become a civil engineer

What does a Civil Engineer do?

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A civil engineer supervises and designs substantial construction projects. They also maintain, construct, and operate these construction projects. Additionally, these projects could be include airports, buildings, bridges, sewage treatment, or systems for water supply. Watch a video to learn what a civil engineer does:

How to Become a Civil Engineer

Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology or civil engineering. In order to elevate their career a graduate degree would usually be expected. A civil engineer must normally be licensed where they provide public services, but requirements are different from state to state. There are also many benefits to having a career in civil engineering. At the top of the list is job demand as there are always projects worldwide that require civil engineers. Because of the numerous projects that civil engineers can work on, there can also be a variety of different types of work. If you like to travel, some civil engineers travel the world depending on the company they work for.

Job Description of a Civil Engineer

become a civil engineer

A civil engineer oversees, designs, and plans the construction and maintenance of building structures. Alternately, they also work on facilities like irrigation projects, power plants, bridges, and other sites. In addition, they inspect work sites to ensure conformance to safety and design specifications and monitor progress of the project. They give estimates of cost materials and quantities or the project site’s maintenance. They can provide the technical advice needed for structural repairs, program modifications or regarding design.

A civil engineer would determine the strength and adequacy of steel, foundations, asphalt, or concrete by testing materials or soils. In determining design specifications to material stress factors or water flow rates they would grade and compute load requirements. They use design software and drawing tools to follow construction and government standards in designing and planning hydraulic systems or transportation and structures. They analyze aerial photography, geologic data, maps, blueprints and other types of reports and surveys to plan projects. He or she would sometimes give reports on subjects, like, environmental impact statements, bid proposals or other public reports.

A knowledge of engineering and technology, management and administration, as well as, design, building and construction is needed. A knowledge of public safety and security, mathematics and physics is used in this occupation. Time management is important and complex problem solving among other skills.

Free Teacher and Student Resources

The American Society of Civil Engineers has games, activities, and career guidance for students on the Pre-College Outreach page.

Civil Engineer Career Video Transcript

From 4,500-year-old Egyptian pyramids and ancient Roman aqueducts to today’s monolithic bridges and giant skyscrapers, civil engineering has a long and impressive history. Civil engineers design and maintain many of the structures around us, including buildings, roads, bridges, and the systems that move water and waste for our communities. For every project, civil engineers must meet regulatory standards, prioritize safety, consider environmental risks, and the endurance of materials, and anticipate costs for building as well as long-term maintenance. From entry-level positions to project leads, this is a team-based career that requires continuous problem solving. It’s typical for civil engineers to specialize. Construction engineers manage large construction projects.

Geotechnical engineers ensure the solid foundation of engineering projects like tunnels and tall buildings. Structural engineers design and evaluate plans for major buildings, bridges, and dams and make sure they are built to last. Transportation engineers plan roadway construction and maintenance, as well as design airports, subways, and metro transit systems. Civil engineers often work outdoors at construction sites to monitor progress and troubleshoot any problems that come up. Most work full time. They need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, one of its specialties, or in civil engineering technology. A professional engineering license is required for many jobs. Civil engineering is a complex field, but it’s one that leaves a lasting mark.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Civil Engineers.

National Center for O*NET Development. 17-2051.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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