To become a civil engineer you must pursue your bachelor's degree in civil engineering or either your Bachelor of Science degree with a focus in civil engineering or civil engineering technology. This degree will allow you to work behind the scenes with water treatment systems, bridges, railroads, dams, tunnels, power plants, highways, and buildings. In your occupation, it will be your responsibility to plan, design, and work to improve infrastructures and the previously mentioned types of buildings. You will also be responsible for managing the construction, managing the materials that are used during the construction process, and applying the formulas to determine the amount of stress that is on a building. Depending on your area of emphasis, you may also spend some time designing the tolerances that are needed for a specific structure to withstand environmental factors.
To complete the requirements needed to obtain your bachelor's degree in civil engineering you will need to complete approximately 120 hours of course work. Depending upon the four year college or university that you choose to attend, you may have the opportunity to select an area of focus for your studies. Some of the common areas for concentration within this degree program are: structural engineering, water resources, hydraulics, transportation, soil mechanics, construction engineering, soil foundations, and environmental engineering. While it may vary some depending on your post-secondary school, students pursuing this degree typically are required to complete general education courses, courses directly related to the major, and approximately twenty hours of electives.
It is common for students to choose their elective hours based on their intended career path or their area of academic strength. Common general education courses that are required by this degree program are: technical writing, chemistry, computer science, calculus, liberal arts (such as history, literature, and political science), English composition, and physics. As you begin working on your more concentrated courses of study you will likely need to complete classes like: environmental engineering, dynamics, construction methodology, engineering math and statistics, construction management, differential equations, solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, materials science, geotechnical engineering, surveying, statics, transportation engineering, and structural analysis and design.
It is important to note that currently, many colleges and universities offer a cooperative education program. This allows students the opportunity to spend one semester learning within a classroom setting and one semester applying what they have learned in a practical manner. While this approach is similar to an internship or apprenticeship, the hours that a student spends completing the technical work in a real world setting can often be counted towards the necessary electives.
If furthering your educational degree appeals to you then you will have the opportunity to learn about more advanced civil engineering aspects. You will also likely complete course work that is focused on project management and project research. At this level, you will be responsible for incorporating a variety of civil engineering topics and factors as you develop more complex engineering projects. Of course, additional education will likely open additional employment doors for you.
The typical Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering is a four year program where each semester you take 16-18 credited. Each semester is designed to build on the last one and your Junior and Senior year you’ll focus on the pre requisite courses required for your degree completion. A sample of the different types of courses you’ll take include:
- Engineering Design
- Transportation and Water Resources
- Contract Administration and Site Development
- Environmental Engineering
- Research and Design
- Mechanics of Materials
- Geometrics and Hydraulics
- Organizational Communication
- Land Regulations
As a civil engineer you will have an average yearly salary of $82,050. The growth rate in this career is expected to grow 8%. Approx. 15% of all civil engineers work at some capacity at the state level. Only 5% work in for the federal government and the rest work in private industries. The entire industry has over 281,400 employees.
As a Civil Engineer You’ll Learn how to:
Analyze and solve difficult problems and issues and how they relate to civil engineering.
Work in a team environment and take environmental and political factors into consideration.
Be able to work with local and state agencies regarding projects and permits.
Interpret complex data and organize reports for operations.
One of the main reasons why we recommend to our visitors to look into a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is once you have graduated your degree will help you earn a job in a wide variety of industries. Also the degree can be a building block for a higher level degree if you choose to continue with your education Some of the job titles you can apply for with your Bachelor’s degree include.
- Structural and Civil Engineers
- Building Surveyor or Controller
- Technology Sales
- Operations or Division Manager
- Transport Engineering
- Instructor or Professor
- Water Engineer
- Environmental Consultant