Civil engineers work on and oversee construction projects that impact our way of life. This includes designing and building roadways, sewage treatment systems, airports, bridges, tunnels, water supply facilities, and more. Due to the importance of the projects that civil engineers work on, and the need for safety, these professionals must have a high-quality education and a thorough understanding of areas such as land surveying, foundation strength, building materials and structure, as well as material, equipment, and labor costs, potential hazards that may arise, and how to prevent them. Civil engineering degrees are offered at every level.
Online Associate Degree Programs for Civil Engineering
Since this is such a hands-on profession, it’s difficult to find online associate degree programs in civil engineering technology. These associate degree programs are usually around two years in length, if you attend full time. Your courses will consist of several general education courses, as well as introductory-level civil engineering and general engineering courses. For example, the curriculum on the associate of civil engineering technology degree program at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, N.C., includes courses in Soils and Foundations, Introduction to Technology, Construction Estimating, and Basic Structural Concepts.
Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Civil Engineering
Many online civil engineering bachelor’s degree programs can take up to six years for a full-time student to complete. However, transferring an accredited associate degree in civil engineering technology may reduce the program length. In most cases, you will be required to visit your school’s campus and attend lectures and labs to gain hands-on training. Your courses will cover the various areas of civil engineering. An example of the curriculum for an online bachelor’s degree program in civil engineering can be found at the University of North Dakota, where courses include Soil Mechanics, Introduction to Digital Terrain Modeling, Civil Engineering Design, Transportation Engineering, and Hydrology.
Online Master’s Degree Programs for Civil Engineering
Online master’s degree programs in civil engineering require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from an accredited institution. These programs will consist of advanced courses, often focused on areas such as research and management. For example, the curriculum for the online civil engineering master’s degree program offered by Colorado State University includes Physical Hydrology, Infrastructure and Utility Management, Statistics for Environmental Monitoring, and Engineering Design Support.
Online Doctoral Degree Programs for Civil Engineering
Online doctoral degree programs in civil engineering will give you the highest level of education available. To enroll in one of these programs, you must hold at least an accredited bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. If you hold a master’s degree, the length of your doctoral program may be reduced. Your core courses will usually focus on research in areas such as planning and design for construction projects, structural analysis, and engineering of water resources. Many programs allow you to choose a particular area to focus on once you complete your core courses. For example, at the University of Central Florida, you can choose between geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation systems engineering, water resources engineering, and construction engineering and management.
Online Degree Programs in Civil Engineering in the Work Place
An online associate degree in civil engineering or civil engineering technology can lead to a career as a civil engineering technician, where you will assist civil engineers and other professionals on projects. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), civil engineering technicians earn a median annual income of $46,290 and are expected to see a 12% growth in employment through 2020. Civil engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, though some employers and certain managerial positions may require a master’s degree. The BLS shows that civil engineers earn a median annual income of $77,560 and are expected to see a 19% growth in employment. Keep in mind that what you earn and job availability will depend on factors such as your amount of professional experience, location, and employer.