Career Theme: Realistic

Civil Engineer

Necessary Education: Although most employers accept a Bachelor’s degree, some require doctoral or Master’s degrees. A civil engineer may start to work once he or she passes the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination.

Special Training Required: A bachelor’s degree is standard for many entry-level jobs, while more advanced careers may require more training via traditional or online grad schools. Engineers that offer their services directly to the public must be licensed. Many civil engineers also obtain an official professional engineer (PE) certification.

Prerequisite experience needed: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training. Certain states may require that civil engineers work four years before he or she can obtain a license. A license is mandatory if the engineer wants to work for him or herself.

Job Responsibilities: Civil engineers manage and direct staff members and the construction, operations, or maintenance activities at project site. They provide technical advice regarding design, construction, or program modifications and structural repairs to industrial and managerial personnel. They also inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards. Their job may also include planning transportation or hydraulic systems, analyzing survey reports, maps, drawings, blueprints, aerial photography, and other data to plan projects, and preparing or presenting public reports on topics such as bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions.

Typical Salary Range: Makes about $79,340 /year  (for 2012)