As the population continues to grow, the need for civil engineers is projected to increase. Civil engineers are responsible for designing, constructing, and maintaining infrastructure projects and systems in both the public and private sectors. From roads and buildings to water systems and waste treatment plants, civil engineers play a key role in ensuring that these projects are completed safely and efficiently. In addition, civil engineers will be needed to oversee the construction of renewable energy projects such as wind farms and solar panels.
To become a civil engineer, applicants must have a bachelor's degree in civil engineering or civil engineering technology. Those who gain experience participating in a cooperative program while in college will have the best opportunities. In addition, postgraduate education is becoming increasingly important within the field of civil engineering. Those who enter the occupation with a graduate degree are likely to have better prospects.
Civil engineers can work in a variety of locations and conditions. When working on designs, they can spend most of their time indoors in offices. However, construction engineers can spend much of their time outdoors on construction sites, monitoring operations or supervising workers. Some jobs may require frequent relocation to different areas and offices on trailers in the workplace.
Civil engineers acting as project managers can work from cars or trucks as they move from one site to another. Civil engineers must be able to make good decisions based on best practices, their own technical knowledge and their own experience. They must be able to lead planners, surveyors, construction managers, civil engineering technicians, civil engineering technologists and others in implementing their project plan. They must also be able to present their findings to the public on topics such as bid proposals, environmental impact statements, or property descriptions. In addition to having a degree and experience in the field, civil engineers must also obtain a license if they provide services directly to the public. Licensing requirements vary from state to state but typically require passing an exam. Overall, civil engineers will continue to be needed in the future as new projects gain approval and existing infrastructure needs to be maintained.
With a degree and experience in the field, civil engineers can look forward to job satisfaction by seeing projects through from conception to completion.