Civil engineers design and supervise large construction projects, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. Many civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions ranging from supervisor of a construction site to city engineer. Others work in design, construction, research, and teaching.
Career Potential in Civil Engineering
The median annual wage for civil engineers was $86,640 in May 2018. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10% earned less than $54,780, and the highest 10% earned more than $142,560.
In May 2018, the median annual wages for civil engineers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
|Federal government, excluding postal service||$95,380|
|Local government, excluding education and hospitals||$91,750|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||$82,710|
|Nonresidential building construction||$75,670|
Civil engineers typically work full time and some work more than 40 hours per week. Engineers who direct projects may need to work extra hours in order to monitor progress on projects, to ensure that designs meet requirements, and to guarantee that deadlines are met.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Civil Engineers, on the internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/civil-engineers.htm (visited November 26, 2019).