Online Colleges for Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is considered one of the oldest engineering disciplines in the United States and can lead to jobs in many different areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Civil engineers are some of the people behind the unique structures that exist in the world today. Just think of the Panama Canal, the Three Gorges Dam spanning China's Yangtze River, or the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building that stands in the United Arab Emirates. If you want to pursue great heights in your career, consider what an education in civil engineering can do for you.

Civil Engineering Online Programs

Degrees that prepare you for civil engineering are offered through a variety of schools. Typically, you'll need at least a four-year degree to be able to make a start in the field. Unfortunately, there are not a large number of online civil engineering degrees available, but you can find rudimentary programs that can help you to gain basic drafting knowledge. Most of these can help you learn how to develop design strategies and prepare technical drawings, but they usually only short-term training programs. This kind of brief introduction to drafting could aid you in deciding whether you want to enter a four-year program and pursue a full-fledged civil engineering career. But you might also be able to find a job with your new skills alone. Your best option to complete a four-year program would be to check with an campus-based school or university. See online colleges in engineering for more degree options.

Job Outlook for Civil Engineering Careers

Civil engineers working in the U.S. earned mean annual wages of $87,130, according to 2014 BLS data, yet those in the federal government received some of the highest pay. These professionals will be needed to help repair or replace bridges, to plan for new water systems or maintain existing ones, and to work on renewable energy projects, reports the BLS. Demand for civil engineering jobs is expected to grow by 20 percent, faster than the average for all occupations, from 2012-2022. This growth that could potentially result in 53,700 new jobs.

Some civil engineers eventually pursue engineering faculty positions or work in research and development. Others move into engineering supervisory or managerial positions. If you have at least two years of training in drafting and are knowledgeable in the field, you could go to work as an architectural or civil drafter. These workers earned mean annual wages of $52,480 according to the BLS. And you just might be fortunate enough to find work as a drafter for a company that offers to help pay for completion of a four-year degree.


  1. Architectural and Civil Drafters, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes173011.htm
  2. Civil Engineers, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes172051.htm
  3. Civil Engineers, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/civil-engineers.htm


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