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Engineering Civil Engineering job prospects

  1. Jul 9, 2009 #1
    I have mixed thoughts about this. Some people say this is the engineering that has the most job opportunities and others say it's the worst because the field is overpopulated. At least in the United States, how do you see this field?

    Good, bad, average and will it stay that way?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2009 #2


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    there will be lots of jobs for Civil Engineering, especially with the Obama stimulus plan to fix the U.S. infrastructure. Most of the money won't be spent until 2010, so you shouldn't be worried.
  4. Jul 9, 2009 #3
    If you keep your options open, I think there will be many opportunities in civil engineering.


    While it is probably the most populated engineering major, there is a lot of work. And as Wax noted, the stimulus plan will help.

    The biggest variable in civ eng work is probably construction, but the field should be fairly robust, even in a long recession.

    And if you're an optimist, you should note that since America has been neglecting its infrastructure for so long, it shouldn't be much time before we need a bunch of engineers to fix it!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  5. Sep 8, 2009 #4
    The question you should ask yourself is whether you are going to like what you are doing. Design (beams, columns, slabs, detailing, etc. following design codes), construction, and management are the things that MOST (not all) civil engineers will be doing. Math competency required ranges from zero to college level math. If you are academically inclined, you may find real world civil engineering quite boring. And by the way, you are correct that the field is overpopulated. Pay is lower than most other engineering fields. Just my two cents.
  6. Sep 8, 2009 #5
    One more thing, when the economy is down, civil engineers get affected badly. This is because there is no money to spend on projects. This affects architects, which in turn affects civil engineers. That leads to slowdown in construction projects.
  7. Sep 9, 2009 #6
    Agreed. Construction is very cyclical and engineers are only needed for the duration of a project. There will probably be other engineers equally qualified for the next project. This is in contrast to more stable types of engineering where you become the expert on a certain topic within your company (of course it's also hard to get promoted when you're the expert).

    Just some more minor food for thought. I'm glad someone else linked the BLS page though, and that's really the best resource for industry outlook etc unless you have some more specific niche in mind.
  8. Sep 9, 2009 #7


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    Actually it really depends on the individual. Someone who is proficient, hard working, innovative, diversified and successful will stand out.

    Civil engineering is a specialty of engineering, but it is also a broad category. One could work on structures (e.g. bridges, dams, buildings, . . . ) as a structural engineer, which has become a specialty itself. In that capacity, one could do design and/or analysis. I'd recommend adding a background in materials (materials science and engineering). There might also be overlap into mechanical engineering.

    One could go into transportation, such as roads/highways, railroads, water ways, and related infrastructure. Again there would be overlap with mechanical engineering.

    One could water and sanitation, both of which will become critical in the near future.

    Browse the possibilities here - http://www.asce.org/
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