$82k $82k
281k 281k
8.4% 8.4%
2.9/5 2.9/5
Bachelors Bachelors


Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or one of its specialties. The degree should be from a program approved by ABET (The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). A program accredited by ABET is needed in order to gain licensure, which is required to work as a professional engineer (PE).

Programs in civil engineering typically take four years to complete and include coursework in mathematics, statistics, engineering mechanics and systems, and fluid dynamics, among other courses, depending on the specialty. Courses include a mix of traditional classroom learning, laboratory work and field work.

About one of every five civil engineers has a master’s degree. Further education after the bachelor’s degree is helpful in getting a job as a manager. A civil engineer needs both a license and experience to become a manager.

What are Civil Engineers like?


Based on our pool of users, civil engineers tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Industrial Designers by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 649 Sokanu users

Are Civil Engineers happy?


Civil engineers rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 26th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Industrial Designer Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Civil Engineers

The most common degree held by civil engineers is Civil Engineering. 15% of civil engineers had a degree in civil engineering before becoming civil engineers. That is over 39 times the average across all careers. Mechanical Engineering graduates are the second most common among civil engineers, representing 1% of civil engineers in the Sokanu user base, which is 0.9 times the average.

Civil Engineer Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Civil Engineer, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of civil engineers % of population Multiple
Civil Engineering 15.2% 0.4% 39.2×
Mechanical Engineering 1.4% 1.5% 0.9×

Civil Engineer Education Levels

57% of civil engineers have a bachelor's degree. 39% of civil engineers have a master's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 0%
Bachelor's degree 57%
Master's degree 39%
Doctorate degree 4%

How to Become a Civil Engineer

Think you might be interested in becoming a Civil Engineer? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good civil engineer? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    • Delaware Technical Community College-Terry | Dover, DE
      Offers: Associates
    • Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington | Wilmington, DE
      Offers: Certificate, Associates
    • Delaware State University | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • University of Delaware | Newark, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Catholic University of America | Washington, DC
      Offers: Bachelors
  3. Get Hired
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Further Reading

  • Civil Engineer Qualifications www.shmoop.com

    Your degree will take four years to complete, and will include courses in math, engineering mechanics, statistics, and fluid dynamics, among others.

  • Requirements For Becoming A Civil Engineer education-portal.com

    A bachelor's degree from an accredited program is the minimum requirement for most civil engineering jobs.

Find your perfect career

Would you make a good civil engineer? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

80% Match?
Take the free career test

Recommended Books

  • Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam www.amazon.com

    The Civil Engineering Reference Manual is the most comprehensive textbook for the NCEES Civil PE exam. This book’s time-tested organization and clear explanations start with the basics to help you quickly get up to speed with common civil engineering concepts. Together, the 90 chapters provide an in-depth review of all of the topics, codes, and standards listed in the NCEES Civil PE exam specifications.

  • Civil Engineering: A Very Short Introduction www.amazon.com

    In this Very Short Introduction, engineer David Muir Wood turns a spotlight on a field that we often take for granted. He sheds light on the nature and importance of civil engineering in the history of civilization and urbanization, outlines its many accomplishments in the modern era, and points to the hurdles that civil engineering will face in the future.

  • Structural Analysis www.amazon.com

    This book provides students with a clear and thorough presentation of the theory and application of structural analysis as it applies to trusses, beams, and frames. Emphasis is placed on teaching students to both model and analyze a structure.

  • Materials for Civil and Construction Engineers www.amazon.com

    This introduction gives students a basic understanding of the material selection process and the behavior of materials — a fundamental requirement for all civil and construction engineers performing design, construction, and maintenance.

  • Civil Engineer's Handbook of Professional Practice www.amazon.com

    A well-written, hands-on, single-source guide to the professional practice of civil engineering There is a growing understanding that to be competitive at an international level, civil engineers not only must build on their traditional strengths in technology and science but also must acquire greater mastery of the business of civil engineering.

  • Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century www.amazon.com

    This book focuses on outcomes to the proposed changes in the way civil engineering is taught and learned, including the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for entry into professional practice. The report also offers valuable guidance for faculty, students, engineer interns, and practitioners.

Become a Civil Engineer