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Civil Engineering Master's Degree

Master's degree programs in civil engineering prepare students for careers designing structures like roads, dams, tunnels and buildings. Find out about available courses for a civil engineering master's degree, as well as the typical duties of a civil engineer as well as the employment outlook and average salary.

What Will I Study in a Master's Degree Program in Civil Engineering?

Coursework usually depends on the area of civil engineering you pursue. For example, you could specialize in structural stability, wind engineering, irrigation and drainage, water treatment or foundations. You could learn to design and supervise the construction of structural systems such as bridges, roads, airports, tunnels, and water and sewage processing systems. This degree can be completed online, usually in 2-3 years. You might take courses like the following:

  • Source pollution
  • Physical hydrology
  • Water resources development
  • Engineering pipe systems
  • Engineering decision making
  • Linear programming
  • Statistics for engineering
  • Environmental monitoring

Common Courses Source pollution, physical hydrology, water resources development, engineering pipe systems, linear programming
Key Skills Excellent judgment and decision making, analytic ability, critical thinking, problem solving, clear communication
Possible Career Civil engineer
Median Salary (2018) $86,640
Job Outlook (2016-2026)11% for Civil Engineers

What Would Be My Job Duties?

Civil engineers design civil structures while considering construction costs, durability, government regulations, aesthetics and sustainability. You could work in construction, design, development or education; you could also work as an administrator. You might determine load requirements for structures, study traffic patterns, analyze environmental conditions, identity potential engineering problems or write public reports. Some of your day-to-day job duties could include the following:

  • Managing engineering projects
  • Maintaining databases
  • Preparing cost estimates and budgets
  • Determining construction specifications
  • Bidding on engineering projects
  • Supervising subordinates
  • Evaluating test data
  • Drawing maps and charts

What Is the Job Market Like?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment for civil engineers is expected to increase 8% between 2014 and 2024 due to a growing national population (www.bls.gov). Civil engineers will be in demand for the design and development of new structures, living spaces and work complexes. Additionally, if you are a civil engineer, you may be needed to repair existing infrastructure elements.

According to the BLS, civil engineers earned a median annual salary of $86,640 in May 2018. Top earners in this field made upwards of $142,560, while the lowest-paid 10% earned less than $54,780. The top-paying industries for this profession oil and gas extraction; accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services; specialized design services, pipeline transportation of crude oil; and employment services.