Civil engineering technology degree programs teach practical applications of engineering for construction and infrastructure projects, and can lead to either an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree. However, as of October 2013, there were no ABET-accredited civil engineering technology programs offered 100% online, and only a few accredited programs with options for taking some courses online or via satellite uplink at a remote classroom location. Coursework in a civil engineering technology program includes surveying, structural analysis, design and construction management.
Students wanting to complete an online-only degree program can do so in civil engineering which focuses on more concepts and theoretical principles and lead to careers as engineers, rather than technicians. These are typically master's degree programs and require undergraduate coursework in engineering prior to enrollment. ABET-accredited programs start students on the path to licensure as a professional engineer.
Master's Degree in Civil Engineering
Online master's degree programs in civil engineering typically require applicants to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering or complete specific coursework in math, physics and engineering. Often intended for practicing engineers who want to specialize in a specific field of civil engineering, such as construction, environmental or transportation engineering, online master's programs teach concepts in computer-aided design, project scheduling, cost management and leadership.
Program Information and Requirements
Students can complete these degree programs in 2-3 years, and many civil engineering master's degree programs are available entirely online. Coursework often consists of downloadable multimedia presentations, streaming video or DVDs students can access from home. Students communicate with professors and other classmates using e-mail and online message boards. Course information and materials are available to students at any time, though a large portion of online discussions and tests require adherence to a schedule set by the instructor.
In addition to high-speed Internet access, students generally need to have audio capability to be able to hear lectures and communicate during live class sessions. Some online coursework might require specific software, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader or Real One Player, to view reading materials or watch pre-recorded video lectures.
List of Common Civil Engineering Courses
Depending on the chosen specialization, students can expect to take core civil engineering courses in addition to specific electives in a chosen concentration. Master's programs do not require general education coursework.
This course provides students with fundamental knowledge of the function, design and principles of structural foundations. Topics include material strength analysis, excavation support systems, settlement evaluation and computer-aided design.
Course topics include design capacity, concrete building components, concrete material properties and steel reinforcement design. Upon completion of this course, students have an advanced understanding of concrete structure principles and should be able to adequately design a reinforced concrete structure.
Students gain a fundamental knowledge of principles and laws of engineering practice. The course covers topics in liability, risk analysis and licensing. In addition, students develop problem-solving skills and the expertise to evaluate potential engineering hazards.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of civil engineers was expected to increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024. The average annual wage of a civil engineer was reported at $87,940 in May 2015 by the BLS. Those in the oil and gas extraction industries averaged roughly $130,750 during that time, according to BLS data.
Though civil engineering technology degree programs are not found fully online, students who wish to complete coursework online-only can do so through a civil engineering program. These programs teach students about foundations of engineering, concrete structures and engineering law.