In order to become a civil engineer, you will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree. But going on to get your master’s degree in Civil Engineering will allow you to pursue more leadership-based positions and higher-paying jobs.
Civil engineers design and oversee the production of buildings, roads, dams, bridges, and water supply systems. They supervise the production of airports, tunnels, and sewage systems. Civil Engineers work in a variety of locations and conditions. They might spend time in an office or work outdoors at construction sites.
According to BLS, civil engineering is expected to grow by 2% from 2019 to 2029, which is slower than average for all occupations.
A Master’s of Civil Engineering Program
A master’s in civil engineering should take between 1-2 years, depending on the program. It could take longer if a student goes part-time vs full-time.
Concentrations in Civil Engineering
When you are pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering you will need to have a concentration. Here are a few examples:
Students focus on the building of bridges, dams, railroads, roads, etc. This is one of the oldest forms of civil engineering.
Students focus on solving environmental issues, designing water systems, or reducing waste.
Students focus on the more aesthetic side of the structure such as revamping a downtown area.
Students focus on problem-solving and the administrative and planning abilities of management overseeing those in the engineering field.
Students study the application of technology and scientific principles to design, plan, and manage transportation infrastructure.
While many of your classes would depend on your concentration, here are a few of the more common classes you might need to take for your program:
Introduction to Soil Behavior
Project Planning and Control
Geology in Engineering
Admission requirements differ based on the school and program, however, most will require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, to complete an application essay, and submit letters of recommendation.
Some schools might also require professional experience, but even if the school doesn’t, it can help to have that work experience to put on the application. Schools usually also want students to have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Students should most likely have a bachelor’s in engineering or a similar degree.
How to Choose a Program
There are many different factors when choosing a civil engineering master’s program. Students should look at the length of each one, the course format, available concentrations, and final project requirements. Students should also consider the curriculum and the cost.
Accreditation status for each program can also make a difference and can affect future career opportunities. Departments often receive programmatic accreditation from field-specific accrediting bodies. Accreditation will indicate that the program meets set standards of quality for the electrical engineering profession.
Students should look for a program with accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Degrees from an ABET-accredited program are required for licensure examinations.
Top Master’s in Civil Engineering Programs
Here are 10 of the top masters in civil engineering programs:
Georgia Institute of Technology
The University of Virginia
The University of California at Berkeley
The University of Michigan
The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Carnegie Mellon University
Top Online Master’s in Civil Engineering Programs
Many schools have both online and in-person options to get your master’s degree. Some people want to go to an in-person classroom, while others prefer the flexibility of online school. There are also hybrid programs that might be a good option.
Here are 10 of the top online master’s in civil engineering programs:
The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Johns Hopkins University
Arizona State University
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin – Madison
Texas A&M University – College Station
The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
University of California – Los Angeles
Jobs With a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering
Annual Median Pay is $69,634
Structural engineers design and create infrastructure that plays a role in the development of a community.
Annual Median Pay is $78,252
Construction managers are responsible for managing all aspects of the construction site, and making sure workers are trained and on time to working with budgets.
Annual Median Pay is $57,918
Urban planners work to figure out how to best use and develop public land in a way that will fit the best needs of the community. They visit possible building sites, work with developers and with city officials.
Annual Median Pay is $66,138
Environmental engineers solve environmental programs, figure out systems for air pollution, and waste disposals.
Pay info provided by Payscale.com.
Every state recognizes that civil engineers who work for the general public need to hold a license that certifies that they have the knowledge and skills that are needed in the field. It is not necessary to wait to become licensed until after you get your master’s degree.
Bachelor’s degree from an ABET-accredited program
Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam (PE)
Keep in mind that each state may differ on other requirements or the amount of experience you need.
Scholarships for Students Getting a Master’s in Civil Engineering
This scholarship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions. It is a 5-year fellowship including three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000 and an education allowance of $12,000.
These grants provide undergraduate and graduate students from most areas of the sciences and engineering, up to $1,000. Designated funds from the National Academy of Sciences allows for grants up to $5,000 for astronomy research and $2,500 for vision-related research. Students can use the money for travel to and from a research site or for the purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project.
This scholarship is funded by Toyota. Priority is given to those with degrees in business and engineering. Other majors will be considered. Students need to be a first-generation college student, be enrolled full-time in a graduate program, and demonstrate financial need. California applicants will need to be a permanent resident of an underserved community within certain counties. The amount of the award varies.