In addition to fundamental engineering content, bachelor's degree programs in civil engineering also address construction management and building materials. Students may also learn about hazardous waste management, surveying, structural design, soil composition and materials science. Some programs focus on environmental topics, such as soil composition, wastewater handling and hazardous materials. After completing a civil engineering bachelor's program, new engineers will have to pass licensure exams in order to provide engineering services to the public.
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Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering
A civil engineering program provides students with the writing, calculus and mathematics skills used in the field. Students learn engineering formulas for calculating the amount of stress on a building and the design tolerances required to withstand environmental conditions. Students also learn about computer aided design, surveying and hydraulics. Other common course topics may include:
- Engineering physics
- Technical communications
- Wastewater handling
- Construction management
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2015, civil engineers had median annual earnings of $82,220 (www.bls.gov). Students who earn the civil engineering bachelor's degree are also qualified to work as civil engineering technicians. They received median yearly incomes of $49,260 as of May 2015.
The BLS also reports that employment of civil engineers should increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024. Employment of technicians should increase by only 5% during the same time period. Engineers and technicians will be in demand due to population growth and the need to repair or upgrade existing infrastructure.
Civil engineers usually need a license in order to provide services directly to the public. This credential is awarded by the state after completion of multiple exams and other requirements.
Continuing Education Info
Students who have a bachelor's degree in civil engineering can go on to earn their master's degree, which allows them to learn more about the advanced aspects of civil engineering, research and project management. Master's degree programs not only focus on construction, transportation, natural resources and structural integrity, they provide the integrated knowledge of these topics required for complex civil engineering projects.
Ph.D. programs in civil engineering are open to students with a master's degree. Students typically pursue doctoral study to embark on a career in research or provide civil engineering instruction at the college level.
Bachelor's degree programs in civil engineering prepare students for licensing with a wide array of construction, management, and science based courses. Many go onto acquire advanced degrees in order to widen and improve their employment options.