Civil Engineering : Careers

Career Information and Further Study

Career Choices

Civil engineers can choose from a broad spectrum of opportunities in industry, governmental agencies, private consulting firms (in which civil engineers often participate as owners or partners), and construction companies as well as in research and development. Many graduates return immediately or within a few years to graduate school for advanced studies. BS (Civil) graduates have the skills and most prerequisites to pursue further education in law, medicine, management, or other professional fields.

The civil engineering profession is unique because of two features that set it apart from other engineering professions:
  1. First, each civil engineering project is constructed as an entity (unlike mass-produced manufactured items, such as cars and computers). Each civil engineering project receives individual planning, investigation, design, and performance monitoring.
  2. Second, civil engineering projects involve interplay between technical, governmental, legal, financial, and social elements. Thus, civil engineering requires strong communication skills along with broad technical training.

Alumni in Civil Engineering Have Found Employment in the Following Fields:
  • Computational engineering
  • Computer-aided design
  • Construction engineering and management
  • Environmental engineering
  • Geotechnical engineering and foundation design
  • Highway design and construction
  • Hydraulic and water resources engineering
  • Structural engineering and design
  • Transportation engineering

Examples of companies who actively recruit UB civil engineering candidates for internships and/or full time positions are:

Ciminelli Construction Companies, Inc.; Clark Patterson Assoc.; Clough Harbour & Assoc.; Cannon Design; Erdman Anthony & Associates, Inc.; NYS Dept of Trasportation; Parsons Brinkerhoff; Turner Construction; TVGA Engineering Surveying; URS Corporation; and Watts Engineers

Degree Level Required

A growing number of employers are now requiring the ME or MS degree for entry-level civil engineering jobs. Thus, some students continue their studies at the graduate level.

Salary Information

Average starting salary: $53,500

Factors influencing salary: Educational level, experience, specialization, GPA, location, computer skills, and many other factors. The best way to ensure a good starting salary is to intern with a civil-related firm before graduation, earn a competitive GPA, and do undergraduate research with a faculty member.

What percentage of graduates goes to graduate school?

Every year, about 20 to 25% of our BS (Civil) graduates go to graduate school, either in our own MS and ME programs or graduate programs at other universities.

Additional Resources

Updated: 13 Nov 2012 06:00:40 EST