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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 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 980 $79,970
Hoover 980 $79,970
Montgomery 830 $63,140
Mobile 580 $78,120
Huntsville 410 $80,150
Tuscaloosa 150 $60,010
Muscle Shoals 100 $62,480
Florence 100 $62,480
Opelika 80 $60,410
Auburn 80 $60,410
Decatur 80 $91,160
Daphne 50 $61,230
Fairhope 50 $61,230
Foley 50 $61,230
Dothan 40 $78,000
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 880 $109,720
Fairbanks 150 $102,190
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mesa 3900 $76,800
Phoenix 3900 $76,800
Scottsdale 3900 $76,800
Tucson 520 $75,940
Yuma 100 $69,520
Flagstaff 90 $75,350
Prescott 80 $68,330
Lake Havasu City 50 $65,820
Kingman 50 $65,820
Douglas 50 $83,590
Sierra Vista 50 $83,590
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 700 $77,440
North Little Rock 700 $77,440
Little Rock 700 $77,440
Hot Springs 40 $73,040
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Los Angeles 10740 $108,190
Long Beach 10740 $108,190
Anaheim 10740 $108,190
Oakland 7670 $107,420
Hayward 7670 $107,420
San Francisco 7670 $107,420
San Diego 4800 $91,070
Carlsbad 4800 $91,070
Arden 4410 $108,180
Sacramento 4410 $108,180
Arcade 4410 $108,180
Roseville 4410 $108,180
San Jose 2610 $102,030
Santa Clara 2610 $102,030
Sunnyvale 2610 $102,030
San Bernardino 2380 $103,700
Riverside 2380 $103,700
Ontario 2380 $103,700
Fresno 840 $105,500
Oxnard 550 $106,070
Thousand Oaks 550 $106,070
Ventura 550 $106,070
Bakersfield 480 $95,720
San Luis Obispo 440 $91,550
Arroyo Grande 440 $91,550
Paso Robles 440 $91,550
Santa Rosa 390 $104,120
Santa Barbara 390 $106,720
Santa Maria 390 $106,720
Stockton 330 $95,720
Lodi 330 $95,720
Fairfield 240 $97,480
Vallejo 240 $97,480
Redding 240 $108,190
Yuba City 230 $107,740
Modesto 190 $87,120
Salinas 180 $94,590
Chico 170 $95,720
Napa 150 $95,210
Watsonville 150 $96,760
Santa Cruz 150 $96,760
Porterville 90 $86,900
Visalia 90 $86,900
Merced 50 $92,440
El Centro 50 $97,080
Madera 50 $105,210
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 5790 $81,830
Denver 5790 $81,830
Aurora 5790 $81,830
Colorado Springs 680 $82,770
Fort Collins 630 $77,230
Boulder 500 $81,130
Greeley 190 $85,510
Grand Junction 110 $90,480
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 1610 $88,050
West Hartford 1610 $88,050
Hartford 1610 $88,050
New Haven 540 $86,220
Stamford 490 $85,440
Norwalk 490 $85,440
Bridgeport 490 $85,440
Waterbury 60 $60,750
Danbury 40 $91,110
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 230 $73,640
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 4860 $82,520
West Palm Beach 4860 $82,520
Fort Lauderdale 4860 $82,520
Tampa 2950 $77,250
Clearwater 2950 $77,250
St. Petersburg 2950 $77,250
Sanford 2880 $79,020
Orlando 2880 $79,020
Kissimmee 2880 $79,020
Jacksonville 1320 $88,340
Tallahassee 570 $76,760
Palm Bay 530 $71,890
Titusville 530 $71,890
Melbourne 530 $71,890
North Port 520 $69,260
Bradenton 520 $69,260
Sarasota 520 $69,260
Fort Myers 450 $82,610
Cape Coral 450 $82,610
Lakeland 370 $72,790
Winter Haven 370 $72,790
Fort Walton Beach 320 $85,000
Destin 320 $85,000
Crestview 320 $85,000
Pensacola 300 $84,190
Brent 300 $84,190
Ferry Pass 300 $84,190
Ormond Beach 290 $73,560
Daytona Beach 290 $73,560
Deltona 290 $73,560
Gainesville 280 $72,690
Panama City 250 $78,110
Port St. Lucie 130 $78,000
Naples 130 $84,090
Immokalee 130 $84,090
Marco Island 130 $84,090
Vero Beach 80 $70,090
Sebastian 80 $70,090
Ocala 80 $85,370
Punta Gorda 40 $82,500
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sandy Springs 7070 $80,060
Atlanta 7070 $80,060
Roswell 7070 $80,060
Savannah 350 $85,720
Gainesville 100 $56,920
Warner Robins 80 $88,900
Macon 70 $66,370
Athens 60 $61,990
Clarke County 60 $61,990
Albany 50 $74,820
Hinesville 40 $69,070
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 1840 $81,300
Lahaina 100 $72,770
Wailuku 100 $72,770
Kahului 100 $72,770
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 1250 $73,370
Idaho Falls 170 $84,680
Coeur d'Alene 110 $67,160
Pocatello 80 $51,920
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 320 $84,120
Springfield 310 $96,750
Urbana 130 $89,660
Champaign 130 $89,660
Rockford 100 $86,440
Decatur 80 $75,530
Marion 80 $84,580
Carbondale 80 $84,580
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 1360 $75,720
Carmel 1360 $75,720
Indianapolis 1360 $75,720
Fort Wayne 130 $70,280
West Lafayette 70 $77,740
Lafayette 70 $77,740
Terre Haute 60 $69,570
Columbus 60 $69,770
Goshen 60 $74,140
Elkhart 60 $74,140
La Porte 50 $65,550
Michigan City 50 $65,550
Bloomington 40 $95,410
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 650 $80,510
Des Moines 650 $80,510
Ames 240 $83,260
Cedar Rapids 180 $71,560
Iowa City 140 $74,860
Cedar Falls 40 $74,920
Waterloo 40 $74,920
Dubuque 40 $84,650
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 390 $77,060
Topeka 300 $68,080
Manhattan 70 $67,740
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lexington 500 $75,220
Fayette 500 $75,220
Bowling Green 60 N/A
Fort Knox 50 $77,730
Elizabethtown 50 $77,730
Owensboro 50 $85,770
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 1130 $92,150
Metairie 1130 $92,150
Baton Rouge 890 $95,310
Lake Charles 280 $104,500
Shreveport 170 $81,470
Bossier City 170 $81,470
Lafayette 170 $82,910
Houma 90 $89,820
Thibodaux 90 $89,820
Monroe 80 $82,670
Alexandria 50 $90,070
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Portland 460 $84,620
South Portland 460 $84,620
Bangor 60 $64,960
Auburn 50 $61,280
Lewiston 50 $61,280
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baltimore 3860 $76,920
Towson 3860 $76,920
Columbia 3860 $76,920
Lexington Park 110 $83,060
California 110 $83,060
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 200 $85,400
Pittsfield 130 N/A
Gardner 60 $97,220
Leominster 60 $97,220
New Bedford 50 $81,300
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 4840 $74,020
Warren 4840 $74,020
Detroit 4840 $74,020
Lansing 730 $76,160
East Lansing 730 $76,160
Grand Rapids 690 $71,440
Wyoming 690 $71,440
Kalamazoo 150 $66,180
Portage 150 $66,180
Saginaw 130 $62,450
Ann Arbor 130 $97,240
Jackson 120 $80,040
Flint 60 $65,280
Muskegon 60 $74,220
Monroe N/A $59,290
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 80 $89,690
North Mankato 60 $79,530
Mankato 60 $79,530
St. Cloud 50 $78,460
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 430 $74,700
Pascagoula 230 $77,940
Biloxi 230 $77,940
Gulfport 230 $77,940
Hattiesburg 50 $82,590
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 240 $65,180
Jefferson City 240 $65,800
Columbia 190 $74,320
Joplin 70 $66,370
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 340 $77,020
Missoula 110 $77,860
Great Falls 90 $61,870
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 380 $78,710
Grand Island 40 $63,600
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 1080 $89,640
Henderson 1080 $89,640
Las Vegas 1080 $89,640
Reno 430 $80,820
Carson City 230 $65,820
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 300 $67,890
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 1180 $93,050
Hammonton 240 $87,550
Atlantic City 240 $87,550
Bridgeton 50 $93,920
Vineland 50 $93,920
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 720 $86,280
Las Cruces 120 $71,250
Santa Fe 100 $73,720
Farmington 90 N/A
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Troy 1260 $88,270
Schenectady 1260 $88,270
Albany 1260 $88,270
Rochester 970 $79,160
Niagara Falls 760 $80,800
Cheektowaga 760 $80,800
Buffalo 760 $80,800
Syracuse 550 $82,390
Binghamton 240 $76,340
Rome 150 $76,730
Utica 150 $76,730
Fort Drum 150 $76,960
Watertown 150 $76,960
Ithaca 80 $83,220
Kingston 70 $60,350
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 2500 $73,290
Chapel Hill 340 $72,910
Durham 340 $72,910
Greensboro 310 $67,740
High Point 310 $67,740
Wilmington 210 $75,950
Fayetteville 210 $79,900
Asheville 190 $73,130
Salem 150 $71,260
Winston 150 $71,260
Greenville 80 $65,330
Lenoir 60 $70,040
Hickory 60 $70,040
Morganton 60 $70,040
Goldsboro 40 $63,140
Rocky Mount 40 $70,040
New Bern 30 $71,020
Burlington 30 $81,020
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 490 $77,440
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 1990 $77,590
Cleveland 1350 $75,040
Elyria 1350 $75,040
Akron 540 $70,710
Dayton 540 $80,040
Toledo 530 $72,490
Canton 300 $72,740
Massillon 300 $72,740
Mansfield 60 $84,870
Lima N/A $78,120
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 1100 $83,150
Oklahoma City 760 $74,940
Lawton 50 $75,490
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 340 $88,900
Eugene 190 $80,950
Redmond 140 $65,910
Bend 140 $65,910
Medford 110 $70,830
Corvallis 80 $73,870
Albany 80 $75,280
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 3380 $85,890
Carlisle 1160 $75,310
Harrisburg 1160 $75,310
Lancaster 500 $74,550
Hanover 420 $80,120
York 420 $80,120
Scranton 410 $74,730
Wilkes 410 $74,730
Barre 410 $74,730
Hazleton 410 $74,730
Reading 410 $96,910
Altoona 200 $73,080
Williamsport 190 $68,420
State College 190 $77,710
Erie 90 $71,240
Johnstown 70 $74,720
Lebanon 40 $65,270
Chambersburg 40 $74,730
Waynesboro 40 $74,730
East Stroudsburg 40 $77,790
Gettysburg 30 $79,370
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Carolina 1390 $49,910
Caguas 1390 $49,910
San Juan 1390 $49,910
Ponce 90 $41,230
Aguadilla 90 $60,080
Isabela 90 $60,080
Mayag´┐Żez 50 $40,470
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 1430 $64,300
Mauldin 1330 $82,470
Greenville 1330 $82,470
Anderson 1330 $82,470
Charleston 750 $67,080
North Charleston 750 $67,080
Spartanburg 240 $61,060
Florence 100 $79,340
Sumter 30 $62,670
Hilton Head Island N/A $47,210
Bluffton N/A $47,210
Beaufort N/A $47,210
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 280 $77,930
Rapid City 260 $64,560
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Murfreesboro 2450 $89,440
Franklin 2450 $89,440
Davidson 2450 $89,440
Nashville 2450 $89,440
Knoxville 1070 $95,560
Johnson City 70 $69,260
Jackson 40 $71,790
Cleveland 40 $82,860
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
The Woodlands 10690 $106,520
Houston 10690 $106,520
Sugar Land 10690 $106,520
Dallas 5340 $86,830
Fort Worth 5340 $86,830
Arlington 5340 $86,830
Austin 3050 $80,420
Round Rock 3050 $80,420
New Braunfels 1330 $80,960
San Antonio 1330 $80,960
Beaumont 550 $96,660
Port Arthur 550 $96,660
College Station 480 $71,730
Bryan 480 $71,730
El Paso 430 $63,630
Killeen 410 $92,890
Temple 410 $92,890
Lubbock 200 $76,950
McAllen 160 $77,720
Edinburg 160 $77,720
Mission 160 $77,720
Longview 140 $92,130
Amarillo 120 $86,300
Abilene 100 $84,780
Waco 80 $82,950
Brownsville 70 $73,380
Harlingen 70 $73,380
Odessa 70 $92,630
Tyler 70 $95,040
Laredo 60 $74,680
San Angelo 60 $78,970
Midland 60 $120,590
Sherman 50 $63,300
Denison 50 $63,300
Wichita Falls 40 $83,250
Corpus Christi N/A $78,760
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 1780 $74,090
Orem 550 $81,840
Provo 550 $81,840
Ogden 540 $79,170
Clearfield 540 $79,170
St. George 80 $66,040
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 370 $69,310
Burlington 370 $69,310
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 1410 $79,040
Roanoke 240 $71,340
Charlottesville 190 $75,360
Lynchburg 150 $71,760
Blacksburg 120 $73,690
Christiansburg 120 $73,690
Radford 120 $73,690
Staunton 100 $61,180
Waynesboro 100 $61,180
Harrisonburg 60 $72,450
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 6320 $86,960
Tacoma 6320 $86,960
Bellevue 6320 $86,960
Tumwater 670 $75,910
Olympia 670 $75,910
Spokane 470 $72,750
Spokane Valley 470 $72,750
Walla Walla 320 $92,330
Bellingham 260 $84,120
Silverdale 160 $83,520
Bremerton 160 $83,520
Yakima 150 $68,790
Wenatchee 140 $83,720
Mount Vernon 100 $74,480
Anacortes 100 $74,480
Longview 70 $79,490
Kennewick N/A $107,900
Richland N/A $107,900
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 410 $77,190
Morgantown 170 $72,040
Vienna 70 $70,960
Parkersburg 70 $70,960
Beckley 50 $62,490
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 1760 $73,580
Waukesha 1760 $73,580
Milwaukee 1760 $73,580
Madison 1110 $76,950
Green Bay 480 $70,560
Eau Claire 210 $67,760
Appleton 210 $80,190
Neenah 130 $69,650
Oshkosh 130 $69,650
Beloit 120 $79,180
Janesville 120 $79,180
Fond du Lac 110 $76,720
Racine 50 $74,180
Sheboygan 40 $72,760
Wausau N/A $68,120
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheyenne 220 $68,870
Casper 90 $74,020

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.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

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
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
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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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