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Civil Engineers picture    Civil Engineers image

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers plan, design and oversee the construction of highways, bridges, water treatment systems and other types of structures. Some civil engineers are involved in community planning and urban renewal. Many civil engineers have supervisory or administrative positions. Some civil engineers are involved with research, design, construction or teaching.

Some common job titles include project engineer, structural engineer, railroad design consultant, design engineer, research hydraulic engineer and city engineer.

Most civil engineers specialize in one area. Some of the primary specializations are construction, structural, sanitary, hydraulics, soil mechanics, transportation and environmental.

Construction engineers oversee the projects they design. They also determine the best methods and materials to build structures.

Structural engineers ensure that structures are built efficiently and safely. They collaborate with architects to design bridges, tunnels and large buildings.

Sanitary engineers design systems that treat waste and purify water. These systems provide a safe and economical supply of water. They collaborate with environmental engineers to control air and water pollution.

Civil engineers that are involved with hydraulics, design irrigation systems, flood control systems and canals. They develop ways of using water that will benefit communities.

Civil engineers that specialize in soil mechanics create ways to utilize soil to improve building foundations.

Transportation engineers plan subways, highways, railroads and airports.

Environmental engineers are involved with controlling water and air pollution.

Responsibilities

  • Consider the construction costs and expected lifetime of a project
  • Consider government regulations
  • Be aware of potential environmental hazards
  • Oversee construction and maintenance activities at project sites
  • Give technical advice regarding design, construction, structural repairs or program modifications to managerial and industrial personnel
  • Inspect project sites to ensure conformance to safety and design specifications and to monitor progress
  • Prepare or present public reports regarding topics including deeds, environmental impact statements, bid proposals and property and right-of-way descriptions
  • Estimate cost and quantities of materials, and labor and equipment in order to determine the feasibility of a project
  • Evaluate maps, drawings, survey reports, aerial photography and other geological or topographical data for planning projects

Job Characteristics

Civil engineers often work with architects, other engineers and construction workers. They should be detailed oriented and have good written and oral communication skills. A strong aptitude for the physical sciences and mathematics is important for the occupation.

Employment Outlook

The employment growth for civil engineers has been projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be 24 percent from 2008 to 2018 which is much faster than average for all occupations. General population growth and the need to improve the country's infrastructure should increase the demand for civil engineers.

In 2008 the median annual earnings for civil engineers was $74,600. The highest paid 10 percent earned $115,630.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

A bachelor's degree in civil engineering is usually necessary to enter the occupation. Important classes include fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, structural design, stress analysis and circuitry. Some colleges provide cooperative programs that provide classroom learning and work experience. A graduate degree is typically required for those that want a career in research, development or teaching.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology provides accreditation for college and university engineering programs. In addition, professional certification can be beneficial for finding a job.

Every state requires licensure for engineers that offer their services directly to the public. Licensure typically requires a degree from an ABET accredited engineering program, four years of relevant work experience and passing a state examination.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employment sectors are architectural, engineering and related services; construction industries, local government, state government, nonresidential building construction, and colleges, universities and professional schools.

Schools for Civil Engineers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Civil Engineers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Civil Engineers jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Montgomery 680 $68,560
Birmingham 570 $79,780
Hoover 570 $79,780
Mobile 520 $77,220
Huntsville 370 $79,300
Tuscaloosa 190 $67,340
Florence 100 $71,900
Muscle Shoals 100 $71,900
Decatur 90 $88,680
Auburn 70 $62,610
Opelika 70 $62,610
Dothan 50 $66,820
Daphne 40 $61,210
Foley 40 $61,210
Fairhope 40 $61,210
Oxford 30 $74,950
Anniston 30 $74,950
Jacksonville 30 $74,950
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 760 $108,000
Fairbanks 150 $96,610
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mesa 4010 $76,280
Scottsdale 4010 $76,280
Phoenix 4010 $76,280
Tucson 740 $73,610
Flagstaff 110 $74,090
Yuma 90 $72,530
Kingman 70 $62,000
Lake Havasu City 70 $62,000
Prescott 70 $63,030
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 610 $76,310
North Little Rock 610 $76,310
Little Rock 610 $76,310
Hot Springs 40 $70,280
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 11480 $103,160
Anaheim 11480 $103,160
Los Angeles 11480 $103,160
Oakland 7380 $104,730
Hayward 7380 $104,730
San Francisco 7380 $104,730
San Diego 4960 $88,730
Carlsbad 4960 $88,730
Arden 4660 $101,750
Arcade 4660 $101,750
Sacramento 4660 $101,750
Roseville 4660 $101,750
Sunnyvale 2590 $102,230
Santa Clara 2590 $102,230
San Jose 2590 $102,230
Ontario 2220 $98,180
Riverside 2220 $98,180
San Bernardino 2220 $98,180
Fresno 850 $100,390
Bakersfield 520 $95,580
Santa Rosa 500 $100,030
Thousand Oaks 470 $108,130
Ventura 470 $108,130
Oxnard 470 $108,130
Santa Barbara 440 $104,230
Santa Maria 440 $104,230
Paso Robles 430 $88,380
San Luis Obispo 430 $88,380
Arroyo Grande 430 $88,380
Stockton 350 $92,660
Lodi 350 $92,660
Redding 260 $104,740
Yuba City 230 $104,730
Fairfield 200 $94,180
Vallejo 200 $94,180
Chico 190 $92,650
Watsonville 170 $95,900
Santa Cruz 170 $95,900
Salinas 160 $95,480
Modesto 130 $91,590
Porterville 80 $83,380
Visalia 80 $83,380
El Centro 60 $90,020
Madera 50 $104,520
Merced 30 $103,510
Napa N/A $100,280
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Denver 5150 $80,360
Aurora 5150 $80,360
Lakewood 5150 $80,360
Fort Collins 610 $77,580
Colorado Springs 600 $82,060
Boulder 510 $71,990
Pueblo 350 $88,140
Greeley 190 $86,960
Grand Junction 170 $84,500
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 1900 $88,190
West Hartford 1900 $88,190
Hartford 1900 $88,190
New Haven 710 $85,310
Stamford 410 $89,750
Bridgeport 410 $89,750
Norwalk 410 $89,750
Waterbury 80 $63,690
Danbury 30 $89,910
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 220 $72,020
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 4590 $82,620
Fort Lauderdale 4590 $82,620
Miami 4590 $82,620
Sanford 2180 $78,650
Orlando 2180 $78,650
Kissimmee 2180 $78,650
St. Petersburg 2150 $78,520
Tampa 2150 $78,520
Clearwater 2150 $78,520
Jacksonville 1290 $83,970
Tallahassee 500 $76,380
Sarasota 380 $75,990
North Port 380 $75,990
Bradenton 380 $75,990
Panama City 360 $87,260
Fort Myers 300 $77,750
Cape Coral 300 $77,750
Deltona 270 $70,780
Daytona Beach 270 $70,780
Ormond Beach 270 $70,780
Lakeland 260 $72,520
Winter Haven 260 $72,520
Gainesville 250 $70,300
Ferry Pass 220 $80,500
Brent 220 $80,500
Pensacola 220 $80,500
Immokalee 140 $85,330
Marco Island 140 $85,330
Naples 140 $85,330
Fort Walton Beach 130 $79,080
Crestview 130 $79,080
Destin 130 $79,080
Port St. Lucie 120 $74,120
Ocala 60 $66,620
Titusville N/A $71,950
Palm Bay N/A $71,950
Melbourne N/A $71,950
Punta Gorda N/A $80,950
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sandy Springs 5700 $80,030
Atlanta 5700 $80,030
Roswell 5700 $80,030
Savannah 320 $87,730
Macon 170 $83,270
Warner Robins 100 $81,900
Gainesville 70 $54,560
Albany 60 $61,650
Athens 40 $66,300
Clarke County 40 $66,300
Hinesville 40 $73,160
Valdosta 30 N/A
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 1690 $79,920
Lahaina 100 $74,930
Wailuku 100 $74,930
Kahului 100 $74,930
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 1010 $73,060
Idaho Falls 170 $87,400
Coeur d'Alene 90 $69,550
Pocatello 80 $62,180
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 320 $89,830
Peoria 300 $78,620
Champaign 150 $85,410
Urbana 150 $85,410
Rockford 140 $74,860
Carbondale 90 $76,530
Marion 90 $76,530
Decatur 90 $76,880
Bloomington 50 $91,550
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Carmel 1420 $71,630
Anderson 1420 $71,630
Indianapolis 1420 $71,630
Fort Wayne 130 $63,510
West Lafayette 60 $74,970
Lafayette 60 $74,970
Terre Haute 60 $75,840
Goshen 50 $75,690
Elkhart 50 $75,690
La Porte 40 $60,260
Michigan City 40 $60,260
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 660 $77,880
Des Moines 660 $77,880
Ames 240 $83,600
Cedar Rapids 230 $71,280
Iowa City 130 $71,290
Dubuque 50 $80,970
Cedar Falls 30 $62,310
Waterloo 30 $62,310
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 330 $77,590
Topeka 300 $68,030
Manhattan 70 $74,030
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lexington 520 $72,520
Fayette 520 $72,520
Bowling Green 70 $59,610
Fort Knox 60 $69,820
Elizabethtown 60 $69,820
Owensboro 50 $74,620
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 1340 $92,320
Metairie 1340 $92,320
Baton Rouge 1010 $92,090
Lafayette 360 $76,560
Bossier City 220 $83,270
Shreveport 220 $83,270
Monroe 150 $78,540
Houma 100 $83,030
Thibodaux 100 $83,030
Lake Charles 100 $88,790
Alexandria 70 $89,840
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 440 $82,220
Portland 440 $82,220
Bangor 80 $71,040
Auburn 40 $49,980
Lewiston 40 $49,980
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baltimore 2950 $76,660
Towson 2950 $76,660
Columbia 2950 $76,660
Lexington Park 160 $81,640
California 160 $81,640
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 150 $85,450
Pittsfield 130 N/A
Gardner 80 $81,310
Leominster 80 $81,310
New Bedford 40 $87,760
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Warren 3190 $71,680
Detroit 3190 $71,680
Dearborn 3190 $71,680
Wyoming 770 $70,860
Grand Rapids 770 $70,860
East Lansing 540 $74,660
Lansing 540 $74,660
Jackson 320 $90,540
Portage 120 $69,710
Kalamazoo 120 $69,710
Ann Arbor 100 $77,930
Muskegon 70 $62,420
Saginaw 60 $71,620
Flint 60 $74,100
Bay City 60 $77,030
Battle Creek 50 $74,670
Benton Harbor 40 $75,860
Niles 40 $75,860
Monroe N/A $59,960
Midland N/A $75,970
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 70 $82,680
St. Cloud 60 $71,380
North Mankato 50 $82,070
Mankato 50 $82,070
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 410 $72,470
Gulfport 210 $77,750
Pascagoula 210 $77,750
Biloxi 210 $77,750
Hattiesburg 50 $76,210
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jefferson City 230 $63,670
Springfield 220 $63,490
Columbia 140 $75,120
Joplin 80 $63,590
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 270 $75,920
Missoula 100 $71,440
Great Falls 90 $59,310
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 380 $75,490
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 1050 $88,850
Henderson 1050 $88,850
Las Vegas 1050 $88,850
Reno 420 $85,120
Carson City 260 $62,860
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 320 $67,300
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 1090 $91,150
Hammonton 250 $84,870
Atlantic City 250 $84,870
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 710 $84,350
Las Cruces 140 $73,990
Santa Fe 120 $73,800
Farmington 110 N/A
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albany 1320 $86,680
Troy 1320 $86,680
Schenectady 1320 $86,680
Rochester 730 $80,870
Cheektowaga 720 $79,030
Niagara Falls 720 $79,030
Buffalo 720 $79,030
Syracuse 580 $79,030
Binghamton 260 $77,680
Rome 160 $76,270
Utica 160 $76,270
Watertown 150 $76,330
Fort Drum 150 $76,330
Ithaca 90 $77,430
Kingston 60 $85,950
Glens Falls 40 $70,870
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 2610 $72,830
High Point 330 $70,230
Greensboro 330 $70,230
Durham 330 $73,820
Chapel Hill 330 $73,820
Asheville 240 $66,380
Wilmington 230 $78,930
Fayetteville 210 $79,570
Winston 190 $82,420
Salem 190 $82,420
Greenville 90 $61,210
Rocky Mount 70 $77,880
Morganton 40 $63,870
Hickory 40 $63,870
Lenoir 40 $63,870
Burlington 30 $69,190
New Bern 30 $70,280
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 440 $75,590
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 1810 $78,560
Cleveland 1240 $78,510
Elyria 1240 $78,510
Akron 560 $70,220
Toledo 530 $71,020
Dayton 450 $83,040
Massillon 130 $70,150
Canton 130 $70,150
Lima 60 $72,020
Mansfield 50 $75,440
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 1040 $81,600
Oklahoma City 810 $67,830
Lawton 50 $58,960
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 350 $86,970
Eugene 160 $76,940
Corvallis 150 $74,020
Bend 110 $76,140
Redmond 110 $76,140
Medford 100 $73,640
Albany 70 $69,000
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 3400 $80,430
Carlisle 1250 $77,190
Harrisburg 1250 $77,190
Reading 520 $94,300
Lancaster 500 $74,270
Wilkes 480 $73,820
Hazleton 480 $73,820
Barre 480 $73,820
Scranton 480 $73,820
Hanover 370 $77,200
York 370 $77,200
Altoona 220 $71,500
Williamsport 200 $67,030
State College 190 $79,240
Erie 90 $64,970
East Stroudsburg 70 N/A
Johnstown 70 $71,500
Chambersburg 40 $73,370
Waynesboro 40 $73,370
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 1470 $50,660
Carolina 1470 $50,660
San Juan 1470 $50,660
Ponce 100 $45,030
Isabela 90 $46,340
Aguadilla 90 $46,340
Mayag�ez 50 $44,870
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 1370 $60,660
Anderson 1320 $83,680
Mauldin 1320 $83,680
Greenville 1320 $83,680
North Charleston 1290 $69,470
Charleston 1290 $69,470
Spartanburg 310 $61,090
Florence 120 $82,920
Bluffton 50 $72,430
Hilton Head Island 50 $72,430
Beaufort 50 $72,430
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 290 $76,570
Rapid City 250 $61,990
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Davidson 1760 $84,080
Murfreesboro 1760 $84,080
Franklin 1760 $84,080
Nashville 1760 $84,080
Knoxville 750 $88,580
Johnson City 50 $81,900
Cleveland 40 $49,930
Jackson 30 $69,730
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
The Woodlands 11030 $102,880
Houston 11030 $102,880
Sugar Land 11030 $102,880
Dallas 5030 $84,330
Arlington 5030 $84,330
Fort Worth 5030 $84,330
Round Rock 2320 $76,710
Austin 2320 $76,710
New Braunfels 1270 $77,770
San Antonio 1270 $77,770
Port Arthur 400 $101,770
Beaumont 400 $101,770
Temple 380 $88,990
Killeen 380 $88,990
El Paso 300 $65,200
Bryan 290 $78,910
College Station 290 $78,910
Lubbock 190 $77,860
Longview 170 $88,770
Midland 170 $107,790
Edinburg 160 $78,340
Mission 160 $78,340
McAllen 160 $78,340
Amarillo 130 $73,290
Abilene 80 $77,490
Brownsville 80 $77,540
Harlingen 80 $77,540
Waco 70 $77,370
Laredo 70 $79,340
Tyler 70 $92,810
Sherman 60 $66,590
Denison 60 $66,590
San Angelo 50 $76,710
Wichita Falls 40 $73,660
Victoria 30 $78,680
Corpus Christi N/A $77,840
Odessa N/A $89,760
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 1690 $74,600
Clearfield 570 $79,260
Ogden 570 $79,260
Provo 530 $81,390
Orem 530 $81,390
St. George 90 $72,570
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 280 $69,860
Burlington 280 $69,860
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 1500 $78,790
Roanoke 190 $66,620
Lynchburg 160 $72,180
Blacksburg 110 $76,790
Radford 110 $76,790
Christiansburg 110 $76,790
Waynesboro 100 $59,360
Staunton 100 $59,360
Charlottesville 100 $71,460
Harrisonburg 70 $70,190
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 6360 $84,920
Tacoma 6360 $84,920
Bellevue 6360 $84,920
Tumwater 740 $77,240
Olympia 740 $77,240
Spokane Valley 420 $72,320
Spokane 420 $72,320
Bellingham 250 $82,930
Silverdale 190 $82,050
Bremerton 190 $82,050
Yakima 150 $68,790
Wenatchee 110 $73,330
Mount Vernon 80 $72,300
Anacortes 80 $72,300
Longview 50 $83,610
Kennewick N/A $106,490
Richland N/A $106,490
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 470 $71,020
Morgantown 120 $68,340
Vienna 70 $67,940
Parkersburg 70 $67,940
Beckley N/A $61,000
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Waukesha 1480 $72,830
West Allis 1480 $72,830
Milwaukee 1480 $72,830
Madison 1140 $75,480
Green Bay 340 $69,270
Eau Claire 190 $68,340
Janesville 150 $71,970
Beloit 150 $71,970
Neenah 130 $67,830
Oshkosh 130 $67,830
Appleton 120 $82,040
Sheboygan 100 $84,900
Wausau 70 $66,890
Fond du Lac 70 $70,970
Racine 40 $66,240
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheyenne 220 $68,030
Casper 130 $72,060

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Civil Engineers

To find out more about building a career as Civil Engineers, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Civil Engineers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 140,330 55% $74,680
Government 70,850 28% $75,010
Construction 22,040 8% $71,880
Office Services And Staffing 3,240 1% $69,910
Education 2,920 1% $59,860
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Civil Engineers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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