There are multiple types of engineering degrees out there. One of them is a degree in civil engineering. If you want to make a name in the field, you must first determine what a civil engineer does. They design and shape the buildings we live in, go to work at, or visit. Their involvement is mainly in the construction and maintenance of public works. So, the bridges, schools, dams, hospitals, roads, airports, railways, and pipelines you encounter daily exist due to these professionals.
What’s more, if you enter this industry, you may also choose a particular area to specialize in. Some examples include:
- Highways and transportation
- Coastal and marine development
- Waste management
Besides specializing, you can also branch out and choose one of these careers directly related to that of a civil engineer:
- Building control surveyor
- Water engineer
- Consulting civil engineer
- Structural engineer
- Contracting civil engineer
By now, you must know that the field of engineering is a lucrative one. Go here for more information on Engineering Degree: 7 Well-Paying Jobs that can be yours!
Steps You Need to Take to Become a Civil Engineer
Below, we map out the steps you should be taking if your interest lies in becoming a civil engineer:
Attend Open Events
Usually, fun, and free, these occasions can give you the insight into what this career involves. Once there, you will discover like-minded people and experience your options in a real-world context. Most importantly, though, you will also come across future employers. Question them about the kind of program you should enroll into and other details about your career.
Research your Civil Engineer Entry Route
Don’t require any further convincing because you know you want to become a civil engineer? Then start by deciding how you’re going to get there. We’ll cover the relevant qualifications in the next section. Aside from that, you can choose between going to a university or becoming an apprentice.
The cons of the latter choice are that since you’ll be earning as you learn, it might take you longer to become qualified. The biggest advantage associated with it is the invaluable hands-on experience you will leave with. Thus, the decision will require some thinking.
Find the Right Civil Engineer Course
Any universities offering civil engineer qualifications won’t offer the exact same program. Therefore, do some research before you pick one. For instance, university rankings can be helpful to you when making this decision.
But that isn’t the only metric. You should also consider the distance from your residence, accreditation, and other factors that matter in your case.
Another field that falls in the same ballpark is that of architectural studies. So, you might want to give this article on Architecture Degree: Here’s An All-Inclusive Career Outlook for you a read!
Remember to check with the relevant local authorities about the licenses and qualifications you’d need to work as a civil engineer there. Generally, this is the academic path that will get you there:
Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering
Consider this the base educational level. You must obtain this degree to begin working. As a budding civil engineer, you will undertake courses in various subjects as you complete your bachelor’s.
They might include:
- Fluid dynamics
- Architectural design
Expect to not just attend class lectures, but also complete internships/co-ops, and even do some onsite field work. Depending on the institution you enroll at, project work may also be on the cards.
Civil Engineering Internship
Degree requirements demand that most civil engineering programs last for at least one semester or offer a summer-long internship. During the latter, you will put your theoretical knowledge to work, learn more practical skills, and gain deeper insight on a particular area that you consider worth pursuing.
Moreover, as an intern, you will also network with professionals and thus, open doors to future employments. Finally, receiving mentorship from an established civil engineer will clarify complicated concepts as you come closer to graduation.
Should you want to work as a civic engineer publicly, you must get the proper license for it. Usually, the individual states have their own requirements that you fulfill to get the document. However, you will find these common between most:
- Graduating from an ABET-accredited institution
- Complete your bachelors and then undertake the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
- Serve as Civic Engineering (CE) intern/Engineer-in-Training (EIT)
- Fulfill the minimum requirement of professional hours
- Clear the Principles and Practices of Engineering (PE) exam
Job as an Entry-Level Civil Engineer
Once you have done all of the above, you can begin looking for employment. It is likely that the contacts you made during networking will serve you in this regard. Also, keep your eye on the job boards at ASCE and Engineering Jobs since the mods regularly update those.
Additionally, remember that you’ll have to begin by accepting an entry-level job in most cases. Want to earn more and increase your value as a candidate for better jobs? Then take the next step.
Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering
Master’s degrees are now the entry-level standard in most fields these days. And civil engineering employment is no different. When you think of enrolling, know that you can sign up for a master of science (M.S.) in civil engineering. But an M.S. in a civil engineering specialty is also possible. Likewise, both on-campus and online programs are available to civil engineering students.
To enroll into a graduate civil engineering program, ensure that you possess the following:
- GRE results
- B.S. in civil engineering from accredited institution
- 2-3 letters of recommendation that cover both your educational and professional prowess
- Statement of purpose
- Undergraduate 3.0 GPA or higher
Unlike the course you study to obtain your bachelor’s degree, though, any master’s program will require you to study specialized and advanced engineering concepts.