Civil engineers design and supervise the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage systems. Civil engineering, considered one of the oldest engineering disciplines, encompasses many specialties. The major specialties within civil engineering are structural, water resources, environmental, construction, transportation, and geotechnical engineering.
Job Outlook and Growth Potential:
Employment of civil engineers is expected to increase more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2012. Spurred by general population growth and an increased emphasis on infrastructure and security, more civil engineers will be needed to design and construct safe and higher capacity transportation, water supply, and pollution control systems, and large buildings and building complexes. They also will be needed to repair or replace existing roads, bridges, and other public structures. In addition to those arising from job growth, openings will result from the need to replace civil engineers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.
Because construction and related industries—including those providing design services—employ many civil engineers, employment opportunities will vary by geographic area and may decrease during economic slowdowns, when construction often is curtailed.
Wages and Earnings Potential:
Median annual earnings of civil engineers were $60,070 in 2002