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Career Profile: Civil Engineers

Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 309,800 people employed as civil engineers in the United States. The median annual salary is $88,600. Entry level employees earn approximately $56,160 per year and senior employees earn approximately $144,810 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Direct engineering activities, ensuring compliance with environmental, safety, or other governmental regulations.
  • Manage and direct the construction, operations, or maintenance activities at project site.
  • Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards.
  • Compute load and grade requirements, water flow rates, or material stress factors to determine design specifications.
  • Plan and design transportation or hydraulic systems or structures, using computer-assisted design or drawing tools.
  • Provide technical advice to industrial or managerial personnel regarding design, construction, program modifications, or structural repairs.
  • Analyze survey reports, maps, drawings, blueprints, aerial photography, or other topographical or geologic data.
  • Direct or participate in surveying to lay out installations or establish reference points, grades, or elevations to guide construction.
  • Estimate quantities and cost of materials, equipment, or labor to determine project feasibility.
  • Prepare or present public reports on topics such as bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions.
  • Design energy-efficient or environmentally sound civil structures.
  • Test soils or materials to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations, concrete, asphalt, or steel.
  • Identify environmental risks and develop risk management strategies for civil engineering projects.
  • Conduct studies of traffic patterns or environmental conditions to identify engineering problems and assess potential project impact.
  • Analyze manufacturing processes or byproducts to identify engineering solutions to minimize the output of carbon or other pollutants.
  • Develop or implement engineering solutions to clean up industrial accidents or other contaminated sites.
  • Design or engineer systems to efficiently dispose of chemical, biological, or other toxic wastes.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
309,800
Annual Openings:
25,000
Increase in Openings by 2030:
8%
Annual Salary Range:
$56,160 - $144,810
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree