According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, civil engineers hold about 256,000 jobs. This represents 17% of the 1.5 million jobs held by engineers in the U.S. Employment opportunities for civil engineers exist all over the world. Civil engineers are needed everywhere to plan, design, construct, operate, improve, and renovate the projects essential to modern comfort and growth. Where you work makes a big difference to your career. The key to making a success of a foreign assignment is being prepared, considering all the issues, and having a clear picture of the benefits.
While there are abundant opportunities to work internationally as a civil engineer, it takes some special preparation to do well abroad. Speaking more than one language is a major factor. Being able to adapt to new conditions rapidly is another. Although the international workforce is becoming more mobile every day, traditionally big engineering firms tend to send experienced senior level staff on international assignments.
Studying abroad is one way to investigate how interested you are in working internationally. Some form of international work or study experience is a strong credential for a young civil engineer. Even if you do not want to work in other countries on a regular basis, understanding engineering from a global perspective will enhance your ability to complete domestically in what is, increasingly, a world
Civil Engineering Career Path Forecast
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, civil engineers are expected to experience 18 percent employment growth during the projections decade of 2006-2016. This is faster than the average for all occupations. Spurred by general population growth and the related need to improve the Nation’s infrastructure, more civil engineers will be needed to design and construct or expand transportation, water supply, and pollution control systems and buildings and building complexes. They also will be needed to repair or replace existing roads, bridges, and other public structures.
Because construction industries and architectural, engineering and related services employ many civil engineers, employment opportunities will vary by geographic area and may decrease during economic slowdowns, when construction is often curtailed.