Civil engineers build things. Things like
roads, bridges, tunnels, dams, and airports. They combine a knowledge of materials science,
engineering, economics, physics, geology, and hydraulics to create the physical infrastructure
essential to modern life. Naturally, there are numerous sub-specialties. Surveying and
mapping engineers identify the best sites for construction. Hydraulic and irrigation
engineers focus on dams, flood control, wells, and reservoirs. Environmental engineers deal
with wastewater projects, garbage disposal, and recycling plants. And traffic engineers
specialize in designing “people-moving systems,” be they underground subways, commuter railroads,
or new or improved roads and highways. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement.
At some universities this is a five-year program. But co-op, junior college, and night-school
options are also available. Becoming a civil engineer is a lot of work. But if you like
the idea of being part of big, complex projects that improve people’s lives, it could just
be the profession for you!