Civil Engineering Jobs in America: Everything You Need to Know

Date: 30 May 2022

Civil engineers design and build infrastructures to ensure society runs smoothly, read more about the role here. 

There are an estimated 110,559 civil engineers in the United States. The demand for civil engineering jobs in the States continues to grow as the population and the demand for housing and public infrastructure increase. If you’re looking for more information about the industry, then you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more about the demand, role, salary and benefits of being a civil engineer. 

What job does a civil engineer do? 

Civil engineers deal with the design, planning, and building of public infrastructure and help cities function smoothly. So, they work on key infrastructure including airports, bridges, hospitals, schools, and much more. Essentially, cities and societies function effectively because of the great work of civil engineers. 

Civil engineers have an extensive skill set that includes:

  • Design skills and knowledge
  • Knowledge of building and construction
  • Close attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Strong use of initiative
  • Confident use of computers and main software packages 

The variety in career paths that civil engineering jobs offer makes this industry so appealing. The roles within the civil engineering industry are complex, so it’s not a simple case of one job covering everything. A major infrastructure development involves a collection of skills and responsibilities with various aspects of civil engineering coming together to complete a project. 

We recommend looking at the jobs you would find most interesting and the best potential fit for your experience. So, now you know what a civil engineer does, it’s time to check out the current demand.

Are civil engineers in demand in the US?

Like in any industry, the need for certain roles fluctuates over time. For civil engineers, these trends can often depend on what’s going on in the world around us. For example, a role we expect to see growth in demand is environmental engineering. With the rise in global warming, we’re starting to see a shift in attitude towards protecting our planet. Environmental engineers play a significant part in this as they monitor and take action on pollution, make sustainable developments, and more.

Here are the top five roles are currently in high demand to help you narrow down your search:

  • Environmental engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Water resources engineer
  • Geotechnical engineer

Which civil engineers have the highest salary?

Before you start looking for your next role in civil engineering, it’s good to know the salary range to expect. The average annual salary of all civil engineers in the USA is $86,501. Salaries typically range from $47,000 to $135,000. The longer you work in the industry and grow your expertise, the more you’re tipping the scales in your favor to reach the higher end of this salary bracket.

Salaries vary between the different roles in civil engineering, so here are the highest-paying roles:

  • Project engineer, mechanical rotation: $133,000
  • Supervisory civil engineer: $101,000
  • Senior structural engineer: $99,000
  • Senior civil engineer: $92,000
  • Senior civil engineer highway: $84,000
  • Civil engineer project manager: $82,000

Salaries can vary depending on the state you’re living in too. In some states, salaries are higher than in others due to the cost of living. Salary isn’t necessarily the main indicator of the best branch in civil engineering though and there are several other important things to consider.

Which branch of civil engineering is the best?

Civil engineering is a rewarding industry. No matter which route you choose, there are amazing benefits applied across the board. 

The main reasons people pursue a civil engineering job are:

  • Job security. The public sector and everyday life are heavily dependent on civil engineers, and there are rarely job shortages in this sector. 
  • Variety. There are many paths within the civil engineering industry, you have plenty to choose from as well as many different interesting potential projects to work on.
  • Earning potential. As we mentioned in the above salary section, the civil engineering industry has high potential for well-paid careers.
  • Legacy and purpose. A civil engineering career can be very rewarding, as you play an important role in building amazing pieces of architecture and creating systems that improve the health and living standards of millions of people. They make a long-lasting difference. 

As for the best branch of civil engineering, that will depend on what you’re looking for. You should consider the branch that meets your needs the most. Consider the following:

  • Time. Hours in a job can vary depending on the role, we recommend you pick a role that allows you to have a healthy work and home life balance. 
  • Level of enjoyment and fulfillment. Only apply for jobs that you think you’d enjoy and find rewarding. If you’re in a job you don’t like, you won’t enjoy going to work every day. Find something you like, you’ll enjoy your working environment. 
  • Salary. Money isn’t the be-all and end-all of factors. However, you must be paid enough to live comfortably.
  • Accessibility. Some states have a higher demand for roles than others. For example, California has more civil engineering jobs than Alaska. We recommend looking for jobs that are in demand in your state. 

So, now you know everything you need to know about civil engineering jobs in the USA, where can you find your next big role?

SSA can match you with your future dream job

SSA Recruitment Group are a highly experienced firm of recruitment and search consultants in the states. We connect our clients to the best talent, making sure you’re matched perfectly with your dream civil engineering role.

Take a look at our available career opportunities in the USA here and find your next big role to take your career further.

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