What are the career options in Civil Engineering?

In summary, the conversation discussed the potential plan of the speaker to major in Civil Engineering for their first four years of college, followed by working for 2-3 years before going back to school to major in a specific field within the industry. The conversation also mentioned concerns about the difficulty of transitioning back to school after working and the scope of specialization within Civil Engineering. Various sub-disciplines and specializations were listed, and the idea of getting stuck in a specific type of work was addressed. The conversation also briefly touched on the speaker's interest in aerospace engineering.
  • #1

Matt

I am planning on majoring in Civil Engineering in my first four years of college. After I get a bachelor's I figured I would work for about 2 or 3 years and figure out what I really like in the field, then go back to school and major in that. I've heard bad stories about going to work and then back to school, so if you could please comment on that. Moreover, does anyone know the scope of specialization in Civil Engineering? I don't want to be stuck designing pipes for the water district for the rest of my life, as that could get boring. Thanks for your input.
 
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  • #2
Originally posted by Matt
I've heard bad stories about going to work and then back to school, so if you could please comment on that.

It's not unheard of. However, for many people, it's hard to get back into the school mindset after being in the "real world". Plus, it will be hard going back to being poor once you have had a taste of a real salary (especially if you start accumulating debt). But, if that's what you want, then don't be afraid to do it. It's not a real problem.

A B.S. in engineering is a basic requirement. A M.S. is a nice bonus and would play well in your career. A PhD is pretty much unnecessary in engineering unless you plan to be a university professor or a super tech guru.

Moreover, does anyone know the scope of specialization in Civil Engineering? I don't want to be stuck designing pipes for the water district for the rest of my life, as that could get boring. Thanks for your input.

Off the top of my head...(main parts with sub-disciplines)...

Code:
Structural/Architectural engineering
   Construction & Materials
Transportation engineering 
   Roads & bridges
   Traffic control
Environmental (I have a Masters degree in this)
   Water Supply/Resources
   Water/Wastewater Treatment
   Hazardous Waste Management
   Solid Waste Management
   Air pollution control
Urban Planning
Geo-technical
Maritime engineering
Disaster Reduction
Education
Power Generation

And there are specializations within those sub-disciplines too.

Anyway, don't worry about getting stuck designing pipes for the rest of your life. If you go that route, then you may do that for the first couple years, but then they'll move you on to other things and let the newbies (read: cheaper labor) do that work. It is often the case that engineers do technical work for a few years and then move into management.

An engineering degree will also give you flexibility to work in many different types of jobs. You may never see a drafting table, if that's what you want.

try checking out this website for a flavor (American Society of Civil Engineers)
http://www.asce.org/

good luck!
 
  • #3
Aah... Go for something exciting ! Like aerospace engeneering !
This way you'll stay excited even if you're unemployed !
 
  • #4
W00t!

*High fives drag*

"Would you like an ion drive with your fries? I know how they work, you know... just the fries? Okay then... You're missing out!"
 
  • #5
I love ion engines ! IBTs, HETs, FETs... I love'em all ! :smile:

btw, Enigma, would it be extremely rude to ask wether you're
currently employed as an aerospace engeneer ?

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #6
Originally posted by enigma
"Would you like an ion drive with your fries? I know how they work, you know... just the fries? Okay then... You're missing out!"




Beware. I know a couple of guys who fell into the sewage business and got stuck. Early choices can have long term implications. As your career evolves, the network of people in your domain can have a large influence on the opportunities to be found. The specifics of a starting position may not be too important, but choosing a good direction is important. Many, many people fall into this trap - I'll do this for a while - and never get out.
 
  • #7
Ok, so I was talking to my cousin who's a civil engineer. It seems that for your bachelor's you get to choose around 3 electives that can gauge what kind of specialization you want to go into. Oh and I checked out that website, Phobos, thanks. I think I'll stay out of water, hehe - I like the look of urban planning ans structural engineering though. Bring on the enviro activists!
 

1. What is Civil Engineering?

Civil Engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of structures, infrastructure, and systems that are essential for society's functioning. This includes buildings, roads, bridges, water supply networks, and more.

2. What are the career options in Civil Engineering?

There are many career options available in Civil Engineering, including construction engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering, water resources engineering, and more. Civil engineers can also work in government agencies, private consulting firms, and research institutions.

3. What skills are required for a career in Civil Engineering?

Some essential skills for a career in Civil Engineering include strong analytical and problem-solving skills, attention to detail, communication and teamwork abilities, and proficiency in math and science. It is also important to have a solid understanding of engineering principles and practices.

4. What education and training are needed to become a Civil Engineer?

To become a Civil Engineer, you will need a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering or a related field. Some employers may prefer a master's degree for certain positions. Additionally, obtaining a Professional Engineer (PE) license may be required for more advanced roles. Continuous learning and training are also necessary to keep up with advancements in the field.

5. What is the job outlook for Civil Engineering?

The job outlook for Civil Engineering is positive, with a projected growth rate of 2% from 2019 to 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As infrastructure continues to age and new projects are developed, there will be a demand for civil engineers to design, construct, and maintain these structures. Additionally, with the increasing focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, there may be opportunities for civil engineers in these areas as well.

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