Agriculture & Biosystems
What would it feel like to have the expertise to build a school that could withstand an earthquake, a road system that puts an end to chronic traffic jams, or a sports stadium that offers everyone a great view? As a civil engineer, your job would be to oversee the construction of the buildings and infrastructure that make up our world: highways, skyscrapers, railways, bridges, and water reservoirs, as well as some of the most spectacular and high-profile of all engineering feats—think of the iconic Freedom Tower in New York, or the fire-breathing Dragon bridge in Vietnam. Civil engineers are fond of saying that it’s architects who put designs on paper, but engineers who actually get things built.
Number of jobs in 2020
Job growth over next 10 years
Jobs and education
- Ensure safe drinking water by managing a community’s water supply
- Develop an art museum that provides state-of-the-art protection for paintings
- Cut down on airport delays by designing a better runway system
- Design the structure of one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers
- Build cheap, sturdy shelters for victims of hurricanes and flooding
- Land surveyors measure land in order to define property boundaries so that it can be sold, built on, or used for other purposes.
- Stake out where a concrete or earthen structure will be placed near a waterway to control flooding.
- Plan the construction of new buildings and the destruction of old ones.
Real world engineering projects
Floating Fire Station
San Francisco’s new floating fire station is designed to withstand earthquakes, storms and sea level rise while remaining fully operational. It is home to the city’s fire boats and houses a command center; repair, maintenance, and fabrication facilities for the fireboats; and residential areas for firefighters on duty.
The cutter wheel of “Big Bertha,” one of the world’s largest tunnel boring machines, is lowered into place. Used for underground highway, transit, and water supply and discharge tunnels, these machines drill and place the tunnel entirely below the surface, allowing city life above to continue undisturbed.
1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics
2. American Society of Civil Engineers