Civil Engineer Career Information : Civil Engineer Pros & Cons

Civil Engineer Career Information : Civil Engineer Pros & Cons


Hello. My name is Jerry Elliott. I’m a Managing
Partner of a firm, a Civil Engineering firm in Eugene, Oregon. Webber Elliott Engineers.
I’ve been asked to tell you some of the pros and cons of being a civil engineer. I’ll start
with the positive side, pros. First of all the work as a civil engineer is seldom routine.
And that is when we work on one project and then go to the next one, they’re enough different
that you’re not in a rut or you’re not always doing the same thing all the time. Another
pro of being a civil engineer, is that it’s a well respected profession. You are considered
a key member of the community and well liked in general. Another nice thing that a lot
of guys like about civil engineering, is it’s neither an indoor nor an outdoor job. There
are opportunities to be outside, there are opportunities to be inside. And so, you are
not, again stuck in the same routine. And the other positive that I can think of is
that as a profession it generally pays a little bit better than lots of other professions.
Now on the other side, the cons of being a civil engineer, include, as civil engineers
when we put together a set of plans or documents, if there are errors in those documents we
are liable for them. And there can be a significant amount of liability exposure being a civil
engineer. The second thing that I can think of is during an economic slowdown, as the
amount of money that flows into the economic system pulls off a bit, there can be slow
downs in the engineering profession. Less infrastructure is built, less money is spent
on the things that we design. And so there are periods of time when as a civil engineer,
you’re not necessarily having a steady stream of income. Another con that I can think of
is, as servants, that is in a service industry, there is really a cap to the amount of money
that you can make as a civil engineer. It’s not like being a movie star where you’re going
to, your design is going to be used over and over again and you’re going to get millions
and millions of dollars. And finally I would think that the key negative of being a civil
engineer, is we have deadlines, we have obligations, we have duties to our clients. That means
deadlines, and there can be a certain amount of stress in the profession. So that’s a brief
recap of some of the pros and cons of being a civil engineer.

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    addieroxrev09

    hmm. interesting. but i heard that civil engineers and chemical engineers make the most money than any other engineers. this is so true, and ive heard that from many people

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    didlihole

    A lot of people have relatively the same intelligence and can learn the same things. Mindset can turn the "dumbest" into the smartest.

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    didlihole

    It's never too late to enter the field of civil engineering. In my course there was a lady who would have been in her late 80's who was studying the course. I saw her in all of my classes but never again after first semester. If she can do a semester of university you can do the whole degree.

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    MikeW259

    Keep in mind…If you live in the usa…the nations infrastructure needs replace ment so there is a lot of work coming in about 4-10 years…

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    Wilson Tsang

    I've being deciding whether to choose Mechanical or Civil (both cover electrical)
    I picked Civil, because there a shortage of Civil and Structural engineers

    *MeganoOdles* from London =]

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    angeline lisanna

    i've chosen civil engineering and currently in 2nd year. but im not quite sure is this the right choice.. hmm i am confused.

    wherever i go, as i mentioned i am studying civil engineering and people goes like, "you are?! well i am… i thought u take medic education or something."

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    thearaban

    If you have your professional engineer's license, PE, then yes you will be liable for your design and work.

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    damonH24

    Keep in mind that not every1 is from the same country…In the United State, Civil Engineering is in demand. If I remember correctly, it was one of the very few postions that saw an average salary increase in 07' and on, comparing to previous years.

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    Has S

    I study construction management and I am wondering after I complete the degree should I go an extra 2 years to get a civil engineering degree.

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    zdhitman15

    I think this is the type of engineer i want to become… I've searched all the other different varieties of an engineer, and this one clearly stands out for me.

    Civil Engineering, itself, sounds interesting just by viewing what you would be working on in the field and in the office. The classes at my High School
    ( Bear Creek High ) are: Pre-Engineering I, II, and III…
    So far, My classmates and I, have completed PRE-ENGINE I and II.

    This is my PASSION! AutoCAD & AutoDesk baby! Hahahah

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    rolingpingu

    My question is…
    Civil engineering is about construction, so does it mean that sometimes u gotta be freakin' far from the floor and not very safety? Cuz I'm scared of heights…

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    alex471996

    One thing I've always wondered is: Could you study Civil Engineering at say ICL (Imperial College London) then spend a few years in the millitary (say as a regular not an engineer) and then go into an engineering profession. Or will that time gap be too great and job prospects won't look good?

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    Craig Orrell

    @scottyizsmall Well Lego will help you in some respects as when you build a model from the instructions you are actually developing your ability to read and understand the drawings. Also if you are building a model from scratch of your own design you are developing ideas and concepts and spatial awareness which is part and parcel of what a Civil Engineer actually does. If you are interested in this area of Engineering you need a sound grasp of maths, science, technical drawing and english

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    Leeeeeeeeeeeeeee25

    I am going to graduate this year. what career or major would offer good job opportunities…………….and pay pretty good………but really i care more about good job opportunities. Thanks!! if you could help

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    DanielCMM

    It does NOT mean that other engineering fields are out of the game. Specially Industrial, Chemical, Electrical engneers have it easy to get a job any where in the world. Civil engineeris are just in the top, the rest is just pretty close to it.

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    MostlyLoveOfMusic

    @ChRIs23696 agreed. although I don't need the subtitles, it is very annoying that they are always half a sentence ahead of the voice.

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    Diesel29

    Civil Engineering is not an exciting field that is well respected and pays well. The pay is decent unless you are a principal or the top of the food chain at a city or county job. trash collectors make more money than civil engineers. Hell, I have my PE and I know people with no education that drive around the neighborhood collecting recycle that make equal or more money than me. Nothing exciting about having an architect changing the plans the day before the plans are due. Yippee

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    Starsandfunk

    @MYBABYPARTZKOH crudely speaking, a civil engineer designs the physical and the arhcitect designs the layout and asthetics.

    e.g. a civil engineer is responsible for designing a skyscraper to ensure it will remain standing during high wind, earthquake, snow load, etc and that it is physically buildable! Whereas an architect designs the internal layout and astheic appearance of the skyscraper

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    Starsandfunk

    @DirtyDiesel29 what you have said is exactly right. I wouldn't advise anyone to go anywhere near this profession. I switched to IT 2 years ago and am already making twice as much for doing half the amount of working and enduring a fraction of the stress! Civil engineers get treated like dirt – fact.

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    giovani avion

    Hello everybody I got a question if I study to become a civil engineer in a Latin American country would I be able to find a job in the USA?

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    Trollopolis

    @shakeri84 You can still become an engineer by going the "non-academic" route.

    Research it, not all engineers will have gone to university/college .. sufficient experience will stand you in good stead.

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    Trollopolis

    @kadonagaw If you are expecting a civil engineering position to be a "low stress job" you're kidding yourself.

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    Raymundo Flores

    Im really good at math and physics and I either want to be a structural or civil engineer, but I feel like I won't be good at it for some reason. It's probably mainly has to do with the fact that engineering doesn't seem too math oriented? how do you use math when applying yourself to this type of engineering?

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    Conor Harten

    im currently in my last year in college doing civil, i had the same feelings at the start but dont worry it seems daunting but its really not..your college will train you properly and make sure your competent enough and as long as you do the work you will be grand and you have the right background needed so dont worry its a good profession..

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    b0ondockz

    @Ghaiyst Just because someone is good at math and physics does not mean they will make a good civil engineer. There are a lot of construction aspects to this field that not just anybody has the knack for. I find that a lot of the geeky types aren't just afraid to approach construction but it just doesn't come naturally to them. However if you are comfortable around this type of environment and are also good at math & physics then thats a plus.

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    enlighteneveryone

    @ozziyescobar Jacque Fresco's "The Venus Project" is looking for great Engineers and whatnot to help support and really bring about a Resource Based Economy. Don't know if there's payment, since it's goal is to rid the world of a monetary system and into a system more towards technology to support the entire human race.

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    Chevis Dilbert

    @stealthkiller2107 I don't mean to be rude but uhhh, it isn't the fastest growing. Biomedical engineering is expected to grow by 72%. Civil does have the highest workforce, but certainly not the fastest growing.

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    Stephen Stacks

    @GodLovinConservative oh it is, im majoring in civil engineering, i wanna get my masters also, i wanna become a project manager =) ill be your boss someday

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    dimskees

    the building code is probably different in your country, so if there is a spot open, they will likely hire someone who studied in U.S.A and is familiar with standard measures here as appose to metric

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    JCummins47

    I'm a final year civil/structural engineering student. It's a very rewarding profession to get into. But if you're going to do it, you need to put everything you have into it because you can't half-learn this profession. Rewarding and fun, but very challenging.

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    giovani avion

    Hello people again i was doing some research in my school in the engineer deparment and i found out that my university was acredited in the usa and also canada so i could work over there thats what i found out or if i do a a masters degree is it more possible to get a job

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    JCummins47

    Well the maths isnt too difficult but just understanding how structures, soil and water works and behaves is quite hard to get your head around. It's not really hard, its just challenging. I you really WANT to do it then its no problem. Just make sure you want it bad enough. If you do then you'll do what it takes.

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    Ocan ALLAN MORIS

    this world is so interesting when you know structures. i have just started the course [civil and building ]at diploma and want to be in touch to someone in the field for proper guidance .but hope things will be fine.

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    Cirilo Castaneda

    where i work at engineers are looked at like gods at that's what helped me decide what i want to go to school for

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    antunkatona

    This is actually a good video about privileges and responsibilities of civil engineers. For those that would like to be civil engineers one day, don't get scared of the mathematics or the physics involved. As an expert, you are bound to know statics, mechanics, material properties, stability, hydraulicy and other physics derived thing but you will never study them for their own sake, but only as a tool that helps you see things more clearly. Civil engineers are not mathematicians even though

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    antunkatona

    we might as well be. Anyone that ends up studying civil engineering will realize that it is an honorable occupation and even though cons can sometimes outweigh the pros, it offers a sense of purpose and satisfaction to see the things you have designed or helped constructing standing in front of your eyes. People usually see the financial side of it and think it is easy. Nothing could be farther from the truth and in reality, you could say civil engineers are underpaid for their occupation.

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    Kollin011

    Engineering companies hate hiring graduates with no experience. If you don't have family or connections in a managment position in engineering companies then don't take up this profession.I know people who are still in university who were denied coop positions because, get this, they did not have enough experience.

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    Kollin011

    Engineering right now is about making money for the shareholders. They fired a lot of engineers to hire technicians who cost less to employ. If you do get a job as an engineer you will be overworked and underpaid until you make a mistake and then you're fired. There are thousands of other engineers who you will take you're place.

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    Zoenoel Cruz

    Based on my research on the BLS, Civil Engineers have the highest demands than any other fields of engineering

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    Ecora Engineering & Resource Group

    Becoming a civil engineer is definitely a good career choice, not only because of the huge value of the work they do, but more importantly the opportunities that come along with this profession.

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