Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is the oldest of the main branches of engineering. Civil engineers use their knowledge to supervise and plan construction projects such as roads, airports, bridges, canals, tunnels, and wastewater systems. They also collaborate with architects to design and construct various types of buildings. Some other civil engineering endeavors include highways, airports, pipelines, railroads, levees, and irrigation and sewage systems. Civil engineers try to design their structures to be functional, efficient and durable.

Most of the projects civil engineers are involved with have an impact on the environment. They use their knowledge of the environment to create structures that are not harmful. These structures must also meet building codes and other regulations. Civil engineers are usually contracted for their work and must have their designs approved by city and state officials. They will create a proposal for the job that includes estimation of costs, illustrations of designs, and specifications of the building. To enter the field of civil engineering one must first earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

To obtain a position as a researcher or as a faculty member, one must earn a graduate degree. Many companies recruit engineers right out of college and post ads in magazines, journals, and newspapers as well as on the internet. As civil engineers gain experience they are more likely to be offered opportunities for advancement in the field. They could be promoted to positions such as department heads and senior or project managers. Advanced degrees as well as registration as a professional engineer also bolster ones chances of advancement.

The current employment outlook for civil engineers in Wisconsin is favorable. Those seeking jobs in the field will find very good employment opportunities. This holds true throughout the nation and is also the long-term employment outlook. The factors that effect employment of civil engineers include economic conditions, population growth, and investment in public infrastructures. The Wisconsin average salary for civil engineering positions ranges from $47,400 to $60,600. The national average starts at $47,400 and goes as high as $68,500.

Many employees enjoy generous benefit packages that include paid vacation and sick leave as well as health and dental insurance, retirement plans, and profit sharing. The education path for civil engineers begins with high school courses. Students who have an interest in entering the field of civil engineering should take a college preparatory curriculum which includes natural resources conservation, environmental conservation, computing, advanced programming, calculus, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, drafting, and computer design and drafting. Civil engineers must also have a bachelor’s degree.

University coursework should include credits in mathematics and statistics, natural sciences, engineering science, civil engineering, applied engineering, communication skills, and liberal studies. Civil engineers address society’s infrastructure and environmental challenges. The challenges that face this field are rapidly changing and the deteriorating or inefficient infrastructure of our country must be restored and upgraded. A career in civil engineering will indeed be challenging but, in the midst of the many technological advances of our time, promises to be an exciting, absorbing, and gratifying occupation.


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