Civil Engineering Degrees

Careers in Civil Engineering

What is a Civil Engineering Degree?

Do you fondly remember building cranes and full amusement parks with K'NEX or Lincoln Logs? Were you an avid model builder, with details as specific as racing stripes and a complete engine? As an adult, you can continue to add to those childhood memories while earning a salary as a civil engineer.

Civil engineers design roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, or water supply and sewage systems. Civil engineers are responsible for every detail of the design, from the cost and timeline of the structure to managing the people on the projects and determining potential environmental hazards such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Civil Engineering is such a vast field that most civil engineering majors focus on a specialized area, such as:

  • Structural Engineering
  • Construction Engineering
  • Hydraulics Engineering
  • Sanitary Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Soil Mechanics Engineering

Structural Engineers specialize in that area to become experts in building structures safely and efficiently, while construction engineers supervise the actual construction of the building once its designed.

Hydraulic Engineers design water-based structures, such as, canals, flood-control systems, and irrigation systems in a way that will best benefit the community. Sanitary Engineers develop water purification systems for the community drinking water along with water treatment and waste systems.

Transportation Engineers develop roads, highways, railroads, subways, and airports in conjunction with environmental engineers and Soil Mechanic Engineers to control air and water pollution and to determine ways to use soil to improve building foundations.

How can I get a Civil Engineering Degree?

Earning a degree in Civil Engineering demands strong intellect, creativity, and an aptitude for mathematics and the physical sciences. Civil Engineers also need to think logically and communicate clearly, both orally and written. Coursework for Civil Engineering degrees include thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, circuitry, stress analysis, and structural design. Social sciences and humanities classes are usually required, too. Cooperative programs are offered by some colleges, in which students divide their time between classes and work experience.

The job outlook for civil engineers is steadily growing through 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and civil engineers typically work in offices or on-site. With a bachelor's degree in engineering, you can expect to make an average of $52,048 annually, while the BLS reported civil engineers to have average wages of $78,560 in May of 2008.

If designing the structure and safety specs of buildings, roads, airports, and more interests you, apply for a civil engineering degree today!

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