Civil Engineers develop, design, supervise, and maintain infrastructure projects such as roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, and bridges. They can work in the public or private sector, in one of two major branches of Civil Engineering: structural engineering or construction engineering. In structural engineering, Civil Engineers design bridges and load-bearing structures. Civil Engineers who work in construction engineering manage construction projects. A Civil Engineer uses data from surveys, tests, and maps to create blueprints for projects. Contractors use these blueprints to determine how to complete projects with minimal environmental impact.
In addition to high-level technical skills, Civil Engineers should have well-developed communication skills, because they’re often required to provide advice and suggestions to project stakeholders. Whether they work in the public or private sector, Civil Engineers play a significant role in shaping skylines, roads, and the general look and feel of our cities and towns. Because of this, there are a wide variety of jobs that fall under the Civil Engineering umbrella.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Plan and design projects using survey results, maps, and other data
- Analyze construction costs, relevant government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors while planning a project
- Submit permit applications to government agencies
- Verify that projects comply with all federal, state, and local regulations
- Evaluate the results of soil tests to help design foundations to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations
- Analyze data from tests on building materials for use in construction projects
- Compile cost estimates for materials, equipment and labor
- Use design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems, and structures
- Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure
Education and Background
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field. Some employers prefer job candidates with a master’s degree or Ph.D. for certain positions or career advancement.
Skills and Competencies
- Analytical, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
- Advanced mathematics skills
- Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
- Strong organization skills
- Experience with engineering and computer-assisted design (CAD) software
- Demonstrated skill in solving highly technical problems
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Civil Engineer with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $57,000
- Tampa, Florida: $58,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $56,000
- Miami, Florida: $62,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $69,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $65,000
- Houston, Texas: $68,000
- Los Angeles, California: $79,000
- New York City, New York: $70,000
- Seattle, Washington: $65,000
- Overall: $65,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $68,000
- Tampa, Florida: $69,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $70,000
- Miami, Florida: $96,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $90,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $95,000
- Houston, Texas: $94,000
- Los Angeles, California: $96,000
- New York City, New York: $95,000
- Seattle, Washington: $89,000
- Overall: $84,000
Similar Job Titles
- Site Engineer
- Structural Engineer
- Project Engineer
- Design Engineer
- City Engineer
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field. Some employers prefer job candidates with a master’s degree or Ph.D. for specific positions or career advancement. Several companies also require a Professional Engineer (PE) license, which requires a passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, on-the-job experience, and a passing score on the Principles and Practice of Engineering Examination. Successful Civil Engineers can advance to supervising a team of engineers and receive greater independence to design and evaluate projects and processes.
According to the professional services firm Deloitte, one major trend in the Civil Engineering field is the growing use of digital technologies in engineering and construction projects. Many companies are employing cloud-connected applications on the job site, allowing companies to make information about a project available on-demand to any project stakeholder around the world. Firms are also beginning to use robots for certain repetitive construction tasks like brick-laying or employing automated rovers to conduct site surveys more efficiently.
Another trend in the Civil Engineering field is the U.S. government’s commitment to spending more money on infrastructure projects. This long-term commitment should lead to the launch of more projects in the near future, but it could also create a need for new partnership models to finance these projects. That could include public-private partnerships similar to those in other developed countries, where private firms manage some roadways or contractors assist agencies in assessing infrastructure assets and projecting maintenance needs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for Civil Engineers should grow by six percent between 2018 and 2028. That’s as fast as average.
The typical work hours for a Civil Engineer are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, many Civil Engineers work longer hours to hit project deadlines or troubleshoot project issues.
Where You Can Find Jobs
- 4 Corner Resources
- Career Builder
- Zip Recruiter
- Engineering Jobs
- National Society of Professional Engineers
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