How to Become a Civil Engineer – Top 7 Tips for Licensure
Did you know that the average annual wage for a civil engineer in the USA is almost $90,000? This rises up to $120,000 or more depending on experience.
Civil engineers contribute to almost all avenues of society. Despite economic downturns we will always need roads, new buildings, and functioning buildings. Because of this civil engineering is one of the most stable forms of employment.
If you are looking to improve your skills and become a civil engineer, what do you need to do? Why not check out our list of 7 tips to help you on your way.
1. Research Your Goal
A career as a civil engineer will bring you into contact with a range of fascinating subjects and disciplines. You will gain an advanced understanding of mathematics, physics, and natural forces and will need to be prepared to use them on a daily basis.
You will need more than technical knowledge. Civil engineers work in a range of industries and locations and need to develop so-called soft skills to work with teams and departments. Personal qualities and ethical standards are part of the education needed to become a civil engineer.
Further, as you undertake larger and more complex projects, you will need to be able to gather and organize potentially large amounts of information. You will need to be able to develop the ability to calmly make decisions that may affect multimillion-dollar projects.
If you are looking to learn both technical skills and develop as a person and perhaps even a leader, civil engineering is for you.
2. Search for Civil Engineering Open Day Events
To learn what institutions can help you get started on your journey to becoming a civil engineer, look for engineering open days.
These are usually free events that can provide an insight into educational requirements and employment opportunities once you have qualified. You will meet experienced engineers that can provide honest answers to your questions.
It will also give you an opportunity to network. If you are already in an engineering role, you will be able to ask how your existing experience will help you to qualify as a civil engineer.
3. Research Learning Paths
If you have been able to attend one of these events, you will now have an idea of how civil engineering companies work. You can now start to plan your personal journey towards qualification.
You may want to attend a university course to gain a thorough knowledge of the different skills you will use. However, this is not the only route. You can also research apprenticeship opportunities.
Apprenticeships generally comprise of a workplace training course where you will spend part of the week attending a college or university course. The advantage of an apprenticeship is that you apply what you learn in the workplace immediately.
Even after you qualify as a civil engineer you may choose to continue your education. You can take ongoing civil engineering education to keep your skills up-to-date.
4. Study for a Bachelor’s Degree
if you decide to take university education to train to become a civil engineer, then your first goal is a bachelor’s degree.
During this course, which takes approximately four years to complete, you will gain a thorough understanding of math, engineering principles, architectural designs, and other relevant subjects.
Taking a bachelor’s degree course will provide you with the foundation knowledge that you will later build on as you specialize. Depending on the university you attend, you will also have the opportunity to learn about the tools and techniques that are used in civil engineering workplaces in 2020.
5. Get Some Experience
During your university education, you will want to put what you are learning into practice as soon as possible.
Many university courses require that you take up work experience or intern positions during summertime in order to meet degree requirements. These opportunities not only allow you to make application of what you are learning but give you a key insight into specialized fields within the civil engineering world.
The good news is that internships are generally paid positions. The bad news is that they do not pay very much. However, look at this as an opportunity to learn rather than to earn money.
During the later stages of your education, you will have the opportunity to select your specialization. Experience as an intern can give you the knowledge you need to choose an appropriate field.
What specialization options are available?
Civil engineering is a very broad industry and it is not possible to become an expert in all fields. For this reason, it would be good to choose as early as possible the area that you will focus on. This could be:
- Construction engineering
- Structural engineering
- Land development
- Transportation engineering
- Geotechnical engineering
There are many other areas of specialization. However, this list will give you an idea of what the major fields are.
7. Aim for a Master’s Degree
A master’s degree is fast becoming a necessary qualification for civil engineers. A master’s degree will take between one and five years and will help you to gain the needed skills to take on advanced engineering projects.
More and more master’s degree courses are undertaken as distance learning or part-time courses. This enables students to balance employment as a civil engineer with furthering their skills.
How to Become a Civil Engineer and Its Many Benefits
In the uncertain world of COVID-19, there are few forms of employment that are not affected by economic uncertainty. However, engineering is a solid industry that is always needed in society.
If you are spending extra time at home currently, using your time to research how you can become a civil engineer could prove very beneficial.
If you want to qualify as a civil engineer, we are here to help. We leverage our years in the engineering industry to provide reliable advice and services. Why not check out our blog articles or contact us for more information.