Civil Engineer

Civil engineers design and supervise the creation of structures. Not just buildings - civil engineers work on everything from tunnels and dams, to highways and airports, to water and sewer systems. They use computer technologies and advanced materials to design structures that meet the needs of a growing population while protecting the environment, reducing the dangers from natural phenomenon like storms, and considering future needs of the community.

Education

A four-year college degree is required for most civil engineering jobs. Many civil engineers specialize in structural, hydraulic, water resources, environmental, transportation, or management positions and will seek engineering degrees specific to those fields.

Skills

You are a Civil Engineer, if you: 

  • Can listen to people's concern and express their worries accurately to others
  • Are good at networking to get the information you need
  • Can influence people 
  • Have a good grasp of physics and math 
  • Enjoy speaking to groups and moderating or facilitating discussions
  • Will eagerly learn all the latest technology
  • Are fascinated with how to move large numbers of people around efficiently 
  • Take the initiative to get things done. 

Lifestyle

Anywhere people build things, you can find civil engineers. Some work in offices, others on construction sites. Depending on the project, civil engineers can work regular business hours or longer.

Salary

The average annual salary for an entry-level civil engineer is $58,808.*

Examples

  • Ensure safe drinking water by managing a community’s water reservoir
  • Develop an art museum that provides state-of-the-art protection for paintings
  • Cut down on airport delays by designing a better runway system
  • Design the structure of one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers
  • Build cheap, sturdy shelters for victims of hurricanes and flooding
*Source: Salary.com 2013
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Latest Question

Questions about civil vs environmental engineering

by Madelinefrom Yorba Linda, CA.

Hi Morgan, I am a recent college graduate with a degree in Business Economics and am looking into Environmental Engineering for a potential career change. I know you are a Civil Engineer, but found you via a question you answered about ...

Read the answer