Civil engineering is perhaps the oldest of all engineering disciplines and the first to be recognized and developed as a field of study. This field encompasses planning, design, construction and maintenance of structures, which often includes altering the natural geography to meet human needs. Civil engineers design and build suspension bridges, dams, tunnels, skyscrapers, the Interstate highway system, airports, ports, shopping centers, residential developments, water delivery and purification facilities and irrigation systems.
Whether you work for a private engineering firm, construction firm, government agency or industry, there are many areas in which civil engineers can focus. A few of the major specialties include:
- Structural (buildings, bridges, tunnels)
- Geotechnical (retaining structures, foundations)
- Water and wastewater (water supply, sewage disposal)
- Hydrology (river control, drainage)
- Transportation (highways, airports, railroads)
- Environmental (hazardous waste, air pollution, water quality)
It is expected that civil engineering jobs will increase by 24 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. This is due to the increasing population and infrastructure in need of improvement.
- Civil engineer’s median yearly wage: $74,600