Civil Engineers

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Also known as:  Architectural Engineer, Bridge Engineer, Civil Engineer, Construction Engineer, Facilities Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer, Highway Engineer, Hydrographic Engineer, Railroad Design Consultant, Research Hydraulic Engineer

ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Civil engineers design roads, bridges, tunnels, dams, and airports. They combine a knowledge of materials science, engineering, economics, physics, geology, and hydraulics to create the physical infrastructure essential to modern life. Naturally, there are numerous sub-specialties.

Surveyin ...
g and mapping engineers identify the best sites for construction. Hydraulic and irrigation engineers focus on dams, flood control, wells, and reservoirs. Environmental engineers deal with wastewater products, garbage disposal, and recycling plants. And traffic engineers specialize in designing "people-moving systems," be they underground subways, commuter railroads, or new and improved roads and highways.

A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement. At some universities this is a five-year program. But co-op, junior college, and night-school options are also available.

Becoming a civil engineer is a lot of work. But if you like the idea of being part of big, complex projects that improve people's lives, it could just be the profession for you.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Direct or participate in surveying to lay out installations or establish reference points, grades, or elevations to guide construction.
Conduct studies of traffic patterns or environmental conditions to identify engineering problems and assess potential project impact.
Prepare or present public reports on topics such as bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions.
Test soils or materials to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations, concrete, asphalt, or steel.
Plan and design transportation or hydraulic systems and structures, following construction and government standards, using design software and drawing tools.
Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards.
Manage and direct staff members and the construction, operations, or maintenance activities at project site.
Compute load and grade requirements, water flow rates, or material stress factors to determine design specifications.
Provide technical advice regarding design, construction, or program modifications and structural repairs to industrial and managerial personnel.
Estimate quantities and cost of materials, equipment, or labor to determine project feasibility.
Analyze survey reports, maps, drawings, blueprints, aerial photography, and other topographical or geologic data to plan projects.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Building and Construction Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Mathematical Reasoning The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Visualization The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Operations Analysis Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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