How to Become a Civil Engineer – Steps Required & Education

Date – 16/09/2022

The most common and maybe oldest engineering profession is civil engineering. The discipline is responsible for many early achievements, including the Roman aqueducts, the Egyptian pyramids, and the Greek Acropolis. These days, among other infrastructure projects, civil engineers plan and supervise the construction and upkeep of our bridges, highways, tunnels, buildings, and water supply systems.

Despite the fact that modern civil engineers have different objectives and difficulties than their historical counterparts, civil engineers have always made vital contributions to the advancement of society and culture.

This comprehensive guide outlines the requirements to become a civil engineer, including the typical training, abilities, and qualifications needed to enter this vital and rapidly expanding sector.

1. What is Civil Engineering?

It is in the best interest of prospective civil engineers to have a firm understanding of the abilities, expertise, responsibilities, specialities, and other crucial facets of this job before devoting time to it. Here is a succinct, reliable introduction to civil engineering.

  • Must-Have Knowledge & Skills: Employers and educational institutions follow the criteria set forth in the “Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century” published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), which is widely recognised and highly accepted. In order to advance humanity’s well-being, civil engineers use arithmetic, physics, natural forces, and materials, according to the statement. In addition to attempting to conserve our environment, they build, enhance, and safeguard the infrastructure that facilitates social interaction, economic growth, and transportation.
  • Duties: In accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2021), typical responsibilities for civil engineers include investigating and resolving issues with buildings, roads, and other projects; assessing compliance with laws, regulations, or standards; performing data analysis; inspecting buildings; monitoring and controlling resources; coordinating the work of others; and evaluating the quality and viability of projects.
  • Personal Qualities: In order to properly carry out their duties, civil engineers must be able to make judgments, manage teams, plan their own work and that of others, comprehend and use mathematical and scientific principles, solve issues, and effectively communicate.

2. Graduating with a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering
Employers also favor applicants with bachelor’s degrees, however the majority of civil engineers have master’s degrees. The ASCE’s Body of Knowledge and the BLS both advise graduate degrees for advancement to senior jobs.

Students’ travels begin with bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering or one of its specialties, regardless of their ultimate course. The bachelor of science (BS) in engineering with a civil engineering specialization (or defined civil engineering speciality), the BS in civil engineering (BSCE), or a specialized BS are common possibilities (e.g., a BS in environmental science). Typical prerequisites for admission to engineering bachelor’s degrees include:

  • A diploma from high school or an equivalent
  • A high school GPA that is competitive (e.g., >2.75)
  • A record of excellent performance in prerequisite topics like physics, chemistry, calculus, trigonometry, algebra II, and other related subjects
  • A purpose statement (500-600 words)
  • Authentic SAT or ACT scores

3. Achieving a Master’s Degree

A master of science (MS) in civil engineering or an MS in a specific area of civil engineering is one of the graduate degree options for this field, much like for bachelor’s degrees. These programmes, however, are frequently far more specialized and focus on advanced engineering principles, in contrast to bachelor’s degrees.

Both on-campus and online civil engineering degrees are available to students. Working professionals looking to further their education or fulfill continuing education requirements for certification may find online classes particularly intriguing.

The following is often a list of the prerequisites for admission to graduate programmes in civil engineering:

  • A Bachelor of Science in civil engineering or a related field from a recognised institution
  • A purpose statement
  • A minimum 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA
  • Two or three letters of recommendation that discuss your potential in both your studies and your career
  • Results of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

4. Gain Professional Experience.

Most state and federal licensing bodies require a bachelor’s (or master’s) degree together with varied amounts of professional experience in order to qualify as a civil engineer. The ASCE counsels aspiring civil engineers to look for internships, coops, and apprenticeships that strengthen the following competencies and information:

  • Governmental and commercial regulations
  • Communication
  • Project administration
  • Professional ethics
  • Risk evaluation
  • Technical know-how


Once you get through all the steps mentioned above, Civil engineers can choose from a variety of state, federal, and board-issued credentials. With these licenses and certificates, you will be a licensed professional, hence can land any desired job.

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