Work for Water

Great Careers for a Great Cause


Civil Engineer

Average Salary: $75,187

Civil engineers had average yearly wages of $78,560 in May 2008.   According to a 2009 survey, people with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering started at $52,048 a year on average. Civil engineering is one of the oldest and most important branches of engineering. Civil engineers design and build bridges, dams, roadways, skyscrapers, and railroad lines.

Civil Engineers:

  • design and engineer dams, reservoirs, aqueducts, pumping stations, pipelines, wastewater treatment plants, and other parts of the water supply and water delivery system;
  • help a water/wastewater agency and its community decide what to build and where to build it;
  • work with environmental engineers and resource planners on cost estimates and planning studies.
  • make sure the plans agree with policies and requirements;
  • prepare drawings and graphs that explain technical information to people with different levels of knowledge;
  • calculate the costs and quantities of materials needed;
  • use computer models and spreadsheets;
  • monitor progress and inspecting work;
  • prepare technical reports and presentations for other professionals and the public.

Education: Four- to five-year civil engineering degree from an accredited engineering school
Certificates, licenses: Professional Engineer (P.E.); Engineering-In-Training certificate
Entry-level opportunities: Yes, with Engineering-In-Training certificate
Desirable traits and skills: Strong in science and math; excellent analytical skills; well organized; able to interpret complex information; able to communicate technical material in reports and presentations

For more information:
American Society of Civil Engineers
1801 Alexander Bell Drive
Reston, VA 20191-4400

American Society of Engineering Education
1818 N. Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036