What Does it Take to Become a Civil Engineer?

There are many occupations that have stood the test of time, and civil engineering is certainly one of them. Responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of an area, civil engineers ensure that construction, operation and maintenance of such infrastructure is safe and secure, including buildings, roads, bridges, and dams. Considering how crucial their job is and how the safety of society depends on them, civil engineers must go through rigorous education and training in order to complete their studies.

So, what exactly does it take to become a civil engineer?

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

The base level of education for those wishing to become civil engineers involves obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Students in these programs take several courses in engineering, math, statistics, architectural design, and fluid dynamics. They learn through a number of mediums, such as in-class lectures, co-ops, and field work. Click here to find out more.

An increasing number of students with a BA go on to obtain their Master’s degree in civil engineering, with most of these taking leadership roles. The material covered in master’s programs is very similar to what’s cover in a bachelor’s program, but with a lot more depth. Students can also concentrate on a specific area through specialized courses and research projects.

Go Through an Internship

Just about every program requires that students and graduates go through a minimum of one semester or internship in the summer to meet degree requirements. Students can even use such experiences and apply them on a practical level. Such internships give them real-life, hands-on experience which can also help them gain valuable insight into which specific area of expertise they’d like to pursue. Most internship is done in the junior or senior year of their studies.

Choose a Specialty

There are so many avenues that civil engineer graduates can take, which means they will have to choose a specific area to focus on and specialize in. Common concentrations include structural engineering, construction engineering, transportation engineering, land development and use, and geotechnical engineering. Undergrads usually spend anywhere between 12 to 18 credit hours covering certain topics in such areas.

Pass Exams

Civil engineers will have to be properly licensed to practice their area of specialty to the public, which means they will have to pass specific exams in order to be certified. Some of the more common requirements include attending an ABET-accredited institution, taking the Fundamentals of Engineering examination right after completing a BA, and becoming a Civic Engineering intern. Students will also have to complete a certain number of professional hours while meeting milestones along the way.

Becoming a civil engineer can offer a song and rewarding career path for anyone wishing to positively contribute to their society.