Eight Things you Can Do with a Degree in Civil Engineering


Choosing your career path is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll ever make. For instance, you’ve just completed a civil engineering degree program and are looking for your first job. Even though there are dozens of civil engineering specialties to pick from, there are just two high-level tracks.

Each path diverges significantly from the others, and many graduates lack a thorough comprehension of the one they chose. In fact, as you advance in your career, each program opens more avenues for you to explore. So, will you follow the project-based construction route? Or would engineering design and consultancy be a better fit for you?

Whatever direction you decide to go in, one thing is sure: there will always be roads to build, building to construct, and pipelines to lay down. Hence, getting a job after graduating won’t be an issue. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do after obtaining a degree in civil engineering.

1. Design Engineer

Design engineers create, implement, and manage systems and products for various settings and environments. They develop plans and schematics, use computer-aided design and engineering software, gather and analyze data, and write progress reports necessary to construct and test prototypes for manufacturing. However, different American states have additional licensing requirements for design engineers.

Typically, the minimum academic credential required to become a design engineer is a bachelors of science in civil engineering. This role is a great fit for flexible, creative individuals with excellent science knowledge and mathematical skills.

2. Geotechnical Engineer

Geotechnics, a sub-branch of civil engineering, involves studying soil and rocks. Geotechnical engineers detect the mechanics of soil and rock formations to assist in structure construction using geology, hydrology, and geophysics principles. They develop new tools and techniques to deal with slides, slopes, and other difficulties posed by on-shore and offshore constructions.

To work as a Geotechnical engineer, you must first obtain a bachelor’s in civil engineering, followed by licensure from your local government body. This role is excellent for individuals with great teamwork, analytical, and problem-solving skills. According to PayScale, the average annual salary of a geotechnical engineer is around 68,667 dollars.

3. Fire Engineer

Firefighters who simultaneously maintain and develop firefighting apparatus are known as fire engineers. Fire engineers understand fire dynamics, are familiar with fire prevention systems and programs, and work closely with municipal staff. They also assess fire risks to create strategies for preventing, managing, and mitigating fires.

A bachelor’s in civil engineering is the minimum academic qualification to apply for a job as a fire engineer. However, you might have to obtain professional certification, depending on the state you want to work in. According to Zippia, the average annual salary of a fire engineer is around 82,964 dollars. This amounts to about 39.89 dollars per hour.

4. Structural Engineer

Structural engineers design, construct, oversee, and maintain systems and projects related to infrastructure. They manage projects from conception to completion, collaborating with other engineers, scientists, and technicians.

They also create budgets and reports and do data analysis to assess the viability of a project. They work in the public and private sectors, frequently specializing in urban engineering or transportation.

This role perfectly fits candidates with exceptional communication, time management, wiring, mathematics, and decision-making skills. A bachelor of civil engineering is a must to work as a structural engineer, followed by certification from your state.

However, your chances of employment improve tenfold if you earn a master’s degree. According to PayScale, the average annual salary of a structural engineer is around 87,060 dollars.

Read Also: The Role Computer Engineers & Business Analysts Have in Business Automation

5. Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers blend engineering methods with natural science principles to address global concerns like water safety, climate change, and sustainability. They conduct data analysis, create projects to advance recycling, trash disposal, and pollution control activities, collaborate with other scientists and governing bodies, and advise businesses, communities, and government organizations. This job is perfect for individuals concerned about the environment and who want to play their part in solving world environmental issues.

To work in such a role, a bachelor’s in civil engineering followed by state licensure is necessary. According to the BLS, an environmental engineer earns an annual salary of around 100,220 dollars.

6. Construction Manager

The roles and responsibilities of a construction manager are somewhat similar to those of a structural engineer. These professionals supervise, plan, and carry out building and infrastructure projects. They create deadlines, budgets, and schedules; work with engineers and architects; troubleshoot problems; and, if necessary, publish updates on their progress.

This role is significant for individuals with excellent interpersonal, multi-tasking, decision-making, and time-management skills. Like other roles mentioned on this list, you must first complete a civil engineer bachelor’s degree program to work as a construction manager.

However, your salary prospects increase if you earn a master’s degree in civil engineering. According to BLS, the median salary of a construction manager is around 98,890 dollars annually or 47.55 dollars per hour.

7. Urban Planner

Urban planners construct plans to build neighborhoods, accommodate expanding populations inside municipal boundaries, and rejuvenate cities and towns. They collaborate with governments and public officials, collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data, assess the viability of initiatives and programs, and ensure that rules and regulations are followed.

Ultimately, urban planners have the key to designing their cities. However, the pay is also quite good. According to the BLS, regional and urban planners can make around 78,500 dollars annually or 37.74 dollars hourly.

8. Transport Planner

A transport planner works with state, local, and municipality officials to determine and design transportation systems. They aid in choosing the most practical and effective means of transit for products and services.

Similarly, some transportation engineers and planners collaborate to develop and manage transportation infrastructure construction. This role best suits individuals who can work outdoors for long periods. Moreover, teamwork, collaborations, and decision-making are a must to excel as a transport planner. According to indeed.com, transport planners can earn around 64,729 dollars per year.

The Final Words

A civil engineering professional’s role is crucial to ensuring a nation’s smooth operation because they are responsible for developing, maintaining, and building infrastructure. When you pursue a degree in civil engineering, you will develop subject-specific abilities in building or designing structures, making decisions under pressure, managing projects successfully, working well in a team, and many other areas. So, take advantage of a career path that will help you constantly grow by enrolling in a civil engineering degree program of your choice today!


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