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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Civil Engineering

Majors Overview February 25, 2015

Get information about a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in Civil Engineering and its coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Civil Engineering

Students enrolled in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Civil Engineering can seek careers as civil engineers or as civil engineering technicians. Coursework includes the basic engineering practices employed in designing numerous infrastructure projects, including public sanitation projects, dams, bridges, and roads.
Coursework also covers building materials and construction management. Those that complete a civil engineering bachelor’s degree program also learn about the engineering formulas involved in calculating the extent of stress on buildings and the design tolerances necessary for withstanding environmental conditions. Civil engineering students may also learn about materials science, soil composition, structural design, surveying, and hazardous waste management.


Students enrolled in a civil engineering program learn the mathematics, calculus, and writing skills employed in the field. Students will also gain knowledge about hydraulics, surveying, and computer-aided design. Core coursework may also include these topic areas:

•Waste-water handling
•Technical communications
•Engineering physics
•Construction management

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 19% has been predicted for civil engineers over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the same time duration, the number of technicians needed is expected to increase by 12%. Population growth and the need for repair or upgrading of existing infrastructure drives the demand for engineers and technicians. In May 2012, civil engineers brought home an average annual wage of $79,340.

During that same year, civil engineering technicians banked $47,560 on average. Licensure is mandatory for civil engineers that provide services directly to the public. Passage of multiple exams, in addition to other requirements, can provide licensure.

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may pursue a master’s degree program, whereby they can enhance their knowledge of the advanced aspects of civil engineering, project management, and research.

The primary focus of master’s degree programs is not only on structural integrity, natural resources, transportation and construction, but an integrated education on these topic areas is deemed necessary in complex civil engineering projects. Master’s degree program graduates may choose to go on to complete Ph.D. programs in Civil Engineering in order to pursue careers in research or academia.

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