Next time you are outside, look around you, and you’ll see the work of civil engineers everywhere you go. The physical infrastructure of our world, the landmarks we see and the roads we drive on every day are the work of a civil engineer. These people have the skills and expertise needed to make a genuine difference in the world, and it’s largely because of this that it is a highly paid and much sought-after career. It’s also an incredibly varied industry which means people who pursue this career can often apply their training and education to the aspect of society which motivates them the most.
Here are the 5 biggest reason you should consider becoming a civil engineer.
1. It’s a Flexible and Evolving Industry
Engineering as a broad topic includes many fields, and civil engineers find that they have a plethora of employment opportunities available to them in both the public and private sector. Engineers can get involved in environmental studies like preventing and alleviating pollution or soil testing to designing renewable energy farms, or work on the design and execution of building massive bridges, roads, community structures and buildings.
Engineers can often turn their skills and expertise to many projects. This makes for an incredibly varied and flexible career. It can be office based in some cases, but most are out and about on construction sites getting involved in the delivery of the project.
In addition, with the evolution of technology progressing at the rate it is, the field of engineering is changing daily, which means there will always be new skills to embrace.
2. It Offers Long-term Job Security
The world is never going to stand still when it comes to the continued pursuit of development. The infrastructure of Canada and developed countries will continue age and as such civil engineers will always to be needed. Whether it’s by repairing roads, highways and bridges, maintaining public transport networks or attending to utility systems such as the water supply, civil engineers are essential. Populations are increasing all over the world which means we are going to need to work out new, efficient ways of ensuring our resources are accessible and sustainable including water, energy, and telecommunications.
There are many developing countries which need vital support and expertise in establishing transport networks, environmental protection, waste disposal and more. Engineers can be employed by a company but can also choose to establish themselves as independent which enables them even greater flexibility and security as they can diversify their skill set.
3. It’s a Well-paid Career
It takes a great deal of skill and education to become a civil engineer and this is reflected in the salary. In Canada, for example, the average salary for a civil engineer is $49,119 per year, but the most experienced can earn up to $83,502 annually. To become a civil engineer, you will need to achieve a bachelor’s degree. To reach the most senior positions and higher earnings you will need to study further for a master’s degree. You can complete a useful civil engineering degree online in Canada which enables you to continue with your career while studying in your spare time.
Making sure you have the right qualifications will put you ahead of the competition when it comes to securing the best roles in this in-demand profession, and continued education will keep your skills sharp. It also shows potential employers that you are committed to the industry and the training often includes other key skills such as leadership in addition to technical knowledge.
4. You’ll Be Making a Real Difference in the World
When a disaster occurs (natural or otherwise), civil engineers are always there to help rebuild not only the physical environment but also the community itself. This means they need to have exceptional technical knowledge and skills, but also need to be able to react quickly and develop solutions to problems under pressure. Providing this support at a time while maintaining a sensitivity to the local community and the emotions involved in human loss can be challenging but is also one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have.
You could also choose to apply your expertise in developing countries where people need access to clean water or better technology to open their community to the world. Civil engineers are a vital part of any society whether they choose to work at home or abroad and, as a result, are often regarded as having the same level of responsibility and appreciation as doctors or lawyers. At the most basic level, you’re a problem solver, and that skill set can be applied to all aspects of society for the greater good. Read about some civil engineering projects which are changing the world here.
5. It’s a Creative and Rewarding Profession
If you thrive on working on multiple projects and producing solutions to often complex problems, you will find a career in civil engineering incredibly rewarding. You’ll constantly be confronted with new ways of working, new materials and technology and evolving environments (both natural and manmade). This requires a creative and collaborative approach to multiple projects, a cool head under pressure as well as a natural desire for knowledge. If you’re looking for a job which requires only one area of expertise and repetitive tasks, engineering is not the right choice for you!
Should You Become a Civil Engineer?
Civil engineers are often highly visible in their communities and are well respected for their expertise and skills. They work well both on their own and as part of a team and can collaborate with other organizations and industries to reach the best possible outcome for a project. The career requires a high level of training but is rewarded both financially and in terms of professional satisfaction. If you think you have both the natural qualities and determination to apply yourself to this industry, you will be entering a career which makes a tangible difference to the world around you.