Online Civil Engineering Degree Programs
You've never seen the water as high or flowing as fast. Your responsibility as a project manager is to close a breach that occurred during a recent storm on a city canal. Your team of engineers has already investigated and reported the situation to you. Urgently, you make a few calls to temporarily close other waterways to the canal. You sign a stack of contracts for materials and modes of transportation like barges and helicopters to close the gap and stop the flow of water from a nearby lake into the city. After reporting to your supervisor, you head out of the office to meet with the water pump operators and assess the flood damage yourself.
Variety is one reason for choosing a civil engineering career. You might be in the office, working on designs at a computer or reporting progress to a client. You could be on site, leading teams, solving problems and literally being "hands-on." A 2004 survey by a U.K. civil engineering institution reported a high degree of job satisfaction among civil engineers--71 percent reported being satisfied with their employer and 75 percent indicated that they were satisfied with their present role.
Civil Engineering Degree Programs
A degree in civil engineering offers an education focused on creating, improving, and protecting the environment in which we live. A four-year bachelor's degree is the standard qualification for an entry-level civil engineering job.
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
The B.S. in Civil Engineering begins with core liberal arts and sciences courses, which build analytical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. In the final two years of the program, students focus on civil engineering career training. Courses include management, technology, construction in commercial and personal transportation infrastructures, and heavy construction.
Civil engineering degrees are also available at the master's and PhD degree levels. These graduate programs allow civil engineers to hone their design skills and develop their own independent research projects. The Master of Science in Civil Engineering serves as a continuing education qualification for many practicing engineers, affording exposure to the latest advances in the field. The master's degree may also be required for advancement to supervisory or higher-level research roles. The PhD in Civil Engineering is designed for engineers who want to become research scholars, teaching at the college level and performing cutting-edge research.
Career Outlook for Civil Engineers
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 256,000 jobs in civil engineering, with 18 percent more expected by 2016. Median annual earnings of civil engineers were $75,230 in 2007. The highest 10 percent earned more than $109,100 annually.
If you have a real sense adventure and a commitment to help those in the greatest need, civil engineering might be the career for you. Civil engineers literally build their communities from the ground up; with a civil engineering degree, you'll gain the technical training to take on this important role and build a strong career future.