Civil Engineering

What Is a Civil Engineering Degree?

Civil engineering builds infrastructure, something that we take for granted every day. Infrastructure is the foundation upon which all else is built. Entire cities are built upon infrastructure, including the buildings, transportation corridors and energy and water supplies, and civil engineers are the ones who design these critical components of our society.

Civil engineers are faced with daily challenges of finding ways to build new infrastructure, and rebuild existing infrastructure, to address the everyday problems of the population increasing and the environment decreasing. What was built 20 years ago might not be sufficient today, and the civil engineer must find a way to make it work within the changing climate it was built.

Civil engineers are also tasked with creating temporary infrastructure changes to existing foundations for major events, such as the Olympics or World Expo. Events of this magnitude must oftentimes be spread throughout large portions of an already populated major city, and civil engineers have to figure out a way to address the space needed and additional population these events bring in.

Students who have always dreamt of building things and, perhaps, spent a lot of time building things as a child would be suitable candidates for a civil engineering degree. This field of work presents a constant, yet important, daily challenge, as it must account for societal changes and figure out the appropriate way to address them.

Civil Engineering Job Opportunities

Students graduating with a civil engineering degree should consider either becoming a consulting civil engineer or a contracting civil engineer. Consulting civil engineers design and supervise extensive projects that include anything from highway construction to waste management. Contracting civil engineers actually build the projects. Both types of civil engineers generally begin earning £23,500, with the average earnings after five years of experience being £28,523.

Other job opportunities suited for civil engineering graduates include an engineering geologist, site engineer, structural engineer and water engineer.

Engineering geologists take a look at the ground upon which the project is proposed to be built. They are specifically concerned with the soil, rock and groundwater integrity of the propose building site, as well as any other natural conditions that might impact the stability of the project. Engineering geologists earn £25,000 to £50,000, once they reach the senior level.

Site engineers are part of a construction site managing team and supervise all aspects of the construction site while it is being built. Site engineers ensure the project is following the designs to the tee by marking the construction site prior to construction and being onsite at all times to address any concerns that may arise. Site engineers typically earn £25,000 to £55,000.

Structural engineers make certain the structures are sound. They are the engineers who take into consideration the potential disasters that might threaten a bridge, building or other structure, such as extreme weight, weather and earthquakes. Structural engineers also test the integrity of aircraft and space vehicles, and students taking this career path can expect to earn anywhere from £23,000 to £70,000.

Water engineers deal with many different forms of water usage, including how to properly dispose of waste water and sewage and ensure that people have access to clean water. Other water engineering duties include designing and building sea walls and pumping stations to prevent flooding. All water engineering feats must be performed with the environment in mind. Water engineers earn £20,000 to £60,000.

Civil Engineering Curriculum

Students studying civil engineering will learn to apply practical applications to solve a variety of infrastructure problems. Courses will emphasise creativity in problem-solving, and the application of basic mathematical, geological, physics and design concepts to present the implementation of various civil engineering projects.

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