Engineering Careers in Focus – Becoming a Civil Engineer

Engineering Careers in Focus – Becoming a Civil Engineer

Your Guide to Becoming a Civil Engineer

Civil engineering is a fascinating and exciting career with a great job growth potential, providing opportunities in a wide range of different fields from rural to urban settings. Civil engineering is based in designing and building infrastructure. This includes airports, tunnels, bridges, and sewage systems. This guide will outline how to become a civil engineer, as well as possible job opportunities.


Civil engineering is a broad field. There are many different specialties that an individual can choose from. This includes water supply and transportation. There are even subcategories, as well as management positions that oversee various projects. It is a good idea to research which specialty you are interested in. Take into account that you will have more tasks to take care of then just designing and building infrastructure, as you may also have to handle different time constraints and environmental factors according to which specialty you are interested in. If you are in high school and are interested in civil engineering, it is recommended that you take physics, biology, and chemistry. You will want to have a well-versed background in math and science, as this will help build a foundation for your college education. Keeping your grades up can also help you to get into a specific engineering degree program.

Earn Your Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

You will want to enroll yourself in an accredited Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree program as part of your post secondary education. This degree types can vary and portions of the degree may be available to you online or through distance learning options. Many schooling options also allow you to complete degree programs at your leisure, meaning that you do not have a time constraint when it comes to completion. However, the program typically takes around four years to earn your degree. Courses that you may take as part of your degree program may include physics, chemistry, and mechanics. During the schooling process, you may be required to complete an internship.

Get Licensed

You will not be able to begin working as a civil engineer or offer up your services until you are licensed. You will need to earn your Professional Engineer license, which is also referred to as a PE license. The licensure is to be completed in two different steps. In order to start the first step, you will need to have completed a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree program that is ABET accredited. Once you graduate, you will be able to take an exam that is the first step of the licensure. The next step is to garner a set amount of professional experience. Then, you will be eligible to take the next exam. However, state licensing requirements could vary. The next step would be applying to practice as a licensed civil engineer. In the UK, the Institution of Civil Engineers offers accreditation courses.

Civil Engineering Careers

There are many different opportunities for those who are considering civil engineering. Once you have completed your schooling and garnered some experience in the field, it is likely that you will have created a network of people in your desired field. Most graduates typically land their first job in their chosen field through this initial set of contacts.

Marine Engineer

Marine engineers have a focus on marine facilities, including ships, sailboats, and aircraft carriers. These engineers assess the integrity of these marine facilities, which may include inspections or monitoring repairs. These types of engineers may also be responsible for managerial work surrounding estimates for repairs or technical reports surrounding the ships, so they need to have excellent written communication skills.

Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers work closely with biology and chemistry to help solve environmental issues, including waste disposal and pollution control. These civil engineers may produce investigation reports and monitor how well certain environmental programs are operating. These types of engineers need to stay up to date on environmental best practices, as well as new or developing programs.

Structural Engineer

Structural engineers work side by side with construction companies, helping to develop infrastructures. This can include buildings, bridges, and pipelines. For instance, a civil engineer in this field may work on steel buildings or aircraft hangars. When construction for these buildings is in the works, a structural engineer can help to manage the team or regularly visit the site to ensure the structural integrity. Structural engineers need to have a vast knowledge of building materials, mechanics, and structural design.

Civil engineering is a rewarding field to get into that allows individuals to oversee, research, and maintain facilities or infrastructure. Responsibilities can be anything from planning and design to running tests and filling out reports. If you know that you want to be a civil engineer, it is never too early to begin researching the career opportunities, schooling needed, and taking up classes that would coincide with your educational goals.

Find our more about Civil Engineering or other Engineering jobs in our ebook ‘The Different Types Of Engineering (And Their Career Paths) Explained‘. Read online or request a PDF/ebook.

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