Civil Engineering Majors: Which Option Pays More Than Others in 2022

If you plan to study or major in civil engineering in college, there are many things you can do in high school to prepare yourself for success. Civil engineering majors are very intensive in mathematics and science. You must take all the high-level math and science courses offered by your school.

Civil engineers are the scientific minds behind the operation of our modern cities. Also, civil engineers responsible for large-scale infrastructure are involved in the design and development of everything from the new town hall to the national energy supply.

Hence, when you major in civil engineering it means you are fully ready to be classified under any of the fields of civil engineering. But which of the civil engineering major is the best for you? You will see the full detail of the different civil engineering specialization here.

With this, it will be easy to make a good decision about the best civil engineering course to major in. This article will give you an overview of the civil engineering degree major courses and the best option to choose from.

Table of Contents
  1. What is Civil Engineering Major?
  2. Is Civil Engineering a Good Major?
  3. What Should I Major in for Civil Engineering Program?
    1. #1. Architectural Engineering
    2. #2. Environmental Engineering
    3. #3. Geotechnical Engineering
    4. #4. Structural Engineering
    5. #5. Transportation Engineering
    6. #6. Water Resources Engineering
  4. Civil Engineering Major Requirements?
  5. What are the Major Civil Engineering Knowledge and Skills Areas?
    1. Pay Attention to the Details
    2. Team Player/ Interpersonal Skills
    3. Problem-Solving and Analysis
    4. Decision-Making Skills
    5. Leadership Skills
    6. Organizational Skills
    7. Speaking & Writing Skills
  6. How to Get a Job as Civil Engineering Major?
    1. Start Preparing in High School
    2. Look at Civil Engineering Majors
    3. Meet the Admission Requirements
    4. Complete Civil Engineering Education
    5. Get Practical Experience
    6. Pass the FE Examination
    7. Become a Civic Engineering Intern
    8. Pass Required Certification Tests
  7. Which Civil Engineering Major Option Pays More Than Others in 2022?
  8. Civil Engineering Schools to Consider
  9. FAQs
  10. What is Civil Engineering Major?
  11. Is Civil Engineering a Good Major?
  12. What Should I Major in for Civil Engineering Program?
  13. What are the Civil Engineering Major Requirements?
  14. What are the Major Civil Engineering Knowledge and Skills Areas?
  15. Which Civil Engineering Major Option Pays More Than Others in 2022?
  16. Conclusion
  17. References
  18. Writer’s Recommendation
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What is Civil Engineering Major?

A civil engineering major prepares students to plan anything from a house to an entire city to an ecosystem using sound engineering principles. Today’s construction projects must be high-quality, efficient, and sustainable, not waste resources unnecessarily, and meet the needs of those who will use the land, construction, or transportation system.

Also, civil engineering major generally prepares people to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development, and operational evaluation of structural, cargo, material transportation, transportation, water resources, and control systems.

Is Civil Engineering a Good Major?

If you want variety in your working conditions, civil engineering can be a good career option. Also, if you are asking whether civil engineering is a good major for you, then you are in the right place.

The truth is that civil engineering is the right major for any student who loves Math and calculus. Civil engineering courses involve many courses in math and science, especially calculus and physics. Anyone considering civil engineering should feel comfortable taking high-level math and science courses.

Also, taking civil engineering as a major will earn you a lucrative job. Though depending on the phase of a project or your specialization, you can work in an office using software to design project models or spend time in the field supervising construction and managing subcontractors.

A successful civil engineer will be innovative, logical, and have excellent problem-solving skills. This means civil engineering goes as far as widening your thinking faculty.

While some engineering work addresses problems at the molecular or nanoparticle level, civil engineering involves larger-scale projects. If you are a visual person who likes to see your finished work, civil engineering might be for you.

Since many infrastructure projects are part of the government budget, civil engineers must be willing and able to work on a budget and take costs into account during construction.

Whatever your office environment, as a civil engineer, you must work well as a team, since it takes many people working together successfully to carry out large-scale projects.

What Should I Major in for Civil Engineering Program?

Like many STEM fields, civil engineering is a broad field that includes a lot of specialties. Almost everywhere you need to build something big, a civil engineer will be involved in the project.

Here are the major civil engineering specialization. If you want to study civil engineering you must major in any of these specialties:

#1. Architectural Engineering

Architectural Engineering is also a very popular major and one of the best in civil engineering.

Basically, Architectural engineering focuses on the design and construction of buildings. Architectural engineers use their engineering skills to ensure that architectural designs are structurally sound.

The architectural engineering program includes courses from various engineering departments, including mechanical and civil.

Some programs integrate architecture and study courses into the curriculum or allow students to follow them through elective technical courses. Older people often have to complete a research or design project before graduating.

However, architectural engineers must meet academic and professional requirements to obtain a full license. Most architectural engineering jobs require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program. But students seeking research and development positions may need to earn a graduate degree.

Aspiring architectural engineers must pass two exams and obtain the work experience required to become a licensed professional engineer.

In short, architectural engineers help build structures using their design and construction skills. They must have a thorough understanding of the physics behind construction practices, and a license to practice is required for engineers who serve the public directly.

While a bachelor’s degree is often enough, some professionals complete master’s degrees or joint programs to expand their career options.

#2. Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering focuses on protecting people and the planet through a design that emphasizes sustainability. A project could include how to channel, treat, and reuse a city’s wastewater.

Increasingly necessary specialization, environmental engineering aims to compensate for these impacts by seeking solutions to minimize and manage pollution and waste. Thereby improving and preserving the quality of air, water and soil.

If you choose to study an environmental engineering degree, you will be introduced to the key concepts and technologies necessary to analyze. And find solutions to increasingly important problems in the modern world, such as the effects of climate change.

Your environmental engineering degree will generally begin with an examination of the basic principles of engineering and its relationship to the environment. Studying topics such as fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, mathematical engineering, engineering thermodynamics, fundamentals of process engineering, and introductory chemistry.

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You will learn to use this knowledge to analyze situations and decide on the best use of technology to solve environmental challenges. While ensuring that social development and the use of resources are as sustainable as possible.

To apply for an environmental engineering degree, you will need a high school diploma or equivalent (for example, an A level in the UK). And you will likely have to provide evidence of basic knowledge in subjects such as mathematics, physics, and chemistry.

If you want to study in English and it is not your native language, you will need a language test result like IELTS or TOEFL.

#3. Geotechnical Engineering

A geotechnical engineer is a type of civil engineer who focuses primarily on the topography of the terrain and the attributes of rocks and soils in the construction process.

They will also study groundwater and flood plains to find the best approach to development. And they will have a better understanding of engineering problems in the environment than other engineers.

Equally, their specialized knowledge is invaluable worldwide, as developers seek to use the landscape to complete construction and minimize potential problems.

Geotechnical engineering focuses on the terrain used for a construction project and the soil on a construction project. Engineers must ensure that the rock and soil at a site have the necessary mechanical properties to ensure the strength and durability of the project.

Geotechnical engineers help builders dig underground projects and work with experts who manage projects to renovate difficult terrain. When cities want to expand their underground transit systems or build new skyscrapers, they turn to geotechnical engineers to supervise the tunnel.

These engineers carry out tests to verify if the planned developments can be built on the sites intended for them, or if there may be problems downstream.

#4. Structural Engineering

Structural engineering focuses on structural design and analysis of all types of construction projects, from skyscrapers to train tunnels.

It is the duty of the structural engineer to ensure that a construction project can safely withstand the stresses it will experience during its useful life.

Programs include required and optional math and engineering courses, in addition to general education courses in the arts, social sciences, English, and foreign languages.

Civil and structural engineering programs at this level take four years to complete and may have online and on-campus course options.

Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD programs in structural engineering provide students with a solid foundation in structural design, mechanics, and construction management.

While, higher-level degrees offer sub-disciplines in structural aeronautics, transportation, mechanics, or environmental efficiency.

You can check out these 13 Best Structural Engineering Schools in the World

#5. Transportation Engineering

Transportation engineering focuses on the design, construction, and maintenance of roads, airports, metro networks, and railways. The design, safety, and efficiency of these transportation systems are the responsibility of a transportation engineer.

Transportation engineers work with local and regional planning boards to identify areas of growth and development. They are also looking for opportunities to muffle the roar of traffic. Once they understand the needs of drivers in an area, they draw up plans and develop cost estimates for construction projects.

A bachelor’s program in civil engineering generally includes studies in structural analysis, transportation engineering, and hydrology.

Additionally, students take core courses such as mechanics, chemistry, and calculus. Optional courses in traffic engineering, rail planning, and transportation security could also be included.

Students may be asked to complete a senior engineering design project and may have the opportunity to participate in field experiments.

Bachelor programs in civil engineering can last from 4 to 6 years due to the variable course load. Students with a strong interest in fields other than transportation engineering, such as urban planning, might consider dual degree options.

#6. Water Resources Engineering

Water resources engineering focuses on the use of water for irrigation, human consumption, and sanitation. Sometimes called hydrology, the field tries to collect water from the land and get it where it needs to go in a safe and sustainable way.

Water Resources Engineers redirect water for the benefit of residents and businesses in a community. They are building canals to speed up shipping while preserving the natural flow of wild fish through an area. And also building dams that generate vital electricity while opening new parcels of land for development.

Some hydraulic engineers are designing pipelines that transfer freshwater safely to remote areas, allowing new communities to thrive.

Water resources engineers are concerned with the structures and processes related to the supply of water for human consumption and the disposal of water for safety.

Degrees in water resources engineering are not common but they do exist. Students can also earn degrees in civil, environmental, or structural engineering while specializing in water resources.

Regardless of the type of degree, undergraduate and graduate programs in water resources engineering require a solid foundation in science and technology.

The main courses cover topics in fluid mechanics, water quality, resource development, groundwater hydrology, and water transport. Graduate students may sometimes choose to focus on modeling groundwater, surface water, or watersheds.

Civil Engineering Major Requirements?

Aspiring civil engineers generally begin their academic careers by enrolling in advanced courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. High school students may consider advanced math courses, such as calculus and trigonometry, to prepare for college. Some programs may include Computer-Aided Design (CAD) courses as part of the basic requirements.

Additionally, students can take engineering statistics courses to develop their computer skills. Pre-core courses can also cover fundamental engineering concepts and principles.

After completing the basic course requirements, civil engineering students immerse themselves in advanced subjects such as thermodynamics, structural analysis, statistics, and mechanical and engineering systems. Classes may include completion of a design project, in which students evaluate the structural integrity of the materials. This may require the use of CAD programs to test your designs.

In addition to classroom learning, most programs generally require students to take laboratory lessons and hands-on fieldwork, in which they can analyze substances ranging from the ground to concrete. These courses help students identify the basic properties of materials, as well as the possible problems associated with their use.

Aspiring civil engineers can consult the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for a list of approved programs, as schools with this voluntary certification have been evaluated and meet the quality standards of the profession.

What are the Major Civil Engineering Knowledge and Skills Areas?

Engineers’ skills tend to be similar to those of other specialties that fall within the broad spectrum of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

All of these specializations require the ability to stay accurate on the smallest colossal projects, acting as impartially as possible while using verifiable and observable information in their daily professional lives.

Here are the most important skills every civil engineering major must possess:

Pay Attention to the Details

You have a head for numbers, and spotting and correcting mistakes at every stage of the process is second nature to you. It certainly is a skill that other professions can lay claim to, but when it comes to engineering practice, you are playing with live ammunition (perhaps literally if you are a munitions engineer).

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When people’s lives sometimes depend on their ability to take precise measurements, they tend to focus on the details. Hence, paying attention to details is a very essential skill that is required by any civil engineer.

Team Player/ Interpersonal Skills

It is not often that you manage to play the role of lone guard during engineering practice.

Typically, you will work as part of a team while completing projects, and your ability to play well with others is essential for success on the field overall.

It is also an integral part of everything that is accomplished on a daily basis.

Problem-Solving and Analysis

It’s the big one. As an engineer from all backgrounds, most of your work will focus on projects that, in short, will force you to find a solution to a type of problem-based on the skills you have developed.

While most of the work can (at a basic level) be broken down according to this description, with engineering you tend to have a much clearer idea of ​​how your solution works, because the problem you are solving is often clear.

Also take advantage of the computer-aided modeling or writing courses offered. These skills are widely used in all areas of engineering.

Civil engineering can involve writing reports for clients and committees, so good communication skills are essential. You want to take the best English courses to work on your written and verbal communication skills.

Decision-Making Skills

Civil engineers often balance multiple and often conflicting goals, such as determining the feasibility of plans in terms of financial costs and security concerns.

Urban and regional planners often turn to civil engineers for advice on these issues. Civil engineers must be able to make good decisions based on best practices, their own technical knowledge and their own experience.

Leadership Skills

Civil engineers take final responsibility for the projects they manage or the research they carry out.

Therefore, they must be able to lead planners, surveyors, construction managers, civil engineering technicians, civil engineering technologists, and others in the implementation of their project plan.

Organizational Skills

Only licensed civil engineers can sign design documents for infrastructure projects. This requirement makes it imperative that civil engineers be able to monitor and evaluate work on site as the project progresses.

In this way, they can ensure compliance with design documents. Civil engineers also often manage multiple projects at the same time, and therefore must be able to balance time requirements and allocate resources efficiently.

Speaking & Writing Skills

Civil engineers must present reports and plans to an audience of people with a wide range of technical and knowledge.

This requires the ability to speak clearly and converse with people in diverse contexts, and to translate technical and scientific information into concepts that are easy to understand.

Also, civil engineers must be able to communicate with others, such as architects, landscape architects, urban planners, and regional planners. They must also be able to explain the projects to elected officials and citizens.

Civil engineers must be able to write clear, concise, and understandable reports to those with little or no technical or scientific knowledge.

How to Get a Job as Civil Engineering Major?

If there’s one thing you’ve probably learned about engineering so far, it’s that it’s very specific.

In particular, civil engineering involves the construction and maintenance of public and private works and structures. Examples of such works include things like bridges, buildings, canals, roads, and other structures that make up the building blocks of civilization.

There are also specializations, mainly focused on particular types of structures or the different types of environments in which cities may exist, but in any case, a daily civil engineer usually involves designing different types of potential structures or analyzing the effectiveness of existing structures.

But the question remains: where are you going to work or the job outlooks? And how do you get a position in the engineering discipline you have chosen?

Well, this is where we come in. We have literally created this article, just for civil engineering students like you, to navigate the rough waters of the recent graduation.

Start Preparing in High School

Take as many science and math lessons as possible while in high school. Advanced placement courses and postsecondary options courses provide a preparatory foundation for the civil engineering requirements of a college program.

Consider working on a construction site or observing a civil engineer for a practical description of the field. The training requirements for university civil engineers will be easier if you have taken difficult courses in advance.

Look at Civil Engineering Majors

When you start looking at civil engineering training programs, it is important to think about the different areas of specialization.

You may not need to designate a major at the beginning of your academic program, but learning more about the options will help you choose your college.

A university accredited by the Accreditation Council for Engineering and Technology will provide the most comprehensive education in civil engineering.

Meet the Admission Requirements

Civil engineering jobs require at least a college degree, but to be competitive, you may also need a graduate degree.

In addition to common college preparatory courses, a 3.33-grade point average on a 4.0 or higher scale and an A or B in all math and science courses are generally basic requirements to consider for admission.

Some schools may also ask you to get a specific ACT or SAT score. Start researching the requirements of a civil engineering college while you’re still in high school.

Complete Civil Engineering Education

Expect to spend a minimum of four years as a full-time student to complete a civil engineering training program. Gaining practical experience will also help you find a job once you graduate.

Also, you should consider a BS/MS program. Many universities offer a double degree in civil engineering that shortens the time required to complete a university and graduate degree in one year.

If you are looking for a job that requires a graduate degree, you can apply some of your course work during the past two years of leave to the master’s program and earn your degree faster.

Get Practical Experience

Civil engineering requirements for some programs include an internship. If you are doing an internship during the summer, you can learn more about the areas of specialization, develop professional relationships, and earn course credits.

If your program does not require an internship, consider observing a variety of civil engineers to get an idea of ​​a day in the life of a civil engineer.

Pass the FE Examination

Immediately after graduation, you must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Some students even take this exam at the end of their last academic year.

This exam covers the content areas taught by an accredited civil engineering curriculum. To be eligible for the exam, you must submit an application to the National Council of Engineering and Surveying Examiners and present proof of obtaining an accredited diploma in civil engineering.

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Check out How to Easily Pass a Civil Engineering FE Exam | Past Questions

Become a Civic Engineering Intern

Once you graduate, you will need four years of full-time experience to meet the minimum certification standards.

During this time, you will be considered as a training engineer. Most companies offer competitive wages, benefits, and assistance as part of the certification process.

Pass Required Certification Tests

After completing your civil engineering internship or four years in a professional job, you can take the Engineering Principles and Practices (PE) exam.

This eight-hour exam will serve as the final test of your knowledge of given engineering specialization. You can take individual exams that cover civil construction, civil geotechnics, civil structure, civil transportation and civil water resources, and environmental issues.

Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will be considered a Civil Engineering Professional (CE).

Which Civil Engineering Major Option Pays More Than Others in 2022?

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual salary of $86,640 for all civil engineers, including architectural engineers. BLS forecast 6% job growth for civil engineers from 2018 to 2028.

While, the field of environmental engineering is expected to grow 15% between 2012 and 2022, above the average for all occupations. The growing demand for environmental engineers is expected to continue, fueled by growing concerns about environmental conditions and climate change.

There’s also a good chance of earning a high salary, with environmental engineers making an average of $84,560 per year in the United States in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some graduates may want to continue their education with a master’s degree, but for many roles, this is not essential.

Meanwhile, the average salary as of 2015 for a geotechnical engineer is $63,750. Some states pay less than the national average, and others pay more.

For example, the most lucrative city is San Francisco, which pays 23% more than the national average. New York is a second country that pays, on average, 14% more than the national average. Portland pays 10% more. The lowest-paid state is Atlanta, which pays approximately 19% less than the national average.

Also, transportation engineers earn an average of $79,340 per year. The lowest 10% earned around $51,280, while the highest 10% earned around $122,020. Most transportation engineers work for private architectural or engineering companies, and a smaller percentage work for state and local governments.

Hence from the above analysis, it shows that architectural engineers earns higher than any other civil engineering major.

Civil Engineering Schools to Consider

If you are interested in this area of ​​study, you will want to get the best education possible to avoid prosecution and harm another person’s life. Here are several universities that offer degrees in civil engineering.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Students prefer this school because it is affordable and has a low student-teacher ratio. The university also gets 68% of the students it accepts.

Georgia Institute of Technology – Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the most selective schools in terms of civil engineering. It is a popular school that is affordable and prepares students well for their future careers.

University of California – Berkeley – This school has the most selective acceptance process available. However, it is one of the best schools available. Although it’s more expensive than others on the list, it’s still relatively affordable and offers quality civil engineering training.

Purdue University – If you want an almost equal mix of men and women, try signing up for Purdue. They have a great program at an affordable price. Costs in the state are among the lowest. The quality of education is high and students excel after graduation.

Stanford University: Stanford is a private institution with an almost equal gender ratio. The university is private, so the cost of education is almost four times higher than that of the most affordable universities.

For more information about the best school to study civil engineering major, click on the button below:

FAQs

What is Civil Engineering Major?

A civil engineering major prepares students to plan anything from a house to an entire city to an ecosystem using sound engineering principles. Also, civil engineering major generally prepares people to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development, and operational evaluation of structural, cargo, material transportation, transportation, water resources, and control systems.

Is Civil Engineering a Good Major?

If you want variety in your working conditions, civil engineering can be a good career option. The truth is that civil engineering is the right major for any student who loves Math and calculus. Civil engineering courses involve many courses in math and science, especially calculus and physics. Anyone considering civil engineering should feel comfortable taking high-level math and science courses.

What Should I Major in for Civil Engineering Program?

If you want to study civil engineering, you must major in any of these specialties:
1. Architectural Engineering
2. Environmental Engineering
3. Geotechnical Engineering
4. Structural Engineering
5. Transportation Engineering
6. Water Resources Engineering

What are the Civil Engineering Major Requirements?

Aspiring civil engineers generally begin their academic careers by enrolling in advanced courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. High school students may consider advanced math courses, such as calculus and trigonometry, to prepare for college. Some programs may include Computer-Aided Design (CAD) courses as part of the basic requirements.

What are the Major Civil Engineering Knowledge and Skills Areas?

Here are the most important skills every civil engineering major must possess:

1. Pay Attention to the Details
2. Team Player/ Interpersonal Skills
3. Problem-Solving and Analysis
4. Decision-Making Skills
5. Leadership Skills
6. Organizational Skills
7. Speaking & Writing Skills

Which Civil Engineering Major Option Pays More Than Others in 2022?

Basically, the architectural engineers earns higher than any other civil engineering majors.

Conclusion

Civil engineers are the scientific minds behind the operation of our modern cities. Hence, when you major in civil engineering it means you are fully ready to be classified under any of the fields of civil engineering.

But which of the civil engineering major is the best for you? You will see the full detail of the different civil engineering specialization here.

References

Writer’s Recommendation

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