As you commute to and from work, you probably pay little attention to the buildings, bridges, dams, and roads that make up your city. However, every single detail was meticulously planned. Cities do not spring up over night. They require extensive surveying, coordination, and designing. Civil engineering is the science (and art) of making cities come alive for optimal performance.
Civil engineering defined
Civil engineers basically plan and lay out the essential features of whatever town or city they are working on. Where is the best place to build an overpass? Will this bridge be able to support the anticipated traffic? Is it possible to fit a stadium over here? These are just some of the questions civil engineers ask themselves on a daily basis.
Education is essential
Not surprisingly, civil engineers need to become certified in their field because their designs must sustain an entire population. If a bridge collapses or if a dam breaks, that means that the civil engineers involved did not do their job correctly. You'll need to master science, mechanics, physics, engineering, and urban planning before you enter this field. No mayor wants to leave the blueprints of his or her city in the hands of someone who isn't capable.
Job outlook for civil engineering
Urban sprawl basically guarantees that civil engineers will have secure jobs in the many years to come. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median yearly salary for this occupational group was just over $60,000. You can expect this figure to rise as cities continue to expand their borders to accommodate the ever-increasing population.
Publish date: February 10, 2011