the many types of careers you can build your college education around.

Entry Level Careers in Civil Engineering

After earning your bachelors degree in civil engineering, you may find that you qualify for one or more of the positions described below.

Architectural Engineer

An architectural engineer spends his or her time working with other engineers to design and construct buildings for everyday use. Types of buildings can include houses, grocery stores, sports arenas, and more. Architectural engineers are responsible for creating buildings that pass safety inspections and other examinations to ensure the functionality of buildings and that they are safe for public or private use. Problem solving skills are a must in this line of work, as is knowledge in the field of mathematics and various types of science. An architectural engineer typically possesses a bachelors degree in civil engineering and may have a specific concentration, such as electrical engineering.

Architectural engineers can start out earning around $40,000 or more annually, based on education and experience levels.

Assistant Engineer

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Assistant engineers often help with the design of infrastructures and the coordination of project planning with engineering firms. They also may answer questions posed by community members related to projects. An assistant engineer is an excellent position to start off your career as an engineer. With strong communication and organizational skills and a bachelors degree in some form of engineering, you are bound to find a job as an assistant engineer.

Assistant engineers may earn around $46,000 annually, depending on experience levels.

Structural Engineer

A structural engineer designs structures necessary to help improve the way society functions. Structures may include anything from sports arenas to oil rigs to aircraft. Structural engineers work together to ensure the safety and longevity of structures they design, making certain that these structures will be serving their purposes for decades to come. They also inspect already-built structures for any faults that may prevent those structures from properly functioning. Structural engineers have outstanding problem solving skills and communication skills in order to work together to design long-lasting products. They typically possess a bachelors degree and/or masters degree in civil engineering with advanced knowledge in mathematics.

Structural engineers can earn over $55,000 annually with room for increase as more experience is gained.

Advanced Careers in Civil Engineering

Once you gain more experience in the field or you earn a masters degree or doctoral degree in civil engineering, many more career opportunities will open up for you. Just a few of those you may qualify for are listed in this section.

Transportation Engineer

A transportation engineer spends his or her time working alongside other engineers to develop plans for ways to improve traffic flow, often within a city or town. Transportation engineers perform research by collecting data on aspects of travel such as road construction and land development in order to best maintain and create infrastructures to help improve the quality of roads, bridges, airport runways, and various other infrastructures. Entry level positions often require a bachelors degree in civil engineering, while companies with more advanced positions search for people with a masters degree in civil engineering. Excellent mathematical and problem solving skills are essential to succeed as a transportation engineer, as are a few years of experience in the field.

Transportation engineers may earn around $75,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.

Utilities Engineer

A utilities engineer often monitors utility equipment of a manufacturing plant, addressing and fixing any issues that prevent the equipment from functioning properly. Utilities engineers also operate and occasionally test utility equipment, as well. They usually have a bachelors degree in civil engineering, and most manufacturing plants require applicants to have worked in the manufacturing industry for over three years. Outstanding problem solving skills are essential, as are excellent coordination levels, to succeeding as a utilities engineer.

Utilities engineers can earn over $60,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.

Companies that Hire People with Civil Engineering Degrees

“What jobs can I do with a civil engineering degree?” This question is touched on in this section. Companies around the world hire various types of engineers to assist in creating convenient paths for travel and buildings to accommodate the world’s ever-growing population and people’s busy lifestyles. Below is a brief list of places that hire people with civil engineering degrees.

Harbor Engineering, Inc. – located in Manheim, PA; hires positions for various types of civil engineers

Hunt, Guillot & Associates, LLC – various locations in LA, TX, and PA; hires positions for process engineers, construction managers, drafters, engineering managers, etc.

Wantman Group, Inc. – located in West Palm Beach, FL; hires positions for civil engineers, transportation engineers, etc.

AECOM – located in Baltimore, MD; hires positions for structural engineers, mechanical engineers, materials engineers, etc.

Civil engineering is crucial to the functioning of today’s society. Without engineers, the world could never progress and could literally fall to pieces, making transportation, communication, and earning a living nearly impossible. So check out civil engineering programs at trade schools, colleges, and universities near you to find a career that best fits you and helps you make a difference in society one day at a time.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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