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Become A Civil Engineer/Project Manager

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Working As A Civil Engineer/Project Manager

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • $61,504

    Average Salary

What Does A Civil Engineer/Project Manager Do

Civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain construction projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. Many civil engineers work in design, construction, research, and education.


Civil engineers typically do the following:

  • Analyze long range plans, survey reports, maps, and other data in order to plan projects
  • Consider construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors in planning the stages of, and risk analysis for, a project
  • Compile and submit permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations
  • Perform or oversee soil testing to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations
  • Test building materials, such as concrete, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects
  • Provide cost estimates for materials, equipment, or labor to determine a project’s economic feasibility
  • Use design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems, and structures in line with industry and government standards
  • Perform or oversee surveying operations in order to establish reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction
  • Present their findings to the public on topics such as bid proposals, environmental impact statements, or descriptions of property
  • Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure

Civil engineers inspect projects to insure regulatory compliance. In addition, they are tasked with ensuring that safe work practices are followed at construction sites.

Many civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions ranging from supervisor of a construction site to city engineer, public works director, and city manager. Others work in design, construction, research, and teaching. Civil engineers work with others on projects and may be assisted by civil engineering technicians.

Civil engineers prepare permit documents for work on projects in renewable energy. They verify that the projects will comply with federal, state, and local requirements. With regard to solar energy, these engineers conduct structural analyses for large-scale photovoltaic projects. They also evaluate the ability of solar array support structures and buildings to tolerate stresses from wind, seismic activity, and other sources. For large-scale wind projects, civil engineers often prepare roadbeds to handle large trucks that haul in the turbines. In addition, they prepare the sites on the shore or offshore to make sure that the foundations for the turbines will safely keep them upright in expected environmental conditions.

Civil engineers work on complex projects, so they usually specialize in one of several areas.

Construction engineers manage construction projects, ensuring that they are scheduled and built in accordance with plans and specifications. These engineers typically are responsible for the design and safety of temporary structures used during construction.

Geotechnical engineers work to make sure that foundations are solid. They focus on how structures built by civil engineers, such as buildings and tunnels, interact with the earth (including soil and rock). In addition, they design and plan for slopes, retaining walls, and tunnels.

Structural engineers design and assess major projects, such as buildings, bridges, or dams, to ensure their strength and durability.

Transportation engineers plan, design, operate, and maintain everyday systems, such as streets and highways, but they also plan larger projects, such as airports, ship ports, mass transit systems, and harbors.

The work of civil engineers is closely related to the work of environmental engineers.

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How To Become A Civil Engineer/Project Manager

Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree. They typically need a graduate degree and licensure for promotion to senior positions. Although licensure requirements vary within the United States, civil engineers usually must be licensed in the locations where they provide services directly to the public.


Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, in one of its specialties, or in civil engineering technology. Programs in civil engineering and civil engineering technology include coursework in math, statistics, engineering mechanics and systems, and fluid dynamics, among other courses, depending on the specialty. Courses include a mix of traditional classroom learning, work in laboratories, and fieldwork.

A degree from a program accredited by the ABET is needed in order to earn the professional engineer (PE) license. In many states, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology also will suffice as an academic requirement for obtaining a license.

About 1 in 4 civil engineers has a master’s degree. Further education after the bachelor’s degree, along with the PE license and previous experience, is helpful in getting a job as a manager. For more information on engineering managers, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Civil engineers often balance multiple and frequently conflicting objectives, such as determining the feasibility of plans with regard to financial costs and safety concerns. Urban and regional planners often look to civil engineers for advice on these issues. Civil engineers must be able to make good decisions based on best practices, their own technical knowledge, and their own experience.

Leadership skills. Civil engineers take ultimate responsibility for the projects that they manage or research that they perform. Therefore, they must be able to lead planners, surveyors, construction managers, civil engineering technicians, civil engineering technologists, and others in implementing their project plan.

Math skills. Civil engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Organizational skills. Only licensed civil engineers can sign the design documents for infrastructure projects. This requirement makes it imperative that civil engineers be able to monitor and evaluate the work at the jobsite as a project progresses. That way, they can ensure compliance with the design documents. Civil engineers also often manage several projects at the same time, and thus must be able to balance time needs and to effectively allocate resources.

Problem-solving skills. Civil engineers work at the highest level of the planning, design, construction, and operation of multifaceted projects or research. The many variables involved require that they possess the ability to identify and evaluate complex problems. They must be able to then utilize their skill and training to develop cost-effective, safe, and efficient solutions.

Speaking skills. Civil engineers must present reports and plans to audiences of people with a wide range of backgrounds and technical knowledge. This requires the ability to speak clearly and to converse with people in various settings, and to translate engineering and scientific information into easy to understand concepts.

Writing skills. Civil engineers must be able to communicate with others, such as architects, landscape architects, and urban and regional planners. They also must be able to explain projects to elected officials and citizens. This means that civil engineers must be able to write reports that are clear, concise, and understandable to those with little or no technical or scientific background.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a civil engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, approve design plans, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years working under a licensed engineer
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after earning a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Each state issues its own licenses. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements. Several states require continuing education for engineers to keep their licenses.


Civil engineers with ample experience may move into senior positions, such as project managers or functional managers of design, construction, operation, or maintenance. However, they would first need to obtain the Professional Engineering (PE) license, because only licensed engineers can assume responsibilities for public projects.

After gaining licensure, a professional engineer may seek credentialing that attests to his or her expertise in a civil engineering specialty. Such a credential may be of help for advancement to senior technical or even managerial positions.

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Civil Engineer/Project Manager Demographics










Hispanic or Latino






Black or African American

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Civil Engineer/Project Manager Education


Michigan State University


University of Florida


University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez


University of South Alabama


Villanova University


Iowa State University


Southern Polytechnic State University


Colorado State University


Air Force Institute of Technology


Washington State University


University of Maryland - University College


University of Alabama


South Dakota School of Mines and Technology


Mississippi State University


Georgia Institute of Technology -


Prairie View A & M University


Ohio State University


University of Alabama at Birmingham


New Mexico State University


University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

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Civil Engineering




Project Management




Civil Engineering Technologies


Environmental Engineering


Construction Management




Mining Engineering




Mechanical Engineering




Engineering Technology


Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies


Surveying, Mapping, And Hydraulic Technologies


Construction Engineering


Homeland Security


Architectural Engineering


Construction Engineering Technologies


Engineering And Industrial Management

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Real Civil Engineer/Project Manager Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Manager-Civil Engineering Halcrow, Inc. Austin, TX Nov 01, 2011 $171,507
Civil Engineering Project Manager R.M. Harris Co. Inc. Martinez, CA Sep 05, 2012 $150,000
Civil Engineering Project Manager Maspeth Welding Inc. NY Aug 12, 2016 $136,427
Civil Engineer/Project MGR. Vardaris Tech, Inc. Islandia, NY Mar 01, 2011 $125,000
Civil Engineering Project Manager Zaman Construction Corp. NY Dec 02, 2016 $122,678
Civil Engineer/Projects Manager Iron Fabrication Services, Inc. Jessup, MD Dec 14, 2015 $116,230
Project Manager/Civil Engineer Roy D. McQueen and Associates, Ltd. Chantilly, VA Mar 23, 2015 $106,517 -
Project Manager, Civil Engineer Maco Group LLC Miami Lakes, FL Aug 12, 2015 $105,934
Senior Civil Engineer/Project Manager Trans Global Contracting Inc. San Diego, CA Dec 12, 2014 $102,502
Civil Engineer/Project Manager Pro-Metal Construction Inc. New York, NY Sep 30, 2015 $96,000
Project Manager, Civil Engineer Am Architectural Metal & Glass Inc. New York, NY Aug 10, 2015 $93,600
Civil Engineer/Project Manager Universal Construction Resources, Inc. Great Neck, NY Jul 14, 2014 $90,000
Civil Engineer-Senior Project Manager Mead & Hunt, Inc. Sacramento, CA Mar 03, 2010 $88,000 -
Project Manager/Civil Engineer Gonsalves & Santucci, Inc. Kent, WA Sep 16, 2013 $87,818 -
Project Manager, Civil Engineer Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc. Bethlehem, PA Oct 11, 2009 $82,180
Civil Engineer/Project Manager Hayward Baker Inc. Tukwila, WA Mar 21, 2009 $75,000
Project Manager/Civil Engineer Mitsubishi Construction Corporation New York, NY Sep 08, 2010 $75,000
Project Manager/Civil Engineer Mitsubishi Construction Corporation New York, NY Aug 30, 2010 $75,000
Civil Engineering Project Manager Envirodesign Associates, Inc. Delray Beach, FL Jul 01, 2016 $74,194
Civil Engineer and Autocad Project Manager Atlantis Group, Inc. Newton, MA Oct 01, 2013 $73,000
Project Manager/Civil Engineer Viking Contractors, Inc. Silver Spring, MD Jan 01, 2010 $72,000
Project Manager/Civil Engineer Five Star Contracting Companies Inc. New York, NY Jan 03, 2013 $61,507
Civil Engineer/Project Manager Alna Construction Corporation Secaucus, NJ Oct 01, 2012 $61,504
Civil Engineer/Project Manager Alpha Recycling Inc. New York, NY Jul 15, 2012 $61,504
Project Manager/Civil Engineer TLH Construction Corp. New York, NY Oct 27, 2011 $61,360
Junior Civil Engineer/Asst. Project MGR. KEL-Mar Designs, Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2013 $61,300
Civil Engineer Project Manager Big Orange Consulting Inc. New York, NY Jul 15, 2012 $61,066
Project Manager/Civil Engineer Maspeth Welding, Inc. NY Oct 01, 2012 $60,861

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Top Skills for A Civil Engineer/Project Manager


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Top Civil Engineer/Project Manager Skills

  1. Drainage Design
  2. Project Management
  3. Sanitary Sewer
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared hydraulic report Storm Drainage Design Computations for Subsurface Drainage System at Beechgrove Subdivision (City of Westwego).
  • Created Project flow system for Project Objective and Project Management Supervised and managed construction management groups and traffic management impacts studies.
  • Inspected construction site to monitor progress and ensure conformance to engineering plans, specifications and construction and safety standards.
  • Managed two CAD technicians and one Engineer in Training.
  • Design and managed civil land development and commercial site developments involving utility, drainage, and roadway design.

Top Civil Engineer/Project Manager Employers

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