Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for civil engineer was $87,060 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $55,380, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $144,560. The top paying industry was the federal government, with a median annual salary of $95,380. This is followed by the local government ($93,380), engineering services ($87,710), the state government ($82,030) and nonresidential building construction ($76,340).
Autonomy and Flexibility
Generally speaking, civil engineers will have high autonomy. They are a senior member in a construction project and therefore have control over decisions regarding design and finance. This level of autonomy only gets higher throughout a civil engineers career, as they can gather more experience and get more responsibility.
Flexibility may be slightly lower as civil engineers will have many strict project deadlines to work towards. This means that they may have little control over how they plan their day and what meetings to attend.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be a civil engineer, based on average annual salary and number of job opportunities, are:
- Alaska, where the average annual salary is $85,194
- California, where the average annual salary is $91,840
- Nevada, where the average annual salary is $79,406
- Texas, where the average annual salary is $75,122
- New Hampshire, where the average annual salary is $74,713
The worst states, according to Zippia are Kansas, Montana, Alabama, Wyoming and Arkansas.
The largest employers of civil engineers in the United States was engineering services, which hired 49% of all civil engineers in 2019. 12% of civil engineers were employed by the sate government, 10% work for the local government, 6% were employed by nonresidential building construction and 3% work for the federal government.
Civil engineers will work in a variety of locations and conditions. At the early stages of a project, when working on the design, civil engineers may work in offices. However, when the project is commencing civil engineers may spend a lot of time onsite monitoring operations or solving onsite problems. In some cases, civil engineers may have many projects on at once and will therefore have to travel to different locations.