How Can I Become a Civil Engineer ? Best Schools, Cost Programs & Salary

You want to become a civil engineer, but you do not know yet how best to go about it, what training you should receive, and what school would meet you. Do not worry! That is part of what I will show you here how to become a civil engineer.

Unarguably, the whole world is touched by civil engineers’ tireless and creative work. Even though pursuing a career in civil engineering may be pretty demanding, we can also tell it is highly rewarding.

As a civil engineer, your work influences the workplace and lives of people. You will be significantly involved in constructing a place where they relax and learn. You will be part of helping our society become a better place by adapting the infrastructure to the challenges of new technologies, population growth, and climate change.

So carefully read to the end to discover all the necessary things you may require to become a civil engineer.

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is a professional technical specialty that deals with designing, constructing, and maintaining a naturally constructed environment, which may include works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings.

So any person who has received certified professional training to carry out these tasks listed above is called a Civil Engineer.

The civil engineering profession is one of the oldest professions after military engineering. As has been said, civil engineering is a rewarding, creative career. You can be sure no day is ever the same at work. Each new day is a whole new day with new opportunities and expectations.

This profession is not limited by background, gender, and age. Anyone can be a civil engineer- man and woman alike.

One exciting thing about this profession is that there are not enough engineers. So you can go into the profession and carve your niche.

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What does a civil engineer do?

There are so many things civil engineers do. They plan, design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain public and private infrastructure projects and systems, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, water supply, and wastewater treatment systems. These are the basics.

Some civil engineers may take up more complex and advanced leadership functions depending on the magnitude of the task.

Find below some of the specific duties of civil engineers you may be involved in.

  • Evaluate long-range plans, survey reports, maps, and other data to plan and design projects.
  • Estimate construction costs consider government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors during a project’s planning and risk-analysis stages.
  • Gather and submit permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations.
  • Oversee and analyze the soil testing results to determine the foundations’ adequacy and strength.
  • Analyze the results of tests on building materials, such as concrete, wood, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects.
  • Prepare cost estimates for materials, equipment, or labor to determine a project’s economic feasibility.
  • Use design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems, and structures in line with industry and government standards.
  • Carry out survey operations to establish building locations, site layouts, reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction.
  • Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure.

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What are the requirements to be a civil engineer?

There are requirements you must meet if you must become a civil engineer. Some of the civil engineering requirements are basic personal skills that you must develop, while some others may include compulsory educational and professional needs that you must meet.

Let us examine some of the personal skills you must possess if you have a swell time practicing as a civil engineer.

Personal Skills Required

Below are some personal skills that guarantee success in your career pursuit of becoming a construction engineer.

  • Math skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills
  • Writing skills

Educational Skills Required

While considering the various civil engineering requirements, you must also consider civil engineering education requirements. To start a career as a civil engineer, you must meet some acceptable and appreciable standard which usually begins with acquiring civil engineering degree.

Below are some educational requirements for becoming a civil engineering expert.

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How long does it take to become a civil engineer?

Usually, it takes about 4 to 5 years to acquire a degree in this engineering major. This might depend on the school anyway. If you wish to pursue a master’s degree, it will take you a long time. A couple of years more may be involved. And if you further want to acquire a doctorate, you can be sure you will spend more time.

So if you do the math, four years of bachelor’s degree plus two years of master’s degree plus two years of doctoral and professional studies may give you an average of 8 years.

This doesn’t mean you can only become an expert in this field after doing all these. You can still become a construction engineer with just your bachelor’s degree.

But if you must advance and earn more money, you must advance professionally too.

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Which are the best civil engineering schools I can attend?

Some schools have been recognized and rated based on their notable and outstanding contributions to the making of renowned construction engineers. Most of these schools offer bachelor’s degrees in various options. You can also find programs leading to master’s and doctorate degrees in this field.

These schools were ranked according to USNEWS rankings of best civil engineering schools.

Enrolling in any of these schools assures you of well-meaning careers in civil engineering. Find below the list of the best construction engineering schools.

  • University of California–Berkeley
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Illinois–Urbana
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Purdue University–West Lafayette
  • University of Texas–Austin
  • University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • Stanford University

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University of California–Berkeley

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has fifty full-time faculty members and twenty-two staff dedicated to educating more than 400 undergraduate and 360 graduate students.

The education in the department prepares students for leadership in the profession of civil and environmental engineering. Students can find well-meaning bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Career opportunities are powerful because of the many pressing needs to improve and expand the infrastructure and protect the environment.

The department at the University of California has been ranked number 1 in the whole United States.

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Georgia Institute of Technology

The school of civil engineering at GATECH is the second-best school to pursue this career. The bachelor’s degree curriculum prepares students to enter professional practice as engineers or pursue advanced degrees in the field.

The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree program offers optional concentrations in: 

  • Construction Engineering
  • Environmental and Water Systems
  • Geotechnical Systems
  • Structural Systems
  • Transportation Systems

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University of Illinois–Urbana

This institution is widely known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. This Construction Engineering program prepares students to design and manage the construction and operation of sustainable buildings and infrastructure systems in the increasingly global construction industry.

The school has been ranked the number 3 best school in the USA. Students can find various degrees in this option at the University of Illinois.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The mission of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at MIT is to provide human services sustainably, balancing society’s need for long-term infrastructure with environmental health.

The department of CEE at MIT has been listed as the 4th best in the United States.

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Find More Civil Engineering Schools Here:

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Steps to Becoming a Civil Engineer: the full guide

Here is a step to step guide on how to have an outstanding civil engineering career. Carefully read through to learn more.

Obtain a bachelor’s degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree is an entry-level requirement for this career. At this level, students take various math, engineering, statistics, fluid dynamics, and architectural design courses. They learn from multiple media, including classroom lectures, internships or collaborative training, and on-site fieldwork.

Select an elective and build your engineering knowledge in it

The Civil Engineering degree is a broad field of study. While taking your undergraduate courses, it is wise you narrow it down to one aspect of civil engineering. There are several options for concentrations. Areas you may consider include construction engineering, structural engineering, and geotechnical engineering.

Apply for Internships while still in school.

You will need to apply to construction companies around you for internships. An internship in the area of your career will expose you to on-hands training sessions with experts in the field while you are still in school. This helps to sharpen and increase your professional experience.

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Students use these experiences to apply theories they’ve studied in the classroom, learn practical skills, and gain insight into a particular area of the field they may be interested in pursuing.

These opportunities also serve students well for future employment, allowing them to network with other professionals, receive mentorship from an established civil engineer, and possibly leverage their experience into a job after graduation.

Apply for Certification

After you have graduated from school, you will still need to go through an ABET-accredited institution and undertake the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination directly before you can be licensed to become a Civil Engineer.

To become a CE Professional, you must complete a minimum number of professional courses, meet benchmarks, and complete the Principles and Practices of Engineering (PE) examination.

Pursue a graduate Program

This is optional, but you must do it. Pursue a master’s degree program to advance in your career. This is very important because some organizations will only consider your application if you already have a master’s degree in this field.

Frequently Asked Questions

In what level can one get an online civil engineering degree?

An online civil engineering degree can be earned at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate levels. Civil engineers design and help build structures like airports, roads, bridges, buildings, and railways, and they work in diverse areas such as the transit, aeronautic, and automotive industries.

What is an online civil engineering degree tuition fee?

A four-year degree program averages $6,500 for in-state tuition at a public school and $25,000 at a private school. Out-of-state residents can expect to pay 25% to 50% more yearly at a public school.

Are civil engineers in high demand?

Yes, civil engineers are in demand. According to the Department of Labor, the field is expected to grow high and need a huge number of Civil Engineers.

What is the average annual salary for civil engineers?

The average annual salary for civil engineers salary is $81477.

What is the Employment of civil engineers’ outlook?

Employment of civil engineers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In a Nutshell

If you want to carve out your path to success as a civil engineer, it’s worth drawing inspiration from the professionals who have created fruitful career paths. You can take several ways to develop the engineering career you desire. (Tramadol) Most thriving civil engineers followed these steps to get to senior positions.

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