What is a Civil Engineer?
A civil engineer is one of the professionals who bring a huge contribution to the infrastructure of a community as well as to the community itself. It is an engineer who is responsible for the design, construction, operation, supervision and for the process of maintaining roads, dams, bridges, tunnels, airports or any other construction projects.
A civil engineer that is responsible for any project will have to take first into consideration any of the environmental hazards. They also need to consider the costs of the work itself, the regulations required by the government, and much more how durable is the infrastructure that is being built.
The civil engineering is divided into several types of categories such as construction, water resources, environmental, geo-technical, transportation and engineering, and other. The scope for the civil engineer projects is very complex and is very broad.
Job Description of a Civil Engineer
Working as a civil engineer is not an easy thing due to the hard work this job implies a huge amount of responsibility and accurate design, construction, operation and maintenance of any project construction. Among other the daily tasks of a civil engineer might involve analyzing of the maps, survey the already existed reports, as well as other useful data for the planning of the project.
Civil engineers main duties are also to evaluate the costs of projects, which are the environmental risks, and other factors that might affect the projects. Their job is also to submit as well as to collect permit applications, to respective agencies in agreement with regulations. They will test soil, and the materials that are used for the building estimated and prepare the cost for the labor, equipment and materials.
In order to plan and develop transportation systems and structures, civil engineers will use design software that will allow all these systems and structures to be according to the industries and government standards. These professionals will also maintain or replace the existing infrastructures, and they will oversee operations and educate the public upon the bid proposal.
How to Become a Civil Engineer?
A profession in Civil Engineering can be very exciting with many opportunities to follow in different areas of work. A civil engineer can be found working in an office and designing while other can be found working in the field. There are some civil engineers that combine these works in one doing the both; this choice will be up to you.
To be a great civil engineer, you need to go through some specific training that will allow you to enter in this field. The first step to take in the correct way is made by understanding what a civil engineer is doing at work and what are the daily tasks that they are going through.
This side of engineering involves mainly the processes of designing, then building and then later on maintaining this public works. A civil engineer’s part is to have a clear focus on the facilities and structures such as roads, transportation routes, tunnels, bridges, bus interchanges, and airports. They also need to focus on government buildings, police stations, fire stations, water treatment such as sewage, dams, pipelines and any other structures on large scales.
From the point of view of the job and the expected salary, this is one of the jobs with a high level of knowledge, expertise and a high level of skills required. Also, some huge responsibilities are added when it comes to the safety, accuracy and the outcomes in this field of engineering.
According to the country or region, you can find various specialization in this branch of engineering. Your interest in what specialization to follow will be something that you’ll have to consider as you continue your studies and the various options offered through courses. Make sure that you ask about the available options in the country or state in which you are.
Skills are a strong key point in every job that is developed through education and practice. The branch of civil engineering requires a lot of mathematics, design as well as science skills. Other important features to assure a successful career in this field involve the ability to communicate clearly your ideas both verbally and written. You will also need creativity, being able to function within a team, and as well as being able to work without surveillance and handle huge level of responsibility.
Being in school offers certain advantages in growing and developing towards a future career. Focus on subjects that involve design and technology, mathematics, geology, geography, economics, information technology as well as physics.
While you are in school or even in university, try to participate in engineering style competitions in which teams are involved such as model bridge competitions. These will allow you to get used to working in a team as well as the fact that you’ll gain knowledge and understanding of how things are built and how they work structurally.
Among other precise steps contact the universities that you are interested in and that offer accredited civil engineering degrees and find out what are the necessary requirements that you have to fulfill. These requirements are always upgrading due to new technologies and specific methodologies.
If you have all the classes taken is advantageous when you want to enroll in a civil engineer program. If you already left school or you’ve finished without taking the appropriate subjects, then you might consider undertaking bridging courses. You can even consider aptitudes tests that will prepare you and that will show that you are able to undertake the required subjects for a civil engineering degree.
The next step is to choose a study program that will take you further and closer to the entry level in this field. In many countries for the entry-level is required a bachelor’s degree. The length of the study program is estimated at four years. Depending on your studies, and where you are performing them, you might need at the completion of the degree to take a formal certification course.
In other countries having a license is one of the prerequisites needed that will allow you to call yourself a civil engineer and also work. In the United States, a bachelor degree program is accredited by the ABET or the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. When you choose any program, make sure that it has specific classes that are going to help you in the area in which you are interested. These classes can include subjects such as design, construction, hydraulics, computer methods, soil and structural mechanics, and other.
Try to take courses that are outside the field in which you are, they will lead you to various other areas of civil engineering. You might consider taking some courses outside your country to expand your knowledge of what is happening in the civil engineering in other parts. To do this, you might need to know the language of that country for a better proficiency.
A part of your degree might be comprised of field trips in which the theory is combined with real-life examples that will help you understand a lot easier the principles of engineering. Start everything by finding out about the different types of civil engineering that are present and the available options so that you may choose the right path for you. Specializations that are available can include structural engineering, highway construction and maintenance, traffic and transportation, environmental issues and other.
If it is possible try to get an internship while you’re in school, in the civil field in which you show most of your interest. There are engineering firms that have included types of internship programs. The experience that you are gaining is really important it will help you clarify your goals in the career as well as it will show well on your resume making you a valuable entry-level civil engineer.
You’ll need to take into consideration some of the specific examinations that are required in the US. Being in senior year or your junior year of the study program means you’ll need to register and take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam else known as FE. This exam will test your basic knowledge of engineering principles, and it is very required in order to obtain an EIT or else known as Engineer In Training license. In other cases, it is a prerequisite for a PE exam.
After you’ve graduated try to find work as an EIT under the supervision of a professional engineer that has a license. Applying for the PE exam else known as Principals and Practice of Engineering exam you will have to account for a four years employment as an EIT. Your chances of advancement will be increased by becoming a PE or a professional engineer, and you’ll also gain more opportunities of work.
Being licensed as a PE will mean on the other hand to keep up with the requirements that will allow you to maintain your license. According to each state or the location in which you are working or your type of license you might need to complete Continuing Education Hours or in other cases Professional Development Hours.
Once you’ve become a civil engineer in the US, you should enroll in a relevant organization such as the ASCE, or else known as the American Society of Civil Engineers. They will help you a lot with the new developments or with the networking opportunities and other working opportunities.
Work Environment and Schedule
The majority of the time for a civil engineer is spent inside an office but sometimes they might have to visit outdoors constructions or sites, to solve any possible issues and in some cases oversee the building process. In some other cases, you might find yourself going outside of the country to work abroad at projects.
The working schedule of a civil engineer usually involves the regular business hours, this referring to the standard hours of work 40 per week. Since their work is linked with fulfilling various projects they might work extra hours due to the deadlines. Your time as a Civil Engineer will be divided into planning in your office, going to various outdoor sites and communicating with the construction workers and overseeing projects and monitoring the process and the progress that was registered.
Most of the civil engineers find jobs in top industries such as local and state government, architectural and engineering services and other related areas of services. There are also lots of opportunities in federal government as well as the private sector and in the nonresidential building construction.
Pros and Cons of Being a Civil Engineer
The good news when working as a civil engineer is that you play a vital and important part in the community development and the infrastructure. The pros that are associated with this job except the work satisfaction when you see a project finished and you see the great results that come out of your work are the salaries.
In the employment sector, the branch of engineering is among the well-quoted sectors, and the work of civil engineers doesn’t pass that easily by. The average annual salary estimated reaches at more than $85,010 per year. The top percent in this field reach at an average income of $122,030 per year while those who are self-employed earn a higher income.
With massive constructions also come a lot of responsibilities and in many cases the stress and the pressure to reach in time with every project cannot be avoided. The projects that you are dealing with as a civil engineer can be very massive in a well-defined scope and budget. Failure in this area can lead to a significant loss for the company that you are working for. Problems with your work or in it can lead to a bad reputation of your employer as well as your reputation.
Another con in this job that frequently appears is the number of hours that you have to work. In some cases on a long term basis you might end up to work full-time weeks. When it comes to education, in this field you’ll need continual education. Some of the engineering bachelor’s degree programs might last up to 5 years to be completed not to mention the fact that you’ll have to go through a licensing process that is divided into two parts. This can be quite expensive.
Civil Engineer job growth
For the next couple of years, the employment job growth is predicted at 21% rate of increase, according to the information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Experts recorded this increase mainly due to the number of demanding and the nature of the job itself. A civil engineer will always be required as the infrastructure of various buildings is growing old, to rebuild bridges, or repair damaged roads, or even upgrade dams, or various other building structures.
The job possibilities for these specialists are various since a civil engineer will work in different locations and even conditions. With an intense increase and growth of the population, both of the rural and metropolitan areas are led to expanding, this allowing more and more projects for civil engineers to attend.
Civil Engineer Salary
The median civil engineer salary is estimated at an average of about $80,772 per year. According to several influential factors, the highest point payment in this field has an estimation of about $126,192 per year while the lowest point salary reaches only at $51,812 per year. The positions that are highly compensated can be found within the industries of oil and gas extractions.
The best paying positions can be encountered in Huston, Midland Texas as well as in Georgia, Hinesville. Compared with other jobs the average salary for these professionals is around $85,642 per year which has a close average to the mechanical engineers that take home an estimated income of about $85,932 per year.
On the other hand, a civil engineer job salary is less compared with other best jobs in the field of technology. For instance, a software development takes home an income around $96,262 per year while an IT Manager can easily expect to an average salary of about $132,572 per year.
The geographical location is another factor that influences a lot a salary, the highest payment is realized in the metropolitan areas, where the average can even encompass $110,675 per year. A civil engineer best-paid jobs can be found in regions such as Texas, Georgia, Huston, Waco and other cities with a great economical flux in the area for these types of jobs.
Working with Huston as a civil engineer you’ll be granted with an average salary that reaches at $110,672 per year. At the same time in Waco, Texas the average income for these professionals is estimated to reach about $108,692 per year. Hinesville, Georgia pay the professionals working in this field with an average salary that reaches at $115,112 per year.
According to the level of compensations, the annual compensation for the top industries that hire these professionals can reach at $89,370 per year or even more. For instance, those who are working for Federal Government can expect to an annual compensation that reaches at about $89,410 per year. Also, in the industry of Architectural and engineering services a civil engineer can expect to an annual compensation estimated at around $79,505 per year.
A civil engineer starting salary according to various other factors has an estimation that ranges from $42,783 per year and up to $69,572 per year. They can expect to bonuses that can reach up to $5,043 per year. The median salary for the entry level can be estimated at around $54,376 per year with an hourly rate that ranges from $16.03 per hour and up to $31.6 per hour. In time, this hourly wage is starting to increase reaching at a rate that ranges from $21.96 and up to $43.24 per hour.
Salary of a Civil Engineer in 2015
The salary of a civil engineer in 2015 in the United States is expected to grow. Growing should occur because in the engineering branch this is the largest segment in which individuals are being hired. Having an educational background always makes a difference and according to the degrees that one possess the salary can be increased. The starting salary for one that has a BS degree is estimated at an average that reaches around $49,542 per year. For people who have at least an MS degree, the starting income reaches an average of about $59,882 per year.
Having a Ph.D. will lead you to a starting salary estimated at an average of about $65,472 per year. These figures also vary according to the type of industry in which you are hired. For instance, those civil engineers who found work in the private sector earn per average a higher income than those who are hired by the federal government or that are working in public areas.
Civil Engineer Salary in 2016
In the United States, for the year 2016, the average median income of a civil engineer is estimated at around $62,020 yearly, according to the salary data information provided by PayScale. The starting point of a salary for a civil engineer is $47,369 per year and up to $92,519 each year. The bonuses that usually offered tend to reach at $7,020 per year while the profit sharing is comprised between $300.31 and up to $9,942. The commission usually gets around $20,136 every year this leading with all these benefits added at a total payment that is between $46,512 each year and up to $94,103, for the same period.
The vast majority of those working as civil engineers are mainly men rather than female. The main factors that impact and affect these incomes are based on several factors such as the geographical location-state, city, region, followed by the type of employment and years of experience.
An entry-level civil engineer with up to five years of expertise in the field can expect to receive an income that gets around $56,010 per year. At the same time, a professional with 5 and up to 10 years of practice can expect to gain around $69,010 per year. Those who are already considered as experienced with 10 and up to 20 years of working experience will take home earnings that have an estimated average of $81,010 per year. Furthermore, civil engineers who already have more than 20 years of activity and with plenty of knowledge accumulated can expect to earn around $94,010 per year.
When it comes to the geographical location factor, the earnings vary a lot according to each state due to the specific costs of living and the living expenses that can be found in those areas. For instance, a civil engineer that is located in Washington can expect to earn a total median payment of $73,876 per year, income that is above the national average. In Los Angeles as well as in San Francisco, these professionals can enjoy the same figures that reach at $73,177 per year.
On the other side those who work in Atlanta will gain an average median salary that is estimated below the national average reaching only at $60,227 per year. At the same time, the income received in Austin reaches only as high as $62,029 annually.
Civil Engineer Salary in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom
In Canada, a civil engineer salary will range between C$70,010 and C$80,010 per year. The highest hourly wage was found in Edmonton as well as in Calgary, Alberta with an average that reached at C$42.32 per hour. The lowest hourly rate was located in Fredericton, New Brunswick with an average estimated at C$23.53 per hour. According to some surveys the lowest and the highest points are other factors that mark the salary of a civil engineer, leading to a rate that varies. The highest points, in Canada, can be estimated at around C$95,807 per year while the lowest salary can go only up to C$45,018 per year. The bonuses granted can reach up to C$10,146 per year. The estimated median salary reaches about C$61,152 per year.
The entry level in this field will grant a salary that ranges between C$41,834 per year and C$71,582 per year. Those professionals who are working in this field and are in their mid-career can expect to an income that ranges between C$50,132 per year and C$96,667 per year.
Experience is another important factor in this career and one who already has years of experience in work can expect to an income estimated between C$51,327 per year and C$117,488 per year. Also, those with more than 20 years in the field can expect to a salary that is comprised between C$58,428 per year and C$150,010 per year.
Working in Australia as a Civil Engineer can lead you to an income that ranges between AU$49,843 per year and up to AU$104,088 per year. The median income is estimated to be around AU$70,456 per year and the bonuses received can reach as high as AU$10,178 per year. The hourly wage has an estimated rate that ranges from AU$19.83 per hour and up to AU$54.64 per hour. In time, this hourly wage will increase leading to an estimated rate of about AU$69.67 per hour. The jobs are many times influenced by the location in which one finds work. According to this factor, a civil engineer job varies.
For instance, those professionals that are based in Melbourne will earn an income estimated between AU$48,418 per year and up to AU$97,942 per year. Also, those who are working in Sydney will take home an income that ranges between AU$47,037 per year and up to AU$110,792 per year.
An entry level position in Australia for a civil engineer has an average income estimated to range from AU$48,556 per year and up to AU$86,113 per year. At the same time, those with more years of experience in the field can expect to take home an income that is estimated between AU$57,946 per year and up to AU$201,342 per year.
In the UK, the salary of a civil engineer is estimated to range between £20,942 and up to £40,456 per year. The median salary that is earned in this country reaches at £28,262 per year with granted bonuses that can go as high as £4,127 per year. The hourly wage that these professional are receiving is estimated to range from £8.16 per hour and up to £23.98. A civil engineer who works overtime can expect to an hourly wage that is estimated to range from £11.53 per hour and up to £29.67 per hour.
The starting salary in the United Kingdom for these professionals is estimated to have an average that reaches about £23,510 per year. Having two years of experience in the field and even less, and the age of 25 or under can earn an income estimated to reach at £24,210 per year. Those who have more than five years of activity in the field can expect to a salary that reaches around £28,524 per year.
Conclusion on Civil Engineer Salary
The good news starts with the number of demanding. Continuously growing due to the importance of the work in this field, the salary for these professionals is announced to be above the average. Such information is encouraging, bringing forth the ability to build a bright future – a real career!
- First Published Date: 18 August, 2015
- Last Updated Date: 18 September, 2016