Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works likebridges, roads, canals, dams, and buildings. Civil engineering is the oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it was defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering. It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering. Civil engineering takes place on all levels: in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.
Civil engineers design things. These might be roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, or water supply and sewage systems. They must consider many factors in their designs, from the costs to making sure the structure will stay intact during bad weather. This is one of the oldest types of engineering.
Many civil engineers manage people and projects. A civil engineer may oversee a construction site or be a city engineer. Others may work in design, construction, research, and teaching. There are many specialties within civil engineering, such as structural, construction, environment, and transportation.
A college degree in engineering is needed for almost all beginning engineering jobs. College graduates with a degree in a science or mathematics may get some jobs. A civil engineer must get a license from the State to offer services directly to the public. A license requires 4 years of relevant work experience and passing an exam. Beginning engineers often work under an experienced engineer to learn as much as possible. To teach engineering, further schooling is needed.
Getting into engineering school requires know-how of math and science, and courses in English, social studies, and computers. Also, some schools prepare an engineer to get a job after graduation while others prepare an engineer for graduate school. It is a good idea to learn about the school before you attend.
Engineers should be creative, curious, analytical, and detail-oriented. They should be able to work as part of a team. People skills are important. This is because engineers often work with people in a wide range of fields.
Civil engineers usually work in areas where there is lots of manufacturing and businesses. Often they work at construction sites. Sometimes they work in places that are far away from cities. Most engineers work at least 40 hours per week. Some are required to travel.
It is expected that civil engineer jobs will increase much faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. More civil engineers will be needed to design and build things as the population grows. For example, they will need to fix and replace buildings and roads as they continue to become old, unsafe, and worn out.
Some job openings will occur to replace those who go to other jobs or leave the labor force. Job openings will also depend on where you live. There may not be as many jobs when the economy is doing poorly. This is because there is often less construction at such times.
Currently, people with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering started at around $52,000 a year on average.