How To Become A Civil Engineer

If you have always dreamed of becoming part of the design, building and operation of large infrastructure that people use every day, then a career as a civil engineer could be the right fit for you. This profession enables you to plan the constructions of projects like airports, roads and other buildings by surveying reports and maps.

In addition to ensuring that the design is safe, you’ll also be looking into the possible environmental hazards that the project could arise because of the project. You will be checking the soil to determine if it will be strong enough to support the planned infrastructure. Moreover, you will be testing materials like steel, asphalt and others to determine if they will be adequate for the intended project.

You will need to be very good and comfortable in math as complex calculations involving trigonometry and calculus will be part and parcel of your work. Since your job entails planning, design, construction, repair and maintenance of large projects that often involve different aspects of society, you will need to possess problem solving skills as well.

Why Become A Civil Engineer

A career as a civil engineer is for those who find enjoyment and satisfaction in building things. If you want to create infrastructure pieces that are strong, functional and beautiful then this profession will enable you to fulfill that dream. Aside from the high demand posed by private architectural and engineering companies, civil engineers are also needed in the public sector due to the high volume of infrastructure work handled by federal, state and local governments. This makes this an ideal profession for those looking for job security. Wages in this profession are also very decent.

Designing buildings, highways and other kinds of infrastructure and ensuring that they are safe comprise the work that civil engineers do on a daily basis. Many civil engineers are hired by public agencies and offices which give them a higher degree of job security compared to those working for private engineering firms.

Civil Engineer Work Environment

Civil engineers typically perform their work in an office setting observing a full-time schedule. Although the bulk of their job is done indoors, they will also need to do some work outdoors in construction sites to check on the progress of the project or address problems.

Those in supervisory positions may need to work extra hours to ensure that a project is meeting set milestones. Some civil engineers may go to other countries for work.

Civil Engineer Salary

Civil engineering is a lucrative profession, especially as one becomes more experienced with the job. Civil engineers working for the federal government are among the highest paid.

Average Civil Engineer Annual Salary


The average annual salary for civil engineers is $91,790 a year. Salaries start at $54,150 a year and go up to $138,110 a year.

Average Civil Engineer Hourly Wage


The average hourly wage for a civil engineer is $44.13. Hourly wages are between $26.04 and $66.40 an hour.

Stats were based out of 298,910 employed civil engineers in the United States.

Highest Paying States For Civil Engineers

Top Paying Cities For Civil Engineers

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Civil Engineer Career Outlook

From the ten year period covering 2012 to 2022, the employment of civil engineers is expected to grow faster than the average of all jobs with a 20 percent growth rate. They will be needed to repair aging bridges, dams and other kinds of infrastructure. The continued population growth will also necessitate the construction of new water systems. The demand for renewable energy projects will also increase the employment prospects of civil engineers.

Civil Engineer Degree

To become a civil engineer, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or civil engineering technology. In order to be licensed, the program must be accredited by ABET. The first step towards licensure requires the graduate to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. After hurdling the exam and meeting the requirements imposed by the state where they intend to provide their services in, they then becomes a Civil Engineering Intern or an Engineer-in-Training.

A civil engineer will then have to comply with the work experience requirements, pass tests and other standards set by the state before they can be given the certification as a Civil Engineer Professional. Each state imposes different requirements so make sure that you inquire from the societies in your state for more details.

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