Civil Engineering Resource and Career Guide

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Civil engineering is gaining more importance in the world today, as there is an increasing need for buildings and structures to be constructed. As such, the career prospects for civil engineers are very bright. A career in civil engineering can be very challenging, but it promises great financial and personal rewards.

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is a form of engineering that involves the designing, construction, and maintenance of a wide range of man-made structures, which include buildings, roads, bridges, canals, dams, and others. It is known as the second oldest form of engineering, after military engineering. It is practiced on all levels of society, from municipal and federal levels in the public sector to individual and international commercial projects in the private sector.

Civil engineers often look to advance their bachelor’s degrees with a specialization in the field, and another option is to consider the Ohio University online Master of Engineering Management.  This program is taught by renowned faculty who are recognized experts in their fields, and Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology is home to the Russ Prize, one of the top three engineering awards in the world.

There are many sub-divisions of civil engineering, ranging from construction engineering to transportation engineering. Each discipline contributes to society in a certain way, but generally, the purpose of civil engineering is to create functional and efficient structures that are also aesthetically pleasing. Some of the major challenges that are faced by civil engineers include the need for structural soundness, functionality, and conformation to local construction regulations.

Civil Engineering Career Options

Those who have a civil engineering degree have a wide range of career options to choose from. They can seek employment with municipal, state, or federal departments, and contribute to the construction of public buildings, roads, railways, and other structures. Alternatively, they can also work as project managers in privately-owned real estate and construction companies and build residential and commercial buildings. Some companies also need civil engineers to construct industrial structures.

Other than constructing buildings and structures, civil engineering graduates can also perform tasks such as analyzing and designing buildings, supervising other engineers and managing complex construction projects. Some civil engineers also choose to go into engineering research or teach engineering in universities and colleges. Accomplished engineers can also start their own engineering consultancy businesses.

Disciplines within Civil Engineering

Construction Engineering

This form of engineering involves the planning and execution of various kinds of construction projects, ranging from site development to transportation.

Structural Engineering

A branch of engineering that deals with the structural analysis and design of construction projects to ensure that a certain structure is safe and functional.

Coastal Engineering

Coastal engineering involves the construction of structures that are located along the coast. Some of the projects that are managed by coastal engineers include land reclamation, flood and erosion control, and coastal defense.

Transportation Engineering

Transportation engineering enables the efficient and safe movement of people and goods from one place to another through the designing, construction, and maintenance of structures such as roads, highways, railways, canals, airports, mass transit systems, and others.

Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering works towards the betterment of the environment, and it involves the purification of air and water, treatment of chemical and biological wastes, and rectification of contaminated sites.


Surveying is a process of engineering that provides measurements of sizes and positions of construction projects, as well as angular deviation and slope distances.

Resources for Civil Engineers

Learn More

For more than a century, Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology has been teaching engineers how to create for good – how to engineer a better future with responsible and sustainable design. Learn more about our online Master of Science in Civil Engineering program and master how to effectively supervise, plan, design, construct, and operate the infrastructures essential to connect the modern world.

Additional Reading

What Is Construction Engineering? Exploring Careers, Salaries, and Educational Requirements
Civil Engineering Failures That Led to New Technology Breakthroughs
Civil Engineering: A Solid Job Market