Civil engineering programs are not commonly found online; however, students do have some options. Graduate-level certificate programs in specific areas of civil engineering areas can be found as fully online programs, such as those in water resources engineering, railroad engineering, pavement engineering and transportation engineering.
These programs are generally for those who have already completed an engineering degree program and are looking to learn more about a specialty area.
Civil Engineering Diplomas and Certificates
There are few, if any, diploma programs in civil engineering. A diploma is generally awarded in less time than an associate degree. The diploma programs that do exist online have to do with engineering support subjects like computer-aided design; therefore, most fall into the category of civil engineering technology.
There are, however, numerous graduate certificate programs in specialized areas of civil engineering. Graduate certificate programs provide continuing education and specialization education that can enhance job prospects and improve careers.
Information and Requirements
Graduate certificate programs in civil engineering can vary in length, depending on the specialization. Online programs are typically designed for working professionals. Some may be part of larger master's degree programs.
Online students work at their own pace with timeline restrictions. Most programs follow a university calendar, and students are tested through assignments and exams. Applicants must hold bachelor's degrees in a related field and, in some instances, have previous experience in the field.
Common Graduate Certificate Programs in Civil Engineering
A wide variety of graduate certificates in civil engineering are available. A civil engineer might work in wastewater systems or in the design and construction of buildings, for instance. Specialized certificates are designed to impart knowledge of a singular aspect of the civil engineering field.
The amount of allowable noise produced by any system can be subject to governmental regulation. Students in this class study how to measure noise levels and how to control or reduce those levels.
Engineering and Water Resources
This certificate provides students with knowledge of water resource engineering. As part of the certificate program, students examine topics in hazardous waste, air quality and groundwater.
Resources for Biorenewable Technology
Students in this program learn about biofuels and the crop resources required to produce them. It includes information about fuel, chemistry, energy and materials.
A civil engineer has to stay up-to-date on changing environmental factors. This certificate might include information about safe water supplies, waste disposal and air quality.
Many civil engineers are called to manage construction projects as they advance in their careers. This certificate provides them with knowledge in management techniques, cost estimating and resource planning.
Career Information for Graduates
Civil engineers can be licensed as professional engineers. This designation requires continuing education on a regular basis; graduate civil engineering certificates can meet these continuing education requirements. In addition, this kind of certificate can demonstrate a specialized level of engineering competency that can improve and an engineer's employment prospects or help a company earn a government contract.
Civil engineers earned an average annual salary of $87,940 in 2015 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Employment opportunities may be tied to economic conditions and weather factors.
Continuing Education Information
Graduate certificates are one form of continuing education. Civil engineers who work in fields like environmental engineering must stay current on federal, state and local regulations. Continuing education courses can meet that need. As mentioned above, a civil engineer who has acquired the Professional Engineer status is required to have continuing education classes to maintain that status.
Students who want to earn graduate-level certificates in civil engineering specializations can do so online. These programs are best suited for students who already earned an engineering degree and are looking to specialize in a specific area.