If you are a creative and strategic thinker who is intrigued by how cities are actually designed, then civil engineering is a career path you might want to investigate. Civil engineering is the design and maintenance of public works such as roads and bridges, as well as public facilities like airports and railways. These engineers are responsible for the intricate systems that carry people, water and power and help build the infrastructure of the country's national parks. They also help design and build the mass transit systems that keep people moving in cities around the globe. But how do you know if being a civil engineer is right for you?
Understanding Building Concepts
Civil engineers are chiefly responsible for the design and maintenance of public works and facilities. Their eye for design helps create the intricate systems that support cities and towns around the world and are vital for modern standards of living in the developed world. If you have an affinity for understanding how these complex systems work, how they are initiated and how they are maintained, then civil engineering may be for you.
Planning is a large part of civil engineering. If you are the type of individual who a natural planner and organizer, then civil engineering may suit you. Civil engineers must also be good at meeting and beating deadlines. Civil engineering can lead to additional career opportunities as well, with many engineers pursuing managerial jobs that allow them to use their talents in planning.
Patience and Creativity
Civil engineering requires a lot of patience and creativity. Engineers must deal with fluctuating government budgets and bureaucratic delays that can slow down the building process. For some people, this can be a deterrent, but if you are a patient individual, you may be able to handle such issues with relative ease. You must also be incredibly creative, as civil engineers are responsible for designing major additions to cities and towns.
Math and Science Fans
Civil engineering requires formal education heavily rooted in both math and science. If you are interested in these areas of study, then becoming a civil engineer may be a the job for you. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required to be come a civil engineer, with advanced coursework in chemistry, physics and mathematics and thermodynamics, which is is the study of the effects of heat, work and energy on a system. Continuing your education with a master's degree and joining professional organizations may be required of you to be successful in this career as well.
2016 Salary Information for Civil Engineers
Civil engineers earned a median annual salary of $83,540 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, civil engineers earned a 25th percentile salary of $65,330, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $107,140, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 303,500 people were employed in the U.S. as civil engineers.