Civil engineering deals with the building of urban and municipal structures such as as roads, bridges, buildings and dams. Most entry-level civil engineering jobs require a bachelor's degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many civil engineers choose to specialize in one of several branches of the civil engineering field.
General Construction Branches
Several branches of civil engineering deal with different aspects of constructing many types of structure. For example, construction engineers oversee the actual process of building civil engineering structures. Structural engineers work specifically to make sure that buildings and other structures are designed in a way that is safe; it's their job to make sure that bridges and buildings don't collapse. Geotechnical engineers focus on how structures interact with the ground and bedrock they're built on, and are responsible for designing solid foundations. Geospatial engineers lay the groundwork for engineering projects by compiling survey data and creating maps.
Environmental engineers work to ensure that the environment stays clean, and they do so by designing structures that minimize pollution. For example, environmental engineers often oversee the design of structures such as landfills, sewer systems and sewage treatment plants. Environmental engineers also work as consultants on other types of projects to make designs that are more environmentally friendly.
Water Resources Engineering
Water resources engineers are civil engineers who design structures related to water. For example, they specialize in the design and construction of dams. However, they also build a variety of other structures related to water, such as aqueducts, canals and pipelines. Water resources engineers also specialize in building water distribution systems and water treatment plants. Those who build marine structures such as coastal embankments are sometimes called coastal engineers.
Civil engineers who specialize in the design of transportation systems are aptly called transportation engineers. Transportation engineers are often thought of as the civil engineers who build roads and highways, but their expertise goes beyond automobile transportation. These civil engineers also design facilities that serve other forms of transportation, such as airports, rail lines and ports for shipping. They work closely with urban planners to make sure that transportation systems are designed to run smoothly and are properly integrated into the existing urban landscape.
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