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Civil Engineering Careers, Jobs and Employment Information

Civil Engineering Career Overview

Civil engineers are involved in monitoring and guiding as well as devising and designing the building of roads, girders, bridges, airports, tunnels, dams, water & sewage systems and other structures. Civil engineering is one of the oldest disciplines of engineering and contains a variety of specialties like structural, water related, environmental, architectural, transportation and geo-technical engineering.

Administrative or supervisory jobs are held by many civil engineers while others work in devising, composing, constructing, researching and teaching jobs.

In 2002, around 228,000 positions were held by civil engineers. Almost half of them held jobs in architectural, engineering and other firms where design development for construction projects was the chief objective. Around one-third of all employment is created by Federal, State and Local government agencies. The remaining job opportunities are created by the construction sector. Many civil engineers are hired as consultants and as many as 15,000 are self employed.

Civil engineers usually work near major industrial and commercial centers, often at construction sites. Some projects are situated in remote areas or in foreign countries. In some jobs, civil engineers move from place to place to work on different projects.

Civil engineers are situated near chief industrial and commercial hubs and often work near construction sites and projects. Some of these projects may also be out of the country in backward or secluded areas. Often, civil engineers are required to move to different places for the completion of each project.

Civil Engineering Job and Employment Opportunities

The period through 2012 is projected to hold growth and potential for civil engineers. Due to the growth of population and the need for better infrastructural as well as security services, civil engineers will be required to build and design larger and safer buildings, complexes, automobiles, as well as more durable water supply, sewage and pollution control mechanisms. Repairing existing roads, dams and other public conveniences will also be a major work allotment. Also, more jobs will be crated due to retirement and transfers of existing civil engineering professionals.

Employment will differ according to geographic area because construction is undertaken where sites and land can be developed and employment opportunities will be affected due to economic booms and depressions, considering the flow and use of funds in the construction business.

Historical Earnings Information

In 2002, the median salaries received by civil engineers were $60,070 annually. The middle 50 percent received between $48,360 and $74,700, the lowest 10 percent earned below $39,960 while the highest 10 percent earned above $91,010. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the greatest number of civil engineers in 2002 were:

  • Federal government- $67,410
  • Local government – $62,210
  • Architectural, engineering, and related services – $59,060
  • State government – $58,350
  • Nonresidential building construction – $54,190

A 2003 salary survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers has projected that a civil engineer with a bachelor’s degree got an average salary of $41,669 annually, an engineer with a mater’s degree received around $47,245 and a Ph.D. candidates was offered $69,079 annually as starting salary.