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Summary Report for:
17-2051.00 - Civil Engineers

Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.

Sample of reported job titles: Bridge/Structure Inspection Team Leader, City Engineer, Civil Engineer, Civil Engineering Manager, County Engineer, Design Engineer, Project Engineer, Railroad Design Consultant, Structural Engineer, Traffic Engineer

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards.
  • Compute load and grade requirements, water flow rates, or material stress factors to determine design specifications.
  • Provide technical advice to industrial or managerial personnel regarding design, construction, or program modifications or structural repairs.
  • Test soils or materials to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations, concrete, asphalt, or steel.
  • Manage and direct the construction, operations, or maintenance activities at project site.
  • Direct or participate in surveying to lay out installations or establish reference points, grades, or elevations to guide construction.
  • Estimate quantities and cost of materials, equipment, or labor to determine project feasibility.
  • Plan and design transportation or hydraulic systems or structures using computer assisted design or drawing tools.
  • Prepare or present public reports on topics such as bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions. Green Task Statement
  • Design energy efficient or environmentally sound civil structures. Green Task Statement

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Distance meters — Electronic distance measuring devices; Rhodes arcs
Levels — Laser levels; Precision levels
Microfiche or microfilm viewers — Microfilm readers
Scales — Drafting scales; Rolling scales
Triangles — Drafting triangles

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — HEC-1 *; Hydraulic modeling software; Trimble Geomatics Office; WinTR-55 *
Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley MicroStation; Eagle Point Site Design; Research Engineers International STAAD.Pro
Map creation software — Cartography software; ESRI ArcView; Geographic information system GIS software; Intergraph MGE
Project management software — Cost estimating software; Microsoft Project; The Gordian Group PROGEN Online
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

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Skills

Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

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Abilities

Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

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Work Activities

Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Work Context

Electronic Mail — 91% responded “Every day.”
Telephone — 83% responded “Every day.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 83% responded “Every day.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 70% responded “Very important.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 61% responded “More than 40 hours.”
Contact With Others — 52% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 52% responded “Important results.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 61% responded “Very important.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 61% responded “Some freedom.”
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 52% responded “Every day.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
43   Bachelor's degree
26   Master's degree
13   Post-baccalaureate certificate Help

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Engineering — Civil Engineering; Transportation and Highway Engineering; Water Resources Engineering

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

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Interests

Interest code: RIC

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Styles

Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

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Work Values

Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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Related Occupations

11-9021.00 Construction Managers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
11-9041.00 Architectural and Engineering Managers Green Occupation
13-1081.01 Logistics Engineers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
17-2021.00 Agricultural Engineers
17-2051.01 Transportation Engineers   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook     Green Occupation Green
17-2081.00 Environmental Engineers Green Occupation
17-2111.02 Fire-Prevention and Protection Engineers
17-2151.00 Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
17-2199.03 Energy Engineers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
19-1031.01 Soil and Water Conservationists Green Occupation

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $38.83 hourly, $80,770 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 273,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 120,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Civil Engineers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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