A civil engineer is a professional who plans, designs, constructs, and maintains the infrastructure of our built environment. This includes roads, bridges, buildings, airports, water systems, and other structures. Civil engineers use their knowledge of math, science, and engineering to solve problems and create solutions that meet the needs of society.
Responsibilities of a Civil Engineer
The specific responsibilities of a civil engineer vary depending on their specialization and the type of project they are working on. However, some common responsibilities include:
- Conducting surveys and assessments to gather data about the project site
- Designing and drafting plans and specifications for the project
- Analyzing and evaluating materials and construction methods
- Overseeing the construction process to ensure that it meets the project specifications
- Maintaining and repairing existing infrastructure
- Conducting research and development to improve civil engineering practices
Civil Engineering Specialties
There are many different specializations within civil engineering, each with its own unique set of responsibilities. Some of the most common civil engineering specialties include:
- Structural engineering: This field focuses on the design and analysis of structures, such as buildings, bridges, and dams.
- Transportation engineering: This field focuses on the planning, design, construction, and operation of transportation systems, such as roads, railways, and airports.
- Environmental engineering: This field focuses on the design and construction of systems that protect the environment, such as water treatment plants and waste disposal facilities.
- Geotechnical engineering: This field focuses on the properties of soil and rock and how they affect the design and construction of structures.
- Water resources engineering: This field focuses on the management of water resources, such as dams, levees, and canals.
Education and Training Requirements
To become a civil engineer, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from an accredited university. Some employers may also require a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. in civil engineering.
In addition to your education, you will also need to obtain a license to practice civil engineering in most states. To obtain a license, you must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.
The job outlook for civil engineers is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of civil engineers will grow 8% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is expected to be driven by the need to maintain and improve existing infrastructure and to construct new infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing population.
The median annual salary for civil engineers was $87,060 in May 2020. The top 10% of earners made more than $128,140, while the bottom 10% made less than $56,180.
- American Society of Civil Engineers: https://www.asce.org/
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/civil-engineers.htm
- National Society of Professional Engineers: https://www.nspe.org/
I hope this essay was helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions.