How Much Do Entry Level Civil Engineers Typically Make in Salary?
Civil engineers design, construct and maintain much of our country's infrastructure, including roads, dams, water treatment systems and bridges. If you're interested in learning more about the starting salaries and career opportunities for civil engineers, read on. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Starting Salary for Civil Engineers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed the results of a survey conducted in July 2009 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers that reported the average entry-level civil engineer salary was $52,048 (www.bls.gov). In October, 2011, PayScale.com reported that civil engineers with less than one year of experience earned annual salaries ranging from $37,328-$61,706, though these figures accounted for those at all degree levels.
The majority of entry-level positions in civil engineering require a bachelor's degree in the field. As a civil engineering major, you can expect to study structural mechanics, transportation engineering, materials science and fluid mechanics. Your curriculum could also include a number of courses in advanced mathematics, physics and life sciences. When choosing a school, you should look for programs that are approved by ABET, Inc, which sets accreditation standards for engineering and technology programs. Some employers, licensing boards or certification organizations could require applicants to complete an ABET-accredited program.
Licensure and Certification
Entry-level civil engineers work under the supervision of a more experienced and licensed engineering professional. If you plan to provide engineering services directly to the public, state licensure could be required. However, you may not need licensure if the projects you work on have a fully licensed engineer on the team. Full licensure requires passing two tests administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, which are recognized by all states. You can take the initial exam toward the end of your undergraduate program, but you'll need to have at least a bachelor's degree and a minimum of four years' experience working under a licensed engineer to qualify for the second exam (www.ncees.org).
You could also earn specialty certifications, such as those offered by the American Society of Civil Engineers (www.asce.org). Civil engineering credentials include specializations in water resource, geotechnical and ocean engineering. Eligibility requirements to take the certification exams include a master's degree, ten years of experience and full professional licensure.
Between the years of 2008 and 2018, the BLS predicted employment of civil engineers would increase 24%. The reason for this anticipated growth was due to the need for improved roads, water resources, buildings and pollution control for the nation's increasing population. The BLS reported that the median annual salary for all civil engineers, regardless of experience or education, was $77,560 in 2010, with the top ten percent earning $119,320 or more.
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