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February 6, 2013 / Brandon

Typical Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer

What is Civil Engineering about?

When a Civil Engineer gets a new project, they travel out to the job site to see and get a feel for the land, as well as the lay of the land, if the site is clear, any trees, the existing drainage, where are the streets. That helps the Civil Engineer have an idea of how to design the site. The survey crew will go out and survey the site for the Civil Engineer to have more accurate data. When we come back to the office we have software that we use to input all of this data into, to get started on our work.

Typically a Civil Engineer has a 40 hour workweek. Sometimes a project will have a deadline that must be met. That is when the office staff must stay to get the work done. Working extra hours doesn’t happen too often, but there may be work that goes late into the night. The stress level for the job is about moderate. Deadlines can increase the stress level, along with budgets being the big items to consider. When you start running out of the budget the stress level increases a bit.

To be a Civil Engineer you will need to get a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited university. Before graduating, you should also take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. You will eventually have to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam to be able to take the Professional Engineering exam. The coursework is heavy in science and math. You should enjoy doing math. After four years of working under a Professional Engineer after graduating from school, you will be able to sit for the Professional Engineer exam. This will allow you to get your license in engineering. A masters in engineering is also become more normal to obtain. Having a masters degree will make you even more valuable.

The best part of being a Civil Engineer is the ability to be creative. You are not just cutting and pasting doing the same thing over and over again. Dealing with contractors can be somewhat difficult at times. There can be a little conflict between the two because the contractor is constructing the project and the Civil Engineer is designing the project. If you are considering becoming a Civil Engineer take lots of math classes and take some computer classes. Take not of your surroundings such as roads, drainage, sites, and buildings. Engineering is all around you. Try to pick an area that would interest you which will make becoming a Civil Engineer enjoyable.

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