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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.Education
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
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.Advancement
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Geotechnical Engineer
Top Careers After Geotechnical Engineer
Hispanic or Latino9.3%
Black or African American1.4%
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Georgia Institute of Technology -6.7%
Iowa State University6.7%
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology6.7%
University of Colorado at Boulder5.8%
Colorado School of Mines5.8%
Mississippi State University5.8%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute5.8%
University of Florida4.8%
University of California - Berkeley4.8%
University of Texas at Austin4.8%
University of Delaware4.8%
Colorado State University4.8%
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University4.8%
University of Nevada - Reno3.8%
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology3.8%
University of Central Florida3.8%
Pennsylvania State University3.8%
University of Massachusetts Amherst3.8%
Texas A&M University3.8%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Principal Advisor Geotechnical Engineering||Newmont USA Limited||Carlin, NV||Jun 22, 2015||$183,934|
|Geotechnical Engineer||BP America Inc.||Houston, TX||Sep 01, 2015||$180,800|
|Associate/Senior Geotechnical Engineer||OVE ARUP & Partners PC||New York, NY||May 11, 2015||$144,100|
|Geotechnical Engineer VI||Hardesty & Hanover LLC||Trenton, NJ||Jun 25, 2015||$114,000|
|SR. Geotechnical Engineer||Golder Associates Inc.||Walnut Creek, CA||Aug 24, 2015||$110,000 -
|Geotechnical Engineer 4||Ch2M Hill, Inc.||Chantilly, VA||Aug 28, 2015||$103,522|
|Geotechnical Engineer||CB&I Environtmental & Infrastructure, Inc.||Baton Rouge, LA||May 26, 2015||$101,121 -
|Geotechnical Engineer V||Hardesty & Hanover LLC||Trenton, NJ||Aug 13, 2015||$101,109|
|Geotechnical Engineer||Stantec Consulting Services Inc.||Rocklin, CA||Jan 11, 2015||$97,864 -
|Senior 2 Geotechnical Engineer||AMEC Foster Wheeler Environment &Amp; Infrastructure, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Jun 17, 2016||$97,000|
|Senior 2 Geotechnical Engineer||AMEC Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Apr 01, 2016||$97,000|
|Geotechnical Engineer||Langan ENGG, ENV, Surveying & Landscape Archit DPC||New York, NY||Dec 24, 2015||$95,950|
|Geotechnical Engineer||URS Corporation||Reno, NV||Aug 23, 2016||$95,534|
|Geotechnical Engineer||TGH (Us), Inc.||Houston, TX||Jun 09, 2016||$79,744|
|Geotechnical Engineer II||Barrick Cortez Inc.||Crescent Valley, NV||Aug 31, 2016||$79,630|
|Geotechnical Engineer II||Freeport-McMoran Safford Inc.||Safford, AZ||Jan 04, 2016||$79,500|
|Geotechnical Engineer||Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.||New York, NY||Apr 15, 2015||$79,410|
|Civil Geotechnical Engineer||URS Corporation||Baton Rouge, LA||Aug 30, 2015||$78,763|
|Geotechnical Engineer||WS Atkins Inc.||Houston, TX||Nov 21, 2015||$78,500 -
|Geotechnical Engineer||GCME, Inc.||Riviera Beach, FL||Jan 05, 2016||$67,000|
|Geotechnical Engineer 1||Ch2M Hill, Inc.||Santa Ana, CA||Sep 10, 2015||$67,000|
|Engineer-Geotechnical||Kennecott Utah Copper, LLC||UT||Oct 30, 2015||$66,997 -
|Geotechnical Engineer||Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.||Washington, DC||May 30, 2016||$66,955|
|Geotechnical Engineer||Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.||Lawrenceville, NJ||Aug 18, 2015||$66,747|
|Geotechnical Engineer||Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.||Lawrenceville, NJ||Aug 24, 2015||$66,747|
|Geotechnical Engineer||Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc.||Lawrenceville, NJ||Aug 17, 2015||$66,747|
|Staff Geotechnical Engineer||Terracon Consultants, Inc.||Conroe, TX||Aug 31, 2016||$66,477|
To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.
Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering for the CGEA
Geotechnical Engineering: what should you do in order to be a geotechnical engineer?
What is Geotechnical Engineering?