How to Become a Civil Engineer

How to Become a Civil Engineer

Want to Start a Rewarding Career in Civil Engineering?

Being a civil engineer can be very fun and open new horizons. To support this statement, we can see many civil engineers who instead of working in their field they have decided to work with designs or combine the two passions into one compact whole. If you are looking into this option here is How to Become a Civil Engineer.

  1. Understand the work span. The career of a civil engineer can be very versatile so one can never be bored. The civil engineer can work with designs, building, or maintaining public works, work on structures and different facilities, or even be part of the military. The job is usually well paid as it requires special set of skills and in depth knowledge. These qualifications enable the civil engineer to work in versatile environments and adapt to the circumstances.
  2. Evaluate your skill set. If you want to become a civil engineer then you need to be good at math, design and science. In addition, you have to be able to see the big picture, be creative, a good team player that can work with little or no supervision and take responsibility for their actions. You need to be able to convey your messages and interact with everyone who is participating in the project using all available communication methods.

If you are still a student than focus on those subjects that you will be able to use in your daily work. Whenever it is possible take part in relevant competitions so you can gain some experience. If you are no longer a student then you might have to take some courses or aptitude tests to confirm your skills.

  1. Pick the right study program for you. Most countries require you to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering if you want to become civil engineer. To obtain the degree you will need four years. In some countries you will need to obtain a formal course to get a certificate and in some you will need a license if you want to work in that field. Before you decide to start a career of a civil engineer you should also check if you are going to need any additional accreditations. Choose only those programs you are interested in, as that is the only way you would be willing to study and be able to graduate. If you want to invest even more in your knowledge you can take some courses or even go abroad if other countries have something interesting to offer. Don’t forget that in some countries it might be good if you speak their language so be careful of the country you choose.
  2. Be ready to go out on the field. The field trips are part of your degree and they will give you a unique opportunity to learn things from personal experience.
  3. Start thinking about your specialization. Look into your options carefully so you can be prepared for the future. Some of the specializations may refer to structural engineering, coastal engineering, environmental issues, highway construction, maintenance and much more.
  4. Apply for internship. Getting an internship is always a great way to invest in your career. The good news is that most civil engineering companies offer this opportunity, so all you need to do is go out there and find it. Through this experience you will be able to learn a lot of new things and open many doors for your future career.
  5. Pay attention to the examinations you might need to take. If you are in the USA you might need the following:
  • While you study – Register and take the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam that checks your basic engineering skills which you need for obtaining EIT (engineer in training) license. If you want to take the PE (Principals and Practice of Engineering) exam, you must pass this one first.
  • Once you graduate – get a job as EIT and work with a licensed engineer. Before you take the PE (Principals and Practice of Engineering) exam, you need 4 years of experience working as EIT.
  • When you get a job – start preparing for the PE exam. This will enable to choose your projects in future and increase your chances of finding a good job.
  • When you get your license – make sure to play by the rules so you won’t lose the license. Always check the conditions required to maintain the license and comply with them. In some states you might be asked to complete Continuing Education Hours or Professional Development Hours.
  • Become a member of some professional bodies for civil engineers. Once you get a job as a civil engineer it might be a good idea to become a member of some of the professional bodies for your industry as this will help you keep track of the changes and always respond to the developments of the market. In addition you will be able to connect with other people and share your knowledge and experience.

A few tips you might find useful.

  • There are many associations for civil engineers that give free membership for all students who are interested in making a career in the civil engineering industry. This would be a great opportunity for you to get support, learn about the latest trends in the industry and connect with people that might be able to help you.
  • Always invest in yourself and develop as much skills as you can. Don’t focus only on the civil engineering as you will also need to have excellent communication and writing skills. These skills will help you interact with your employers, clients or other people you plan on working with.
  • If you are a student looking to make a career as a civil engineer then make sure to take the relevant subjects that will be beneficial for your career. This includes math, science, physics, and geology so you can learn about the different qualities of the earth.

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