Entry-Level Civil Engineering Jobs: Salary & Job Descriptions

Jan 31, 2018

There are a handful of entry-level positions available in civil engineering that vary in their job duties, from designing structures to assisting engineers to drafting. Learn about some of these positions, their median salaries and education requirements.

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Entry-Level Civil Engineering Career Options

Entry-level positions in civil engineering may differ in the amount of on-the-job training they require, but the job options listed below do not require work experience in a related occupation. These jobs all require special skill sets and involve civil engineering in some way. Find out about a few of the entry-level civil engineering jobs below.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Civil Engineers $83,540 11%
Civil Engineering Technicians $49,980 9%
Architectural and Civil Drafters $51,640 8%
Construction Managers $89,300 11%
Environmental Engineers $84,890 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Entry-Level Civil Engineering Jobs

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers are not required to have any related work experience or on-the-job training to begin their career. These engineers design and build a wide range of structures, including bridges, buildings, tunnels, roads and dams, and manage many of the logistics of these projects, such as obtaining the proper permits, creating cost estimates and analyzing the foundation. Civil engineers often use special design software to map out the details of their projects. Once a project is completed, they may play a role in the maintenance and any necessary repairs on the structure. These professionals usually need a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Entry-level jobs don't require a license, but civil engineers need to earn a license eventually to work with the public. More advanced positions may also require a master's degree.

Civil Engineering Technicians

Civil engineering technicians do not need on-the-job training or any prior work experience to assist civil engineers. They help design and build different infrastructure projects using computer-aided design (CAD) software, and they maintain detailed reports about the progress of each project. They often go out to inspect the construction site and test building materials to make sure that everything is properly prepared and meeting specifications for the project. Civil engineering technicians usually need an associate's degree in civil engineering technology.

Architectural and Civil Drafters

Drafters are not required to have work experience in a related job or any on-the-job training, and some of these professionals specialize as architectural and civil drafters. Architectural and civil drafters create the detailed maps and drawings of architectural and civil engineering projects using CAD software. They take the rough sketches done by civil engineers and convert them into detailed topographical maps of the construction site and/or detailed drawings of the structure with specific dimensions and instructions. Drafters need a certificate or associate's degree in drafting, and these technical programs may offer further specialization, such as architectural and civil drafting.

Construction Managers

Construction managers do not need related work experience, but they do typically undergo some moderate-term on-the-job training. These managers work closely with civil engineers and other construction professionals to plan and oversee an array of construction projects, including houses, buildings, bridges and roads. They monitor the cost and progress of a project, coordinate construction workers and specialists, ensure projects are meeting current regulations and codes and work to solve any issues that arise throughout the project. Construction managers typically need a bachelor's degree in engineering or construction management, but some positions may accept those with a high school diploma and work experience.

Environmental Engineers

Environmental engineers are not required to have previous related work experience or any on-the-job training. These engineers work to design and create projects aimed at solving environmental problems, such as water reclamation facilities. Much like civil engineers, these professionals obtain the necessary permits, perform analysis on environmental and construction data for projects and check projects for compliance with current environmental laws and regulations. Environmental engineers need at least a bachelor's degree in environmental, civil or another related field of engineering. Although not required, work experience may be a benefit. Similar to civil engineers, environmental engineers don't need a license for entry-level positions, but they'll need to earn one in order to work on public projects.

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