Civil Engineer Job Description: Is This Field For You?

Civil engineers are responsible for making our living space and urban environment function as an effective and sustainable unit. They design and assemble infrastructure we see around us like streets, railways, sewers, water infrastructure, bridges, and other complex systems.

Here is the basic civil engineer job description, and the pros and cons of the job and field as a whole:

Average Day

Civil engineers have a cross-functional role, therefore their work varies from day to day. Civil engineers put designs together for municipalities, private agencies, and a variety of other institutions. This means that civil engineers typically work on a large variety of projects for various of clients. Most civil engineers find themselves working in a firm with many different clients. However, civil engineers may work exclusively for a large governmental institution, where they are dedicated to governement-funded projects. A civil engineer is not necessarily stuck in an office all day long. Quite often, civil engineers will spend their days on site while overseeing the construction of a project.

Pros

The work and projects civil engineers work on is never routine. Projects will change, and civil engineers can move from project to project. They are rarely committed to a single project for more than a year. The industry is also broad enough for civil engineers to explore different types of work if they get an itch to try something new. The field of civil engineering has been, and continues to be, one of the most well respected fields of engineering, which yields respect in industry and good compensation.

Cons

Because civil engineers often develop the plans for high-budget and expensive projects, they may be held liable for anything that goes wrong with the project. A simple error in the plans can cost the entire engineering firm millions of dollars, which results in huge amounts of detailed planning before any projects are carried out. More, civil engineer’s job stability is dependent on the current conditions of the economy.

Education

Higher education is a must in order to practice as a civil engineer. Practitioners must obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, though a master’s degree is preferred by many employers. Luckily, for those already in the workforce, there are online Civil Engineering degrees available so you can complete your coursework during nights and weekends.

About the Author: This article was contributed by Pro-Tec Equipment, a producer of trench shoring products.

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