The career of a civil engineer is diminishing rapidly; however, more buildings and roads are being constructed. Becoming an engineer is not an easy task to complete. Many years of college and post-education training are required to gain the ability to be titled an engineer, especially a civil engineer. Civil engineers draft and design large construction projects including roads, building, airports, water shed lakes, dams, bridges and other various public works systems. Sometimes, civil engineers are asked to safeguard the health of our environment by managing and improving air, land and water quality with air, water and waste treatment systems. Foundation courses for any engineering are in science and mathematics. What does it take to become a civil engineer? Through reading about thought processes, education, and hands on training, and other various topics, you will learn about a civil engineer and what they are required to do.Order now
What is the definition of a civil engineer? According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a civil engineer is defined as an engineer trained in the design and construction of public works. Do you want to become a civil engineer? This is not an easy answered question for most people. The thought process of becoming an engineer is a very long and complicated decision. Many items come to factor when thinking about a career, especially in engineering. Civil Engineers design and supervise large construction projects, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment (U.S. Department of Labor 1). If these projects don’t appeal to any person, this career choice isn’t for you. Overseeing activities of construction personnel at the project site is also a required duty. While working in an office many hours of the day, there will be some hours that will be spent outside within the elements of nature. Heat, rain, snow, and cold weather conditions are to be expected when dealing with the outdoors supervision of projects. How do you become a civil engineer? Most civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree; however, there are master’s and doctorate programs available within the engineering field. Graduate degrees are required to be able to promote to management positions. Obtaining these degrees of education requires many years of college and study. Would you want to be in college for or more years? It’s part of the thought process.
Civil Engineering employment is anticipated to increase over the next decade. Do you mind traveling? Often, civil engineers have to travel to job sites to complete supervisory projects. This requires traveling long and short distances. A civil engineer may be away from home for an extended period of time, depending on the job. According to Frederick S. Merritt, the civil engineering career often booms within the coastal regions and within large cities as to where the need for engineers in urban areas is small (Merritt 964-2). Providing technical advice regarding design, construction, or program modifications and structural repairs to industrial and managerial personnel is required. This simplifies that a civil engineer will have to work well with other people. Civil engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Their work is the link between scientific findings and the commercial applications that meet society and customer needs. Engineers use computers extensively to produce and analyze designs; to simulate and test how a machine, structure or system operates; to generate specifications for parts; to monitor the quality of products and to control the efficiency of processes (Jackson 349).
Education and licensure is the key role to any source of an engineering career. However, with Engineering, education last a lot longer than one would think. Civil Engineers have to obtain a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or one of its specialties. ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) has to approve the program of the school an engineer attends. Programs in civil engineering typically take 4 years to complete and include coursework in mathematics, statistics, engineering mechanics and systems, and fluid dynamics, among other courses depending on the specialty. Some of the courses required include a mix of traditional classroom learning and laboratory and field work (Bagley College of Engineering 27).
Programs in civil engineering combine course work with extensive laboratory and field activities. As a prospective civil engineer, you must take courses in mathematics, physics, and statistics. Engineering classes cover topics such as principles of design and analysis. Some civil engineers continue their training by earning a master’s degree to improve their chances of advancing into management positions. All states require civil engineers to be licensed. Once you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, the first step to earning your license is to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination, which is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (Merrit 82). You’ll need to work about four years under the supervision of licensed civil engineers. Once you’ve met the requirements, you will be eligible to take the Principles and Practices of Engineering Examination for civil engineers (Merrit 84). A civil engineers license is required to sell your services as a civil engineer and to work as a construction project manager or supervisor. The advantages of certification vary depending upon location.
For example, in the United States, only a licensed professional engineer may prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or seal engineering work for public and private clients.” (Jackson 274) This requirement is enforced by state legislation. In other countries such as the UK no such legislation exists. Organizations for engineering play an important role in maintaining ethical standards for the profession. Even in jurisdictions where certification has little or no legal bearing on work, engineers are subject to contract law. In cases where an engineer’s work fails, he or she may be subject to the tort of negligence and in extreme cases, criminal charges. (Narayanan 287) An engineer’s work must also comply with numerous other rules and regulations such as building codes and legislation pertaining to environmental law. A civil engineer’s education doesn’t end at graduation. Most states require that civil engineers who work as project managers or team leaders receive their Professional Engineer’s License (PE). (Oakes 97-2)
Once a person has obtained his or her education to become a civil engineer, then it is time to go to work. The job availability for civil engineering has diminished slightly over the years. There will always have to be an engineer to design and construct an item though. As infrastructure continues to age, civil engineers will be needed to manage projects to rebuild bridges, repair roads, and upgrade levees and dams. Additionally, a growing population means that water systems must be maintained to reduce or eliminate leaks of drinkable water. Additionally, more waste treatment plants will be needed to help clean the nation’s waterways. Civil engineers play a key part in all of this work. States will continue to face financial challenges and may have difficulty funding all the projects that need attention. Additionally, private investors are unlikely to lend financing for maintenance and repair work. However, whether or not there is federal funding, the repairs and replacements to the infrastructure will have to be made, creating demand for civil engineers. (Bureau of Labor Statistics/Job Outlook 1)
Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of civil engineers in May 2010 were as follows: Federal government, $89,450; Local government, $80,250; Architectural, engineering, and related services, $76,620; Nonresidential building construction, $76,120; State government, $74,300. (Bureau of Labor Statistics/Pay for CE 9) Nearly all civil engineers work full time; however, many civil engineers work on projects that are under contractual deadlines. Engineers overseeing these projects often work longer hours to make sure that deadlines are met. The federal government employs about 12,100 civil engineers to do many of the same things done in private industry, except that the federally employed civil engineers may also inspect projects to be sure that they comply with regulations. (Oakes 315)
Now that you have read a few facts about civil engineering and its components, there is one question that should arise.
Is this the career for me? Becoming a civil engineer is not for everyone. If a person is not a mathematical and scientific person of interest, then this is not the career for them. Hard work, dedication, and strenuous hours are required to become an engineer, even after a person has completed college. According to Mississippi State University’s Bagley College of Engineering, becoming a civil engineer is one of the most prestigious career choices of engineering (Web). There are several other key factors about engineering that are too long to discuss. Engineers are curious professionals which is why they are in this field. Civil engineers are well respected people who can point with pride to their accomplishments. They make very good money and there is potential for advancement and growth. Civil engineering is a very rewarding field because they get to see progress even if it comes in small increments. Thought processing, education, training, and getting started are just a few of the requirements to become a civil engineer. I hope that this has concluded beneficial information for great use.
Bagley College of Engineering, Mississippi State University, CEE Strategic Plan. 2007-2012 ed.
Civil Engineering Strategic Plan. Print.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. 2012
2013 ed. Civil Engineers on the Internet. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.
“Civil Engineer.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 1970
Jackson, Jonathan Kilman. “Civil Engineers in Everyday Life.” Engineering Today. 87.6 (1998):
81-107. Web. 11 Oct. 2013
Merritt, Frederick S. Civil Engineering: Referencing Guide. Houston: Blythesdayle, 1983. Print.
Merritt, Frederick S. Standard Handbook for Civil Engineers. 3rd ed. Houston: Blythesdayle,
Narayanan, R. Beeby. Introduction to Design for Civil Engineers. London: Spon, 2003. Print.
Oakes, William C. Engineering as Your Future. Great Lakes Press, Michigan. 2001. Print