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What Can You Do With A Major In Civil Engineering?

Civil engineers design the built environment - the structures, roads, water supply systems, and much more - that surrounds us. The profession is broad and encompasses several technical areas including structures, transportation, geo-technics, water resources and environmental protection. Employment opportunities are plentiful in design, construction, management, teaching, and research. Employers include consulting firms, industrial companies, and government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Typical Career Paths

  • Research and Development
  • Structural
  • Urban Planning
  • Construction
  • Environmental
  • Water Resources
  • Transportation
  • Geo-technical

Typical Job Titles -With a Bachelor's Degree

  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Facility Engineer
  • Structural Designer
  • Project Engineer
  • Site Engineer

Typical Job Titles -With a Master's Degree

  • Land Developer
  • Engineering Officer
  • Structural Engineering
  • General Career Directions
  • AutoCAD Technician
  • CAD Drafter
  • Civil Engineering Designer
  • Civil Engineering Sales
  • Consulting Engineer
  • Director of Transportation
  • Engineer
  • Environmental Manager
  • Project Developer
  • Project Manager
  • Regional Manager
  • Senior Civil Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Surveyor

Typical Employers/Work Settings

  • Architectural Firms
  • Construction Industry
  • Consulting Firms
  • Engineering Firms
  • Environmental Consulting Firms
  • Government Agencies
  • Manufacturing Industry
  • Medical Companies
  • Oil Industry
  • Power Industry
  • Railroad Industry
  • Telecommunications Industry
  • Transportation Industry
  • Utilities Industry
  • Railroads
  • Airports
  • Road Construction Companies

Civil Engineer Salaries

The median annual wages for civil engineers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:The median annual wage for civil engineers is $83,540. 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 $53,470, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $132,880.


Location Wage
Federal government, excluding postal service $92,320
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 88,370
Engineering services 82,710
State government, excluding education and hospitals 80,200
Nonresidential building construction 77,170

Professional Associations

  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

    Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 147,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide, and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE's vision is to position engineers as global leaders building a better quality of life.

  • Earthquake Engineers Research Institute (EERI)

    The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute is a national, nonprofit, technical society of engineers, geoscientists, architects, planners, public officials, and social scientists. EERI members include researchers, practicing professionals, educators, government officials, and building code regulators.

  • United States Society of Dams (USSD)

    USSD Vision - To be the nation's leading organization of professionals dedicated to advancing the role of dams for the benefit of society.

  • American Concrete Institute (ACI)

    Founded in 1904 and headquartered in Farmington Hills, MI, USA, the American Concrete Institute is advancing concrete knowledge by conducting seminars, managing certification programs, and publishing technical documents. The American Concrete Institute currently has 98 chapters and 20,000 members spanning 108 countries.

  • American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)

    Founded in 1893, the American Society for Engineering Education is a nonprofit organization of individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology. It accomplishes this mission by promoting excellence in instruction, research, public service, and practice, exercising worldwide leadership, fostering the technological education of society, and providing quality products and services to members.

  • ASM International

    ASM International is Everything Material®. We are the society dedicated to serving the materials science and engineering profession. Through our network of 36,000 members worldwide, ASM provides authoritative information and knowledge on materials and processes, from the structural to the nanoscale.

  • International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE)

    The ISSMGE is the pre-eminent professional body representing the interests and activities of Engineers, Academics and Contractors all over the world that actively participate in geotechnical engineering.

Match This Major To Careers

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Skills Needed For This Career

Job Search Resources

Holland Theme Codes

Civil Engineering: Investigative Realistic Enterprising

Career Action Plan

  • Conduct an informational interview and/or shadow a professional in the field
  • Develop leadership skills by participating in on-campus activities and student groups (RA, Presidential Envoys, Student Government, Peer Advisors, etc. )
  • Join a professional association in this career field
  • Look to do internships in your junior and senior years to gain experience