Essential Civil Engineering Specialties

Posted By: cwcourtney | August 1, 2016

Civil engineering is an ever-growing field that revolves around the design and structure of newly constructed buildings and other fabricated structures. It is a field with many personal and monetary rewards.

Sub-Specialties in Civil Engineering

Most students specialize in one area of civil engineering. The following are some of the most popular areas to specialize in.

Environmental Engineering

These engineers work to reduce the human impact on the natural surroundings. This may include repairing any damage caused during construction while also discovering methods to keep the damage from happening again. Those working with the environment have to deal with both man’s impact and the disposal of waste created in a safe manner.

Coastal Engineering

Like environmental engineers, coastal engineers work to protect the ecosystem. Specifically, these specialists work to help stop the erosion of coastal areas and beaches. Because their jobs are affected by the tides and weather, engineers in this field must also have a firm understanding of marine geology and oceanography to be successful.

Structural Engineering

Probably the best-known civil engineering specialty, however, is structural engineering. This field splits into bridges and buildings as each requires a different method to design them. With both, consideration of the load is important. However, the load bearing on a bridge comes from a slightly different force than that of a skyscraper. Additionally, other forces such as earthquakes affect the structures differently.

Geotechnical Engineering

A geotechnical engineer understands the environmental rock and soil and how this relates to the structure. They work with structural engineers to help properly lay the foundation so that it won’t crack or buckle over time. In addition, these specialists often work with mining and petroleum engineers to help develop a solid understanding of the subterranean conditions. These engineers also work to create tunnels and dams.

Degrees Are Necessary

Any civil engineering job requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering. However, many firms require their civil engineers to complete an advanced degree beyond their undergraduate studies. A master’s degree in engineering management is one such option.

Thanks to Maria Eklind on flickr for the image used in this post.

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