Civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain construction projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.
Civil engineers generally work in a variety of locations and conditions. Many spend time outdoors at construction sites so that they can monitor operations or solve problems onsite. Most work full time.
How to Become a Civil Engineer
Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, in one of its specialties, or in civil engineering technology. They typically need a graduate degree and licensure for promotion to senior positions. Although licensure requirements vary within the United States, civil engineers usually must be licensed in the locations where they provide services directly to the public.
Employment of civil engineers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. As infrastructure continues to age, civil engineers will be needed to manage projects to rebuild bridges, repair roads, and upgrade levees and dams as well as airports and building structures of all types.
This occupation supported 272,900 jobs in 2012 and 281,400 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 3.1%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 19.7% in 2022 to 326,600 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 283,600, compared with an observed value of 281,400, 0.8% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 8.6% in 2024 to 305,000 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 337,300 jobs for 2024, 10.6% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.