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What does a Civil Engineer do?

If you are considering a career as a civil engineer then your future could be very bright. The job outlook projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a predicted growth of 20 percent in employment for civil engineers which is well above the average.

A civil engineer designs, constructs, maintains and supervises large construction projects. These can include the building and maintenance of roads, bridges, tunnels, dams, and water supply and treatment systems. They are also involved with other large scale developments and infrastructure that benefit the community such as train stations, airports and government buildings. In short, civil engineers shape the communities we live in.

As a civil engineer you need to be able to design structures that are safe and meet all the standards for the required building codes. At the same time you have to consider the environment, efficiency, and maintenance of a project and ensure that the structures endure through the years. In addition, the work has to be achieved within a specified time frame and within budget.

What Education and Training Do I Need?

Generally a four year bachelor's degree in civil engineering or engineering technology is the minimum entry level requirement. Students who enjoy and do well in math and science will have an excellent foundation to enter into a civil engineering program. Further exams as well as three or four years on the job experience is then needed to gain an engineering license and advance to more senior positions.

What About the Work Environment?

As a civil engineer you may be employed by the government or municipalities. Alternatively, you can work for a private firm that bids on contracts to build public works. The majority of civil engineers work in offices but many spend a considerable amount of time on construction sites where they monitor operations or resolve any problems that arise. It is a extremely skilled and highly trained occupation which can be very exciting particularly on projects where leading edge technology and cutting edge design techniques are being utilized.

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