Architecture and Construction

Career Central- Virtual Job Shadow

Hall County Schools Career Technical Education program features a highlighted career each month within all CTE classrooms to provide interactive resources to students via Virtual Job Shadowing and Career Cluster Exploration. offers engaging career exploration resources and tools all on one user-friendly website.

Highlighted Career - Civil Engineer

Career Spotlight: Civil Engineer

What Civil Engineers Do

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.

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Required Education

Civil engineers need a bachelor's degree. 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.

Civil engineers need a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, in one of its specialties, or in civil engineering technology. Programs in civil engineering and civil engineering technology include coursework in math, statistics, engineering mechanics and systems, and fluid dynamics, among other courses, depending on the specialty. Courses include a mix of traditional classroom learning, work in laboratories, and fieldwork.

A degree from a program accredited by the ABET is needed in order to earn the professional engineer (PE) license. In many states, a bachelor's degree in civil engineering technology also will suffice as an academic requirement for obtaining a license.

About 1 in 4 civil engineers has a master's degree. Further education after the bachelor's degree, along with the PE license and previous experience, is helpful in getting a job as a manager. For more information on engineering managers, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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The median annual wage for civil engineers was $82,050 in May 2014. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $52,570, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $128,110.

In May 2014, the median annual wages for civil engineers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government, excluding postal service $90,340

Local government, excluding education and hospitals 85,820

Engineering services 81,830

State government, excluding education and hospitals 78,330

Nonresidential building construction 74,030

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Future Outlook

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 buildings.

A growing population leading to increasing urbanization means that new water systems will be required while, at the same time, aging, existing water systems must be maintained to reduce or eliminate leaks. In addition, more waste treatment plants will be needed to help clean the nation's waterways. Civil engineers will continue to play a key part in all of this work.

The work of civil engineers will be needed for renewable-energy projects. Often, getting permits for many of these projects takes years, and civil engineers play a key part in the process. Thus, as these new projects gain approval, civil engineers will be further involved in overseeing the construction of structures such as wind farms and solar arrays.

Although states continue to face financial challenges and may have difficulty funding all of their projects that need attention, some of the projects that have been delayed will ultimately have to be completed in order to build and maintain critical infrastructure, and to protect the public and the environment.

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Visit the Virtual Job Shadowing website to explore more about this

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