The most common, and possibly the oldest, engineering discipline is civil engineering. A few of the early achievements attributed to the discipline are the Greek Acropolis, the Egyptian pyramids, and the Roman aqueducts. Civil engineers are currently designing and supervising, among other infrastructure projects, the construction and maintenance of our bridges, highways, tunnels, homes, and water supply systems.
Modern workers face different goals and challenges than their former counterparts. Still, irrespective of the era, civil engineers have made a significant contribution to improving community life and culture. Individuals in this field are working on projects involving building, restoration, and reconstruction. They also collaborate with designers, technologists, and other professionals in the industry. Engineers are allowed to alternate between working in an office and visiting sites.
Duties can vary from the review of government regulations and local codes to road design. Professionals in this field should have expertise in teamwork, organizational skills, math skills, problem-solving skills. Although associate degrees in civil engineering are available, the minimum requirement for most civil engineering jobs is a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program.
Educational Background as a Civil Engineer
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) offers aspirant professionals a list of approved programs. Schools with this credential have been assessed and meet the profession’s quality standards. Students at high school may consider preparing for advanced college courses in mathematics, such as calculus and trigonometry.
By taking physics, chemistry, and calculus classes, aspiring civil engineers typically start their college careers. As part of the core specifications, some courses may include computer-aided design (CAD) classes.
Civil Engineering students study specialized topics such as thermodynamics, structural analysis, statistics, and engineering mechanics and structures after completing the core course requirements. Courses may include completing a design project where students evaluate materials’ structural integrity. To check their models, this may involve the use of CAD software.
In addition to learning in the classroom, most programs generally allow students to complete laboratory courses and hands-on fieldwork in which materials ranging from soil to concrete could be studied. Such courses help students to recognize basic material properties as well as potential problems with their use.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those in this career offering their services to the public must meet state licensing criteria for professional engineering (PE). Specifications vary by state but typically include the accumulation of four years of work experience and the completion of two exams conducted by the National Engineers and Surveyors Council.
Career Path and Job Prospects for a Civil Engineer
The U.S. Labor Statistics Bureau reports that to maintain a permit, many states have introduced mandatory continuing education standards. Credit may be given to attend lectures, take part in workshops, and complete online classes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 11% growth in demand for civil engineers between 2016 and 2026. The median annual salary for civil engineers in May 2018 was estimated to be $86,640.
Civil engineers have to plan, construct, and supervise projects involving buildings, highways, bridges, and other structures. Our cities are quite literally in their hands. If you want to help build cities, consider being a civil engineer. For more engineering careers, click here.