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Careers in Civil Engineering

Where do Civil Engineers Work?

Civil engineers are found throughout the workplace in a variety of functions. Aside from private engineering firms that are responsible for contracted projects from start to finish, civil engineers work for many employers in many industries, including:

  • utility companies;
  • telecommunications businesses;
  • consulting firms;
  • toy and athletic equipment manufacturers;
  • federal, state, and local governments; and
  • academic fields through teaching, research, evaluation, and publishing.

How Does Someone Become a Civil Engineer?

A civil engineering career can begin as early as high school. To meet the challenges of this field, a solid high school preparation should include courses in English, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, advanced mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Computer courses are also highly recommended.

Civil engineering programs are four-year programs culminating in a bachelor’s degree. Many students opt to continue their studies and earn a master’s degree.

In their first job, most civil engineers are teamed with a senior engineer. They are guided through a variety of assignments, depending on the civil engineering specialty area. Later, job responsibility increases with continuing education and experience. During this process many engineers seek professional licensure that requires a depth of knowledge and skills essential to success in the field.

What Engineers are Civil Engineers?

The civil engineering field is broad with a variety of sub-specialties. Civil engineers work in almost all aspects of engineering, but their main engineering specialties include:

  • construction,
  • environmental,
  • geotechnical,
  • structural,
  • transportation,
  • public works,
  • and water resources.

What is Required to be Licensed as a Civil Engineer?

Engineering licensure is a prestigious step in professional growth and development. Licensure is a way for engineers to demonstrate to their employer and clients their commitment to the profession. Licensure is a four-step process. It requires graduation from an accredited civil engineering program, passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, having four years of work experience, and passing the Professional Engineering Exam.

Additional Resources About Civil Engineering

Several websites offer excellent information on civil engineering. Below are two to get you started.


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