You could say Civil Engineering dates back to around 2,600 B.C. That’s when the first Egyptian pyramid was built following the designs of Imhotep, the first acknowledged civil engineer in history.
But what do civil engineers do? They develop plans and manage all the steps of construction projects, such as buildings, roads, bridges, railways, etc. However, you should not mistake them for architects.
While architects come up with ideas and designs, civil engineers transform them into real structures, taking into account factors like materials and resources, budgets, workforce needed, safety, environmental policies, etc.
Here are a few universities we recommend for Civil Engineering studies:
- University of Birmingham, the UK
- University of Twente (UT), the Netherlands
- University of Pavia, Italy
- Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels
- Hokkaido University, Japan
Top countries for studying a Master’s in Civil Engineering
Picking the right country for your Civil Engineering studies is important because it can influence your future career. Some countries have more job opportunities. Others have better universities and colleges. That’s why you should consider studying in countries that have the best Engineering schools:
- Civil Engineering Masters in the U.S.
- Civil Engineering Masters in Australia
- Civil Engineering Masters in the UK
- Civil Engineering Masters in Canada
- Civil Engineering Masters in Denmark
- Civil Engineering Masters in Germany
- Civil Engineering Masters in Poland
One of the international students from Ghana, who went to study in Italy, told us why he picked a Constructions degree:
“My whole educational life has been in my home country, Ghana. That’s why I felt that I needed a change in order to experience and acquire the necessary skills and learn internationally accepted ways of going about the day-to-day activities in my chosen field i.e. Construction.”
Now let’s look at some of the most popular Civil Engineering jobs and the average salaries in the United States, according to PayScale:
1. Construction Engineer – 68,200 USD/year
- Oversee construction projects and evaluate progress
- Assign and explain tasks to construction workers
- Ensure workers have all the materials and tools they need
- Revise construction plans based on challenges, changes in budgets, deadlines, etc.
2. Structural Engineer – 67,600 USD/year
- Create designs and plans for various infrastructure projects, like bridges, pipelines, viaducts, etc.
- Write construction documents that include specifications, drawings, and instructions
- Stay up to date with current policies and ensure your projects meet environmental, safety, and legal guidelines
- Coordinate the activities of other engineers and workers at the construction site
3. Building Control Surveyor – 56,000 USD/year
- Perform regular inspections during and after the construction of buildings
- Ensure construction projects follow safety and building regulations
- Prepare different types of documents, like reports, contracts, permits, etc.
- Approve demolition and extension plans
4. Water Resource Engineer – 66,000 USD/year
- Develop water infrastructure plans for sewer systems, flood defence programmes, pumping stations, etc.
- Ensure sewerage and water infrastructure is operated and maintained properly
- Evaluate potential problems using computer simulations and come up with solutions
- Collaborate with other teams and engineers during construction projects
5. Transportation Planner – 57,000 USD/year
- Collect and analyse data and use it to design solutions to problems like congestion, accessibility to highways, and others
- Evaluate the potential impact of new buildings and infrastructures on the transportation systems
- Stay up to date with transport, planning, and safety regulations
6. Quantity Surveyor – 60,500 USD/year
- Analyse the costs of a construction, extension, repair, or maintenance project
- Help with the acquisition of materials; find the perfect balance between costs, quality, and availability
- Evaluate possible risks and come up with suggestions and solutions
- Write profitability reports and share them with your clients
7. Geotechnical Engineer – 66,200 USD/year
- Evaluate the stability of the foundations for future construction projects
- Collect soil samples, analyse them in laboratories, and make recommendations based on your findings
- Identify geological hazards and come up with solutions
Ready to start your Civil Engineering journey?
Civil Engineering is one of the most versatile Engineering specialisations. It opens the doors to various careers and allows you to work on projects that pose unique challenges and test your expertise.
During studies, you get to develop your creativity and digital skills and combine them with Engineering and Mathematics principles. These abilities are essential for any successful civil engineer.
As you develop more experience, you’ll work on larger, more challenging projects, earning higher salaries and sharing your knowledge with upcoming engineers and construction workers.