Why Civil Engineering?
“Civil Engineers: Designers and builders of the quality of life.”
– American Society of Civil Engineers
Employment of civil engineers is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2010. Spurred by general population growth and an expanding economy, more civil engineers will be needed to design and construct higher capacity transportation, water supply, pollution control systems, and large buildings and building complexes. They also will be needed to repair or replace existing roads, bridges, and other public structures. There may be additional opportunities within noncivil engineering firms, such as management consulting or computer services firms. In addition to job growth, openings will result from the need to replace civil engineers that transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.
Median civil engineering salaries start out at competitive five-figure levels, and after 20 years of experience, seasoned civil engineers earn six-figure engineering salaries and higher. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11, surveys taken 2008-2009 indicated that the lowest 10 percent, earned $48,140, the highest 10 percent earned, $115,630, and those with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering started at $52,048 a year on average.
If you break down Civil Engineering Salaries by Industry, you’ll see that median civil engineering salaries generally range from around $50,000 to over $80,000 among various industries. Median annual earnings in some of the industries employing civil engineers in 2009 were:
|Federal Executive Branch||$88,040|
|Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services||$82,040|
|Nonresidential Building Construction||$79,410|
According to PayScale’s industry chart, civil engineer salaries are currently highest for those working in transportation with a large number of civil engineers also earning high salaries in the construction industry.Median annual earnings in industries with the highest levels of employment for civil engineers in 2009 were:
|Infrastructure||$59,634 – $92,183|
|Project Manager, Construction||$53,755 – $91,434|
|Project Engineer||$55,130 – $84,523|
|Road / Highway||$56,234 – $82,111|
|Structural Engineer||$51,405 – $73,346|
|Engineer in Training||$45,469 – $57,528|
Spurred by general population growth and the related need to improve the Nation’s infrastructure, more civil engineers will be needed to design and construct or expand transportation, water supply, and pollution control systems, and buildings and building complexes. They also will be needed to repair or replace existing roads, bridges, and other public structures. According to the BLS handbook, civil engineers are expected to have employment growth of 24 percent over the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations.
We invite you to look into the exciting field of Civil Engineering as a career choice. But don’t take our word for it, visit the department, talk with our students, talk with our graduates and then you decide.