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Featured Career: Civil Engineer

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Millions of individuals, including yourself, may have crossed over a bridge at least once or twice in your lifetime. And some of these bridges, many of which are still functional, date all the way back to ancient Roman and Greek Centuries. But have you ever wondered who creates these functional, yet magnificent splendors? Well, the answer would be a Civil Engineer.

Engineer or Architect drawing blueprints

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Civil engineers create, improve, and protect the environment in which we live. They also design, build, and repair tall buildings and large structures that can withstand almost all weather conditions. In addition, they are also responsible for the conception, supervision, operations, and maintenance of various infrastructures, including the roads we drive on, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, water supply systems, and even sewage treatment systems. Many hours of planning and research go into civil design. For example, civil engineers are the ones who can help determine proper speed limits and highway layouts to assure safety.

Types of Civil Engineering

  • Geotechnical engineers work to make sure that foundations are stable for everything from streets and buildings to runways and dams. Their focus also revolves around how structures such as buildings and tunnels, interact with the elements of the earth including soil and rock. In addition, they design and plan for slopes, retaining walls, and tunnels.

  • Transportation engineers plan, design, operate, and maintain everyday systems, such as streets and highways, but they also plan larger projects, such as airports, ship ports, mass transit systems, and harbors.

  • Structural engineers design and assess major projects, such as buildings, bridges, or dams, to ensure their strength and durability.

  • Construction engineers design and manage construction projects, ensuring that they are built safely and in accordance with plans and specifications.

Civil engineers work in a variety of locations and conditions, some being required to travel abroad while working on large projects in other countries. However, a majority of these professionals spend their time indoors, working for government agencies and in office settings. In contrast, some may spend much of their time outdoors at construction sites, monitoring operations, or solve onsite problems. A few jobs require frequent relocation to different areas and offices in job site trailers. Several civil engineers function as project managers and may work from cars or trucks as they move from site to site.

A typical workday usually consists of a 40 hour work week, although those who direct projects may need to work extra hours to monitor progress and ensure designs meet requirements. The career requires a 4-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited University or Engineering Program. The average annual pay can range from $75,000- $100,000.

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