Does anyone have any advice on civil engineering as a career? What are the good/bad sides of the profession? Any advice would be greatly appreciated:)
I suppose circumstances vary on that. Back when I was in college (early 90s), boys outnumbered the girls in engineering classes (perhaps 10:1?) but the ratio was getting better over time. The college you're looking into should be able to provide that statistic. When I went to grad school, the ratio was better too (maybe 4:1?).vt33 said:My question for you is do you often work with women civil engineers, or any other type for that matter? I have to admit that I am a little hesitant to go into it because i've heard about it being a "boys club" and I fear I won't have the same opportunities as men. I am also african american so that will make me stand out even more. I don't know if that would be a good thing or a bad thing :)
Depends on the job/company. I've been lucky & have been very stationary (except for the first couple years...new employees just out of college tend to get shipped around...other than that I might travel once per year). I found a company with several offices nationwide & a nice big contract to work on. That means I get to work locally a lot. Most engineering firms take local work.Also, do you move around often? I've heard that civils often have to relocate to find a new job or project. Has this been the case with you or anyone you know?
I attended a couple colleges in the Northeast U.S, so I'm really only familiar with that region. One was a private engineering/science college and the other was a state school. Both were excellent. If you really want to know which ones, send me a PM. I don't know of any "bad" engineering schools...just make sure the one you pick is accredited!cipher said:hey phobos which college did you study civil engineering at? which do u think is the best and most affordable?
No problem. Keep them coming.vt33 said:One more question!
Yes, but only up to a point. Engineers from other countries can work on a specific design assignment, but they can't visit a construction site, coordinate with clients, etc.Do you think that there is potential for civil engineering to be outsourced to other countries?
Funny coincidence...I just now received an email from ASCE saying:Phobos said:For what it's worth, the current president of the American Society of Civil Engineers is a woman. (by the way, be sure to check out the ASCE website)
Reston, VA - Patricia D. Galloway, PE, has been elected the first woman president of the 150-year-old American Society of Civil Engineers (www.asce.org). "It seems implausible that it took so long for a woman to be elected president of ASCE, considering that women have long been breaking barriers and making astounding contributions to the engineering profession," says Galloway.
"I don't view my election as a milestone, but instead a validation on how far we have come in accepting people for their abilities and skills."
Galloway brings to six the number of women who have headed major engineering societies. The other five are LeEarl Bryant, 2002 president of IEEE-USA (www.ieeeusa.org[/url]), the U.S. arm of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers; Dianne Dorland, 2003 president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers ([url]www.aiche.org[/url]); Teresa A. Helmlinger, PE, the first woman president of the National Society of Professional Engineers, who took office in July 2003; and Susan H. Skemp, the 2002-03 president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International ([url]www.asme.org[/URL]) and its first woman officer in 125 years.
The Society of Women Engineers ([url]www.swe.org[/url]), of course, has had woman presidents since its inception. Alma Martinez Fallon is the current president.[/quote]
Good! At least give it a try. If you’re just entering college, you still have time to change directions if you find out that it doesn’t fit you. My B.S. degree and M.S. degree are in totally different types of engineering (mechanical & civil). You’ll find that many of the introductory engineering courses overlap into many different types of engineering.vt33 said:Depsite my fears, I am going to go for civil. I've been doing a lot of thinking and it seems to be the only thing that fits me.
Then just be careful where you decide to work. If you work for a city, then your jobs will have to be local to that city. If you work for the state, then you might work within a particular county/region. If you work for a small company, then you might mainly have small local projects. If you work for a big company, then they might send you many places. (Word of advice: When interviewing, be careful how you ask about travel requirements. Employers will want you to be flexible in job assignments, but it’s a common concern, so it’s ok to ask about if you phrase it right.)The only thing I don't like is the fact that you move where the jobs are, they don't really come to you. I am really interested in transportation engineering, so if I end up working for the government, do they take local work also? Or do you relocate in order to finish the project?
Yes. But, like everything, there are pro's and con's. I have not had a government job, but my impression is this...vt33 said:Would you consider working for the government to be more stable than engineering firms?
Civil engineers will always be needed. With global technological development, it's a growth industry. Specific displicines may have high and low times (for example, my discipline of environmental engineering had a boom in the 1980s/early 1990s when a bunch of new regulations came out but has since slowed down and is more competitive). Some companies do hire/fire on a project-by-project basis, but my impression is that this is no different than other types of engineering jobs. It's normal for an engineer to change companies (or for companies to change due to buy-outs/mergers/etc.) every few years. That can be difficult, but it seems to be the norm. I've been fortunate with my current job (10 years and still going).And from your experiences, would you consider civil to be a fairly stable profession?
Just curiousity, how is civil engineer different fromEnvironmental ? In my school, we study same courses through first 2 years.The key to your decision may be in looking at the types of civil engineering that are available. Broad categories include things like environmental engineering, transportation engineering, construction engineering, etc. And then there are specializations within those categories. For example, an environmental engineer may focus on water/wastewater treatment or hazardous waste or air pollution, etc.
If you have an idea of what kind of work you would like to be doing, then that would help pick which type of engineering to aim for. If you're just entering college, then you'll probably just sign up for "civil engineering" and they'll give you a bunch of introductory classes. As you move through college, you'll start to select specific courses that interest you.
Identifying good/bad sides depends on the situation.
In general, engineers get paid more than scientists and there are more job opportunities available. My impression is that civil engineers get paid a little less than other engineers (but the pay is still good). Civil engineers often get to work outside of the office. There are good professional societies too (networking, training, benefits). The work often has some noticeable impact on the world, which can feel good.
BTW, yes, I'm a civil (environmental) engineer. I'll try to keep an eye on this topic in case you have more questions.
I guess things haven't changed too much since I graduated as a civil engineer several decades ago. At the time, all engineering students.....Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, etc., .... took - more or less -common courses during the first 2 years, like Calculus, Physics, and the Engineering Sciences (and a few Humanities that brought down our grades a notch). Then in the 3rd year choices were made as to which branch of Engineering you would major in, and in the Civil Engineering field in particular, you could choose between Environmental, Transportation, or Structural Engineering, etc.Just curiousity, how is civil engineer different fromEnvironmental ? In my school, we study same courses through first 2 years.
So have you ever worked with environmental engineers b4?I guess things haven't changed too much since I graduated as a civil engineer several decades ago. At the time, all engineering students.....Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, etc., .... took - more or less -common courses during the first 2 years, like Calculus, Physics, and the Engineering Sciences (and a few Humanities that brought down our grades a notch). Then in the 3rd year choices were made as to which branch of Engineering you would major in, and in the Civil Engineering field in particular, you could choose between Environmental, Transportation, or Structural Engineering, etc.