Civil engineers are in charge of designing and constructing the roadways, bridges, utilities, and structures that transport people and goods around the world. They also conduct several other works including drainage and water and sewer engineering, roofing, ventilation, and water systems engineering. Let’s know ‘Is civil engineering hard or not?’
Civil engineering is the world’s largest engineering field with 60,000 jobs available. It is known for its top-notch technologies, in-depth problem-solving, and ability to apply experience to new challenges. Applying experience to new challenges is one of the important skills used in civil engineering.
To do so, they understand human nature and how people use technology. With the best technologies, they would be able to analyze and solve problems. The entire process can be thought of as building a long bridge over a turbulent river. The engineers need to adapt to the new demands of society with every new project.
Why it’s hard?
Most people dream of a career they need the most. In addition, they are considered to be better paid than their peers and likely to have a job for life. However, civil engineering is the hardest degree to earn. This is largely due to the combination of skill-building, rigorous math and physics requirements, and the fact that the degree itself involves different professional skills like communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and interpersonal skills.
Civil engineering’s biggest challenge is the inability to accurately predict forthcoming outcomes. People normally overestimate future success rates of civil engineering engineers by between 4% and 10%, and the misperceptions could be as early as 12 years old.
How hard is it to get a degree?
Before you get too excited, let’s first talk about how hard it is to get a civil engineering degree. The reason for this is that the field is very technical and the fields are very competitive.
If you want to earn a civil engineering degree, then you must focus on what you want to study so you can get the best grades and excel in your field. The minimum grade point average (GPA) for most civil engineering programs is 3.5. A civil engineering degree requires far more study and research than most undergraduate degree programs.
Civil engineering degrees also require a good understanding of math, engineering, and physics.
Why it’s worth it?
In some ways, it’s similar to being an investor in general. It’s a great problem solver position. You get to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to real-life situations and solve problems that could potentially impact millions of people.
If you are looking to change your career to something that offers a more lucrative career or you are a current civil engineer looking to make the switch to a different profession. Everyone has an idea about what kind of lifestyle they want to live when they are 30 years old.
The bureau of labor statistics predicts that employment will be two million this year. And, the number of people currently looking for work continues to outpace the number of unemployed people. The BLS reports that the jobs of civil engineers will be among the fastest-growing occupations through 2024.
But now, with the upward trend of civil engineering being a high-paying career, in line with other high-paying jobs like an attorney, all Americans want to be engineers.
Why do all civil engineers need to go to university and earn an engineering degree?
Reasons include first, engineering is an inherently collaborative effort. An engineering degree not only helps you to become more employable, but it also helps you to work effectively with others. It is in your best interest to learn to interact with people and understand the tasks they must complete.
Second, you may be able to get a job as a civil engineer without a degree, but many will not hire you. On average, engineers need about three to five years of experience, depending on the type of engineering they are doing.
To start with, civil engineers can be extremely expensive. It’s not uncommon for a civil engineering career to have a six-figure salary attached to it. Another reason for needing to complete a bachelor’s degree is the skill set in today’s society.
If civil engineers can prove that they have relevant skills, then they may be able to get that civil engineering job. On top of this, some jobs require a bachelor’s degree. This includes building inspector, mining engineer, and environmental engineer.
Top universities for civil engineering
Here is the list of top universities in the United States-
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
- Stanford University
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- University of Oxford
- The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- The University of Texas at Austin
- Purdue University
- University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
- The University of Manchester
What courses do civil engineers study in university?
An engineer’s degree program will vary based on what is needed for the job they are seeking. This varies between civil engineering firms. However, most engineers work in the following areas. Computer engineering, material engineering, hydraulic engineering, pervasive computing engineering, product engineering, fluid engineering, architectural engineering, etc.
With each of these areas requiring a specialized degree, you should prepare yourself to work with, as well as be a part of, the growing field of engineering.
Do I need any additional training?
Even if you don’t get the degree, you can take your exam. The test is a more challenging and complex version of the skills you will learn on the job. Candidates are expected to have a high level of mathematical understanding, professional design skills, and attention to detail.
There is also some experiential knowledge required. Candidates are expected to construct construction documents and work through a difficult case study. Aside from the basic requirement for the license, you should keep yourself updated with the latest construction and engineering research.
You will also need to attend courses at an engineering association or accreditation program. To gain a professional design certification, you will need two years of experience.
Salary for a civil engineer
Different parts of the country pay civil engineers differently. The salary depends on your location, experience, and area of expertise. You can expect to make between $50,000 to $100,000, with around $100,000 being the most common salary.
If you’re planning on traveling and establishing a permanent residence, then you can expect to make more money as a site superintendent or a project manager. Even when looking at the most common salary, it’s important to remember that many civil engineers take on additional work for additional pay.
Are our Civil Engineers Attractive? For some, it allows them to combine their skill sets with experience. However, there are many challenges for job seekers as well.
What is the average workday like for a civil engineer?
Your typical day can differ slightly depending on the size and complexity of the project. The average workday is around 10 hours long but most days are longer. It is rare for an engineer to work 8 hours straight.
Everyone should have the same knowledge and thinking. What I mean is, everyone should have a shared vision for the project. This doesn’t mean having everyone have the same title, but everyone must be on the same page and do the work in the same way.
This is very important for efficient teamwork and minimizing misunderstanding and time spent back-and-forth. Some skills discussed below-
Mathematics is the ability to understand how the world around us operates and can be used to help you predict the behavior of devices and systems. You’ll also need to understand trigonometry and the different mathematical properties of vectors, and how they relate to linear and nonlinear systems.
In addition, mathematics plays an integral part in most civil engineering applications. Without maths, much of the civil engineering or infrastructure solutions which you are building will not be viable.
Communication is a key skill, especially with engineers, when talking with clients. Engineers should listen to all the reasons and potential problems clients are saying about their project, and try to find the causes and solutions for the problems. Workforce mobility is very important in this sector.
You will not make any progress if your clients aren’t listening to you. Be able to listen to clients and explain your process without being technical and making your work redundant. The perfect communication to be successful in a team will be when clients listen and explain the challenges and issues that they are facing.
You can survive with a good technical understanding and a great grasp of the maths behind your field of work, but this does not make you employable. To earn respect from your peers and superiors, you need to master reading comprehension.
This is more important than your mathematical and engineering skills. This skill will give you an advantage in every aspect of your professional life. Make it a habit to read 2 – 3 newspapers daily. This will help you in achieving a professional work atmosphere, as you will be more informed and prepared.
If you can’t afford to travel to and from your work location daily for at least half an hour, consider listening to the radio or tuning in to public-service programs on your mobile.
Good listening and active listening are some of the top skillsets for civil engineers. To excel in this area of engineering, you need to be attuned to your peers, understand their concerns and challenges to find solutions to issues.
Active listening is a skill that often flies under the radar in the corporate world, but those that master it will have a distinct advantage. Equally important, be cognizant that being good at communication is vital to getting ahead in any career.
An interviewer is not likely to show the same enthusiasm for your ideas if you show an inability to articulate yourself clearly. It can be a hard skill to learn and maybe especially important for those in senior roles such as project managers.
When we talk about communication skills in the context of engineers, critical thinking is not an element that is easily visible or easily measured. Yet, it is an essential component that a civil engineer needs to have.
To communicate with the people you will be communicating with, you need to know a lot about them. Not only do you need to be able to communicate with them, but you need to be able to listen to them as well. And you need to be able to interpret the information that is being communicated to you.
Critical thinking helps you understand what they want from you, and how best you can give it to them.
Becoming a civil engineer isn’t a walk in the park. However, if you have the right background and work hard enough, then you can make a great career out of it. So, go on and study to be a civil engineer, there’s nothing to it.
These careers allow you to build bridges, construct infrastructure, and create buildings. They require a lot of skill and responsibility, but, once you’ve earned your degree, you get better at what you do.
Engineers often get jobs because they have experience. They may also have been construction or engineering students at some point. If you feel that you are lacking in any of these areas, you may want to switch careers or study more. You will make a great career if you know what you are doing.
Frequently asked questions
- What are the important skills needed for civil engineering?
Answer- You will need a good mathematics background (e.g. calculus, calculus-optics, statistics), good verbal and written English, computer skills, clear communication, active listening, critical thinking, etc.
- How can I find out more about civil engineering universities?
Answer- The USnews website has a vast database of civil engineering universities. Use this search bar to find the best colleges in your state.
- How to know if I am being paid fairly?
Answer- If you’re unsure of the appropriate salary for a civil engineer, visit Indeed’s Salary Calculator for free.
- What is the average workday like for a civil engineer?
Answer- Your typical day can differ slightly depending on the size and complexity of the project.