To work as a civil engineer, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or equivalent;
- have at least bachelor's degree in civil engineering; and
- have a license.
Education after high school
Most students prepare for this field by earning a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Many four-year colleges and universities offer this program of study. You may need between four and five years to complete this program.
Some jobs require a master's or doctoral degree (PhD). For instance, if you are interested in teaching civil engineering you need a PhD. Also, many engineering students go to graduate school to specialize in an area of civil engineering.
You should consider participating in an internship with an engineering firm while you are in college. An internship is usually part of a four-year degree program. It offers you a chance to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a work situation. It also allows you to build skills and make contacts with people in the field.
In general, civil engineers receive one to two years of on-the-job training. New graduates work under the guidance of experienced engineers. In large companies, you may also receive formal classroom training. As you gain knowledge and experience you have greater independence and work on more difficult tasks.
The military does not provide initial training in this field. However, the military may provide work experience to civil engineering graduates.