Have you ever wondered "who built this road?" while driving your car?
Civil engineers are the ones who are building these roads! Civil engineers not only build roads, but also build structures that serve the general public, such as dams, bridges, canals, and power plants, to name a few.
If building something for the general public sounds interesting to you, then consider the career of a civil engineer!
Duties of Civil Engineering
There are three different phases that go into civil engineering:
Phase 1: Design
This is where you'll design your long-term plan. You'll also assess risks, and check to see if the design fits the budget and meets local regulations.
Phase 2: Build
This is where you start to see the results of your design. You'll test the materials you'll use, check to make sure they meet government standards for building, and oversee the project while it's being built.
Phase 3: Repair
You'll maintain and repair any projects that need attention.
You're doing research to see if steel will be appropriate to use to build a bridge. What phase are you on right now?
Where can you be employed?
As a civil engineer, you can work in different settings such as:
Local, state, or federal government
Types of Civil Engineering
There are many different specializations of civil engineering that you can choose from, such as:
Structural Engineering — analyze and design structures to ensure the safety and resistance of stress and force
Environmental Engineering —study and address the effects of technological advances on the environment
Transportation Engineering —construction of transportation facilities, often including roads, railways, airports, bike paths, and sidewalks
Water and Wastewater Engineering —plan, design, and manage the construction and operation of water or wastewater supply systems
What education do you need?
To be a civil engineer, you'll usually need a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, civil engineering technologies, or related fields like construction.
You'll need to take programs like civil engineering and civil engineering technology, and take courses that emphasize different subjects and specialities like math, statistics, engineering mechanics and systems, and fluid dynamics.
Your courses will involve classroom learning along with both lab and field work, and may include work experience programs.
But will it pay the bills?
The average base annual salary in Canada is $69,039. (CAD)
The average base annual salary in the U.S. is $95,440.
You'll love this career if you have...
Communication Skills — you can act as a mediator to communicate clearly and accomplish tasks.
Leadership Skills — you have the ability to motivate and effectively lead a team to achieve project goals.
Problem-Solving Skills — there are many variables that can hinder the project, such as materials, government standards, and regulations so it is important to have the ability to identify, evaluate and resolve problems effectively.
STEM Skills — both mathematical and physics skills are required.
Data Computation Skills — civil engineers collect a lot of data and organize them to present them to people with different expertise.
❌ Look for another career if you...
aren't interested in studying advanced math and physics.
don't want to work long hours in stressful conditions.
like working by yourself.
don't like structure and timelines.
are looking for a remote job.
Not the best at organizing.
⚡Check your knowledge!
shy and prefers working alone
likes to engage in artistic activities
organized and detail-oriented
doesn't like following strict work schedules
works part-time as a math tutor
an extrovert who likes to meet new people
enjoys being creative and playing with Lego sets in her free time
has excellent problem-solving skills
leads the debate team at her school
Who would be a better fit as a civil engineer?
If you want to work towards pursuing a career as a civil engineer:
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