How Can I Become a Civil Engineer in 2022? Best Schools, Cost Programs & Salary

You want to become a civil engineer, huh, and you do not know yet how best to go about it or what trainings you should receive and what school would be meet for you. Do not worry! That is part of what I’m going to show you here how to become a civil engineer.

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

As a civil engineer, your work influences the workplace, and lives of people. You will be greatly involved in the construction of 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 really discover all the necessary things you may require becoming a civil engineer.

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is a professional technical specialty that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of 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 is a Civil Engineer.

The civil engineering profession is one of the oldest profession after military engineering. As has been said already, the civil engineering career 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 interesting thing about this profession is that there are simply not enough engineers to go around. So you can go into the profession and carve your own niche.

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What does a civil engineer do?

There are so many things civil engineers do. Part of what they do is plan, design, build, supervise, operate and maintain public and private infrastructure projects and systems which may include 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 at hand.

Find below some of the specific duties of civil engineers that 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 and potential environmental hazards, and other factors during the planning and risk-analysis stages of a project
  • Gather and submit permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations
  • Oversee and analyze the results of soil testing to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations
  • 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 definitely 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 requirements that you must meet.

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

Personal Skills Required

Below are some of the personal skills that guarantee success in your career pursuit of how to become 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 to meet, you must also consider civil engineering education requirements. You see, for you to really start a career as a civil engineer, you must meet some acceptable and appreciable standard which usually begins with acquiring civil engineering degrees.

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 wish to acquire a doctorate degree, you can be sure you will spend some more time.

So if you do the math; 4 years of bachelor’s degree plus 2 years of master’s degree plus 2 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 you have done all of these. You can still become a construction engineer with just your bachelor’s degree.

But if you must advance and earn more money, then 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 in the making of renowned construction engineers. Most of these schools offer bachelor’s degrees in various options. You can also find programs leading to masters and doctorate degrees and in this field.

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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 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

University of California–Berkeley

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has fifty full-time faculty members and twenty-two staff dedicated to the education of more than 400 undergraduate students 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 very strong 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 of the 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 an engineer or to 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 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 in a sustainable way, 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 a great civil engineering career. Carefully read through to learn more.

Obtain a bachelor’s degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree is the entry-level requirement for this career. At this level, students take a variety of courses in math, engineering, statistics, fluid dynamics, and architectural design. They learn from a variety of 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 on 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 after before you can be licensed to become a Civil Engineer.

You have to complete a minimum number of professional courses, meet benchmarks along the way, and complete the Principles and Practices of Engineering (PE) examination to become a CE Professional.

Pursue a graduate Program

This is optional but it’s important you do it. Pursue a master’s degree program so as 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

Can you become a civil engineer online?

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, or automotive industries.

How much does it cost to become a civil engineer?

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 per year at a public school.

Are civil engineer in demand?

Yes, civil engineers are in demand. According to the Department of Labor, the field is expected to grow high and need huge Civil Engineers.
Employment of civil engineers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How much do civil engineer make?

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

In a Nutshell

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

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