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A Career In Civil Engineering

Jan 3, 2008
What Is Civil Engineering All About?

Civil engineering deals with a variety of construction and maintenance tasks, like building and maintaining roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings, airports, dams, water works, sewage systems and ports. A civil engineer not only requires a high standard of engineering knowledge, but also supervisory and administrative skills. The work involves planning, constructing and maintaining.

The planning and designing part demands site investigation, resource feasibility study and on-the-spot decision making. An engineer has to be quick to make a decision because emergencies do come up and need to be dealt with then and there. Other important duties of an engineer involve taking care of work within the local government guidelines and getting permission for plans, creating a cost estimate and construction schedules and post-completion maintenance of the project.

There are many specialized branches of civil engineering such as dealing with structures, water resources, environment, construction, transportation and geo-technical engineering. For most projects, civil engineers work in teams or sometimes even in coordination with other engineers.

Civil engineering is ideal for those who love to create and the job is monetarily rewarding and involves a lot of responsibility. An engineer is directly responsible for public safety and welfare. Safety should be the first priority of any engineer. If they are involved in constructing residences, they have to follow the safety precautions involved too. In the case of a highway, they are expected to follow traffic safety rules.

Engineers have to look out for potential hazards, including environmental impacts and estimated life expectancy of the project. Natural disasters make it important for engineers to be extra cautious about environmental pressures.

Building Your Career In Civil Engineering:

To begin a career in civil engineering, you need to complete a formal school education, including core courses in English, Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Math, Physics and a foundation in History and Social Studies. In college, a student needs to earn a Bachelor's degree. Pursuing a Master's degree is necessary. According to a recent survey, more than 35% students who have acquired a Bachelor's degree go on to enroll for a Master's, even as they continue to work. Many students prefer to work and earn at the same time because that can earn them a tuition reimbursement.

Acquiring a Master's degree or a PhD helps a student to specialize in the field. The road to complete a civil engineering course is endless and that is why many professionals choose to keep on learning the latest trends in the construction business via special programs developed by universities and professional societies like the American Society of Civil Engineers. The annual earning of a civil engineer is anywhere between $43,000 to $90,000, depending on specialization and experience.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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