What is a Civil Engineering?
Civil engineering is a branch of engineering that designs, constructs and maintains the public structures, transportations and other forms of infrastructures. Civil engineers are essential for society due to the fact that they are the individuals who manage vital aspects of civilization. This includes building and maintaining the integrity of roadways, highways and bridges. Civil Engineers are responsible for dams, transit systems, airports, tunnels, irrigation systems, wastewater treatment facilities and industrial and commercial buildings. Due to this wide range of public structures that civil engineers are expected to maintain, many civil engineers receive degrees in a sub-specialty. These sub-specialties include:
- Geotechnical Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Transportation Engineering
- Highway Engineering
- Hydraulic Engineering
- Earthquake Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
Civil engineering degrees that are available are Bachelor’s degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees and post-doctorial degrees. Now many colleges and universities offer civil engineering degrees via an online classroom, for bachelors, masters and doctorial students. An online civil engineering degree is an excellent way to a student to further their career while maintaining their current job. Other benefits of online degrees include flexibility and often classes are more affordable. Students are now able to attend universities located across the country, typically without having to worry about out-of-state tuition and without having to relocate.
What coursework is needed to acquire a Civil Engineering Degree?
A degree in civil engineering demands a strong educational background in mathematics, construction and science. The initial courses that a civil engineer will take usually are the same as in all fields of engineering. This is to allow for the student to create a solid foundation of engineering concepts, mathematics and sciences before they advance to more challenging civil engineering courses.
In a four year bachelor’s program, a student can expect to take chemistry, physics and geology as their sciences in their first two years. For mathematical classes, students usually will take statics, calculus and vector geometry. In addition to these classes, civil engineers will be expected to take numerous mechanics classes, which include fluid and soil mechanics.
Once a civil engineer has selected their sub-specialty, they will begin taking advance courses focused upon that specific topic. Many colleges and universities expect their students to complete a real-world project, or internship, to complete their civil engineering degree.
What schools offer accredited online Civil Engineering degrees?
Colorado State University
Online Civil Engineering degrees available: Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering
College of Engineering
Colorado State University
Campus Delivery 1372
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1372
Online Civil Engineering degrees available: Master in Civil Engineering
School of Graduate Studies
PO Box 367,
Northfield, VT 05663-0367
Penn Foster College, AS Civil Engineering Technology
What jobs opportunities are available with a Civil Engineering degree and what income can one expect with this degree?
Students with degrees in civil engineering have a wide range of jobs available to them. Civil engineers have been described as the designers, constructors, and operators of many of the structures that create quality of life for most civilizations. Jobs that this degree prepares a student for are:
- Design Engineer for a consulting firm. Many of these design engineers create bridges, roadways, golf courses, bike paths, airports and dams.
- Construction Site Manager. A civil engineer is essential to building a large scale commercial or industrial project. This position often requires the engineer to oversee the project, submit bids for scheduling, and work directly with contractors.
- Government Employee. Local and state governments require the expertise of a civil engineer to help with public transportation, safe drinking water, wastewater plants and landfills.
- Federal Agencies. Many federal agencies employee civil engineers to help design and maintain public structures. These agencies include the Department of Transportation, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Geological Survey and the US Forest Service.
The most commonly employed field of engineering is civil engineering. Individuals with civil engineering degrees can expect to witness a 24% employment growth by 2018, making this one of the fastest growing occupations. The median income of civil engineers is $74,600 (2009). For entry level civil engineers with a bachelor’s degree, one can expect to make approximately $52,048 per year.