Civil engineers design the infrastructure that supports everything around us: the roads, sewerage plants, water systems, dams, bridges, and buildings. In addition to designing those structures, they also have to factor in things like initial costs and expected lifespan as well. But, how much can we expect to make as a civil engineer?
The General Statistics
The average pay for civil engineers was about $84,000 in 2016. The lowest earning ten percent of civil engineers earned around $53,000 while the top ten percent earned around $130,000. All of these figures are for civil engineers, not civil engineering technicians who typically work for civil engineers.
Civil engineering is one of the largest branches of engineering. About one in five engineers are civil engineers. There are roughly 300,000 civil engineers in the U.S.
Civil engineers often work as design engineers. Many hold supervisory and administrative positions such as a construction site supervisor, public works director, or city engineer. To enter the profession, you need at least a bachelor’s degree. Earning a master’s degree from Norwich University or another school could allow you to move into a higher paying specialization. Completing the Norwich University masters in civil engineering may also be what you need to move into engineering project management.
Engineers-in-training who want to take the certification exam need four years’ of work experience first.
Civil engineering jobs can be broken into several major categories: construction engineering and construction management, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, water resources and, more recently, environmental engineering.
Civil engineers with the federal government earned around $92,000 per year according to the BLS. Those working for local jurisdictions earned around $88,000. Civil engineers working for state governments earned about $80,000. Civil engineers working in non-residential building construction earned about $77,000 a year while those providing other engineering services earned about $83,000 a year. About half of all civil engineers work in engineering services, while over a fifth of civil engineers work for local and state governments. Civil engineers working in the oil and gas industry earn around $125,000 a year.
Salaries vary by region, too. Civil engineers in Alaska have an average pay of roughly $120,000 a year, while those in New Jersey earn about $99,000 a year.
Expected Trends for the Future
According to the BLS, demand for civil engineers is expected to grow 11% over the next ten years. We still need civil engineers to build new bridges, schools, and infrastructure for our growing population, as well as manage projects to upgrade or repair existing infrastructure. Demand for civil engineers worldwide is expected to skyrocket.
In North America, much of the infrastructure that was built after World War 2 was built with a fifty-year lifespan, and those buildings are now in need replacement or retrofitting. Civil engineers are also needed to build infrastructure in developing areas, as well as build new infrastructure to keep up with demographic shifts.
Civil engineers design, construct, and repair the infrastructure we all rely on. They’re well paid for their work, and demand for their skill set is only going to go up.