If you have a genuine interest in helping build your city’s infrastructure in smarter more efficient ways utilizing cutting edge technology, consider a degree in Civil Engineering. The greatest part about many civil engineering jobs is that you can manage the on-site build of construction projects. These roles can span public and private companies. You can help design and construct public roads, skyscrapers, subway and train systems, city sewage and much more. To work in the highest paying civil engineering roles you will want to earn at least a graduate degree from an accredited college or university.

Degree Programs in Civil Engineering

When earning your bachelor’s your first two years will most likely be a mix of mathematics and foundational courses, such as calculus, linear algebra, physics, mechanics, and introductory courses specific to civil engineering. Lab work and projects really kick in to your course schedule by junior/senior year. During your final two years, campus work will really get interesting and mandatory for most programs at some times. Fortunately, most schools have students, faculty and outside professionals working together on projects. When you choose your program, ask what those last two years will really look like in regards to projects and on-campus balance with your work/life responsibilities.

Core courses in your bachelor’s degree in civil engineering program span a wide spectrum. You will take classes on topics, such as structural design, environmental engineering, materials engineering, and data analysis.

Graduate programs are really engaging from a research perspective. However, most schools design their programs to fit the needs of working professionals. If you earn your bachelor’s degree from a program that emphasizes career placement, you may be working in the field of engineering before you earn your graduate degree.

Campus and Partial Online Civil Engineering Degrees

Because engineering across all concentrations is so hands-on and collaborative, most programs require some form of on-campus presence from students. However, many accredited institutions are learning that students can be just as disciplined learners and education can be just as effective when taught online. That’s why there are more degree programs available than ever that include online courses, with videos of lectures.

Outlook for Civil Engineers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the field will grow 8% between 2014-24, with a median annual salary of $82,050 in 2014. source. The top five states with the highest level of employment are California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. However, this does not always translate into the highest paying jobs in the field. When you speak with schools about their programs, ask what the top hiring companies are in your area for civil engineering roles.

Take some time to compare the civil engineering programs in your area. Be sure to compare start dates, cost, ranking, and graduation/career placement data before making your decision. With the right training you can make a big impact in your community, from how people get to work, how they stay protected from the elements, and how they move about the offices they work in.