A Career Guide for the Civil Engineering Major

Civil engineers design the constructed environment, or infrastructure, that supports our society. Civil engineering in the United States is experiencing unprecedented growth. Replacement of the country's aging infrastucture, planning for future population growth, and incorporation of new and improved technologies mean that civil engineers can look forward to highly rewarding, dynamic careers.

Nowhere are these more obvious than South Florida. With its large an rapidly expanding population, sensitive ecosystems, and limited water supplies, South Florida is an area tht desperately needs civil engineers - for buildings, bridges, highways, airport, port facilities, rapid transit systems, water and wastewater treatment systems, beach erosion control, pollution control, and contigency planning for natural and manmade disasters.

Currently, Florida universities are producing only about half the number of civil engineering graduates needed in the state. The Florida Department of Labor lists civil engineering as one of the State's fastest growing engineering occupations. Nationally, the US Bureau of Labor Statistic projects 20,000 jobs openings per year in civil engineering and suggest that actual figures may be higher because of the large number of retirements expected over the next several years. Indeed, the future for civil engineers is very bright.

The following Interests and Aptitudes/Qualities are associated with or needed for success in the study of this major.

  • Problem solving
  • Planning, designing, and building complex, large-scale projects
  • Contributing to the betterment of society
  • Concern for the environment
  • Science and mathematics
  • Dedication
  • Analytical reasoning
  • Good spatial and visual perception
  • Ability to think big, but also able to handle details
  • Creativity and initiative
  • Ability to work with people from many walks of life and professions
  • Good organizational skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills


The program of study leading to a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering reflects the breadth of the profession. Student complete 128 credit hours of coursework in basic science and mathematics, engineering fundamentals, and the major disciplines in civil engineering. Because of the tremendaous impact civil engineers have on society our curriculum also requires students to pursue studies in the social sciences and the humanities.

Design, project management, teamwork, leadership skills and professionalism are emphazied. The curriculum provides integrated coverage of stuctural engineering, water resources/ environmental engineering, transportation engineering, and geotechnical engineering. Some specialization is possible through selection of technical electives.

A complete listing of the degree requirements and a sample four-year program can be found in the undergraduate academic catalog or at All faculty members of the Department of Civil Engineering are available to provide guidance for your academic career and your professional career after graduation.


The following are examples of positions often held by Civil Engineering graduates:

Civil Engineer
Structural Engineer
Geotechnical Engineer
Water Resources/Environmental Engineer
Transportation Engineer
City/County/State Engineer

This list does not begin to show all the career paths open to Civil Engineering graduates. Many Civil Engineering graduates go on to careers in law, medicine, business, research, and the military. The BSCivE degree allows graduates to pursue a wide variety of career paths.

Graduates work for local, national, and international consulting firms (many eventually their own firms); governments and governement agencies (from local to international); the military; industries large and small; and educational institutions.


For information about choosing a career, graduate/ professional school, internships or job descriptions, and for career library resources, contact:

Career Development Center
Boca Raton Campus - Student Services Building, Room 220 (SU 220)

Davie Campus - Modular G

Jupiter Campus - SR 110

For information about choosing a major and concentration and degree requirements, contact:

College of Engineering & Computer Science
Boca Raton Campus, Science & Engineering Building Room 308, (SE 308)

Department of Civil Engineering
Boca Raton Campus, Science & Engineering Building Room 213, (SE 213)

The Career Guide series was developed by the Florida Atlantic University Career Development Center, Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Undergraduate Programs, and in cooperation with the College of Engineering and the Department of Civil Engineering.

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