Civil engineers
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Overview
Civil engineers conceive, design, build, supervise, operate, construct, and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for civil engineers are expected to grow by 11%, and should have about 25,900 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Civil engineers are less likely to be automated than 87% of other careers.
Workforce size
Civil engineers, with 303,500 workers, form a larger workforce than 85% of careers.
Education
About 86% of civil engineers have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by civil engineers
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More civil engineers have bachelor's degrees than 90% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for civil engineers is higher than 87% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most civil engineers.
This job's median $87KAll jobs' median $39K$88K$38K20142015201620172018$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 13% of civil engineers -- that's a smaller percentage than 73% of other jobs.
Gender of civil engineers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For civil engineers, the median men's salary was 12% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 18% of civil engineers are minority, and 17% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of civil engineers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (17%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Civil Engineers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 60% of civil engineers, and 76% have company-sponsored health insurance (16% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for civil engineers
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 85% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of civil engineers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (62%)
  • Consequence of Error (51%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (36%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (34%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do civil engineers earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for civil engineers, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for civil engineers compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for civil engineers (BLS Salary Data)
$87K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$87K$0$50K$100K$150K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all civil engineers, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for civil engineers compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for civil engineers (ACS Salary Data)
$81K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$81K$0$50K$100K$150K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where civil engineers work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Civil engineers (ACS)
Private for-profit (72.8%)
Private not-for-profit (1.1%)
Local government (7.4%)
State government (7.4%)
Federal government (5.9%)
Self-employed incorporated (3.4%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.8%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of civil engineers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$81K$78K$81K$81K$83K$91K$86K$67K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of civil engineers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$87K$95K$92K$86K$82K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for civil engineers

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$100K$98K$64K$75K$86K$102K$47K$92K$95K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
010K20K30K40K50KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Civil engineers and gender

With 13% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 73% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
13%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Civil engineers
Men (87%)
Women (13%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for civil engineers, with the median salary for men 12% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$73K$82K$0$50K$100K$150KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Civil engineers have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for 65% of other jobs.

12%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of civil engineers

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. The percentage of minority civil engineers falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. This career hires a larger percentage of foreign-born workers than most other careers.

Race/origin of civil engineers
White (81% )
Asian (11% )
Black (4% )
Multiracial (2% )
Other (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
18%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
17%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for civil engineers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$65K$71K$74K$78K$81K$82K$88K$0$50K$100K$150KOtherBlackHispanicMultiracialWhitePacific IslanderAsian
Distribution: Salaries for civil engineers by nativity
$80K$85K$0$50K$100K$150KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by civil engineers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), civil engineers typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as civil engineers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for civil engineers.

Education attained by civil engineers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for civil engineers

Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, in one of its specialties, or in civil engineering technology. Programs in civil engineering and civil engineering technology include coursework in math, statistics, engineering mechanics and systems, and fluid dynamics, depending on the specialty. Courses include a mix of traditional classroom learning, work in laboratories, and fieldwork. Programs may include cooperative programs, also known as co-ops, in which students gain work experience while pursuing a degree.

A degree from a program accredited by ABET is needed to earn the professional engineer (PE) license. In many states, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology also meets the academic requirement for obtaining a license.

Further education after the bachelor’s degree, along with the PE license and previous experience, is helpful in getting a job as a manager. For more information on engineering managers, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for civil engineers

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a civil engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, approve design plans, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years working under a licensed engineer
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after earning a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Each state issues its own licenses. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements. Several states require continuing education for engineers to keep their licenses.

The American Society of Civil Engineers offers certifications in coastal engineering, geotechnical engineering, ports engineering, water resources engineering, and other fields. Additionally, civil engineers can become certified in building security and in sustainability.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for civil engineers? Below we see the distribution of civil engineers salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as civil engineers, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$65K$61K$62K$67K$80K$92K$89K$103K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KNone (1%)High School (3%)Some College (6%)Associate's Degree (5%)Bachelor's Degree (58%)Master's Degree (24%)Professional Deg/Doct (1%)Doctorate (2%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by civil engineers

This table shows the college majors held by people working as civil engineers. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Civil engineers with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as civil engineers, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by civil engineers given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

This job
Top 10 majors
Each major's top ten jobs
Civil engineersManagers (specialized areas)Engineers (specialized areas)Construction managersChief executives and legislatorsArchitectural and engineering managersPostsecondary teachersApplications and systems software developersFirst-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workersDesignersMechanical engineersElectrical and electronics engineersIndustrial engineersAerospace engineersManagement analystsComputer and information systems managersComputer programmersChemical engineersPhysicians and surgeonsPhysical scientists (specialized areas)Cost estimatorsConstruction laborersCarpentersGeneral and operations managersFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersAccountants and auditorsFinancial managersWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesSecretaries and administrative assistantsHuman resources workersFirst-line supervisors of non-retail sales workersMarketing and sales managersRetail salespersonsElementary and middle school teachersAircraft pilots and flight engineersCivil EngineeringGeneral EngineeringMechanical EngineeringElectrical EngineeringChemical EngineeringConstruction ServicesBusiness Management andAdministrationGeneral BusinessAerospace EngineeringSpecialized Program inEngineeringAll other degrees
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for civil engineers

What jobs will most civil engineers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of civil engineers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Civil engineersEngineers (specialized areas)Managers (specialized areas)Construction managersMechanical engineersAerospace engineersApplications and systems software developersDesigners
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for civil engineers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 5 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as civil engineers as well as 1% of respondents after working as civil engineers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for civil engineers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Applications and systems software developers
118,900
$0$200K$96K
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
Construction managers
34,800
$0$200K$66K
Mechanical engineers
21,200
$0$200K$83K
Engineers (specialized areas)
10,900
$0$200K$90K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for civil engineers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as civil engineers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of civil engineers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for civil engineers
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Applications and systems software developers
118,900
$0$200K$96K
1.9%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
3.4%
Engineering technicians
40,100
$0$200K$54K
1.5%
Construction managers
34,800
$0$200K$66K
1.4%
Civil engineers
25,900
$0$200K$81K
43.7%
Electrical and electronics engineers
23,100
$0$200K$93K
3.0%
Industrial engineers
21,600
$0$200K$77K
1.1%
Mechanical engineers
21,200
$0$200K$83K
4.1%
Drafters
19,700
$0$200K$52K
1.5%
Architectural and engineering managers
13,600
$0$200K$121K
1.7%
Engineers (specialized areas)
10,900
$0$200K$90K
8.7%
No occupation
4.1%
Read about civil engineers
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Civil engineers typically do the following:

  • Analyze long range plans, survey reports, maps, and other data to plan and design projects
  • Consider construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors during the planning and risk-analysis stages of a project
  • Compile and submit permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations
  • Oversee and analyze the results of soil testing to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations
  • Analyze the results of tests on building materials, such as concrete, wood, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects
  • Prepare cost estimates for materials, equipment, or labor to determine a project’s economic feasibility
  • Use design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems, and structures in line with industry and government standards
  • Perform or oversee surveying operations to establish building locations, site layouts, reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction
  • Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure

Civil engineers also must present their findings to the public on topics such as bid proposals, environmental impact statements, or property descriptions.

Many civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions ranging from supervisor of a construction site to city engineer, public works director, and city manager. As supervisors, they are tasked with ensuring that safe work practices are followed at construction sites.

Other civil engineers work in design, construction, research, and teaching. Civil engineers work with others on projects and may be assisted by civil engineering technicians.

Civil engineers prepare permit documents for work on projects in renewable energy. They verify that the projects will comply with federal, state, and local requirements. These engineers conduct structural analyses for large-scale photovoltaic, or solar energy, projects. They also evaluate the ability of solar array support structures and buildings to tolerate stresses from wind, seismic activity, and other sources. For large-scale wind projects, civil engineers often prepare roadbeds to handle large trucks that haul in the turbines.

Civil engineers work on complex projects, and they can achieve job satisfaction in seeing the project reach completion. They usually specialize in one of several areas.

Construction engineers manage construction projects, ensuring that they are scheduled and built in accordance with plans and specifications. These engineers typically are responsible for the design and safety of temporary structures used during construction. They may also oversee budgetary, time-management, and communications aspects of a project.

Geotechnical engineers work to make sure that foundations for built objects ranging from streets and buildings to runways and dams, are solid. They focus on how structures built by civil engineers, such as buildings and tunnels, interact with the earth (including soil and rock). In addition, they design and plan for slopes, retaining walls, and tunnels.

Structural engineers design and assess major projects, such as buildings, bridges, or dams, to ensure their strength and durability.

Transportation engineers plan, design, operate, and maintain everyday systems, such as streets and highways, but they also plan larger projects, such as airports, ship ports, mass transit systems, and harbors.

The work of civil engineers is closely related to the work of environmental engineers.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of civil engineers? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Decisionmaking skills
Civil engineers often balance multiple and frequently conflicting objectives, such as determining the feasibility of plans with regard to financial costs and safety concerns. Urban and regional planners often look to civil engineers for advice on these issues. Civil engineers must be able to make good decisions based on best practices, their own technical knowledge, and their own experience.
Leadership skills
Civil engineers take ultimate responsibility for the projects that they manage or research that they perform. Therefore, they must be able to lead planners, surveyors, construction managers, civil engineering technicians, civil engineering technologists, and others in implementing their project plan.
Math skills
Civil engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
Organizational skills
Only licensed civil engineers can sign the design documents for infrastructure projects. This requirement makes it imperative that civil engineers be able to monitor and evaluate the work at the jobsite as a project progresses. That way, they can ensure compliance with the design documents. Civil engineers also often manage several projects at the same time, and thus must be able to balance time needs and to effectively allocate resources.
Problem-solving skills
Civil engineers work at the highest level of the planning, design, construction, and operation of multifaceted projects or research. The many variables involved require that they possess the ability to identify and evaluate complex problems. They must be able to then use their skill and training to develop cost-effective, safe, and efficient solutions.
Speaking skills
Civil engineers must present reports and plans to audiences of people with a wide range of backgrounds and technical knowledge. This requires the ability to speak clearly and to converse with people in various settings, and to translate engineering and scientific information into easy-to-understand concepts.
Writing skills
Civil engineers must be able to communicate with others, such as architects, landscape architects, urban and regional planners. They also must be able to explain projects to elected officials and citizens. Civil engineers must be able to write reports that are clear, concise, and understandable to those with little or no technical or scientific background.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for civil engineers
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for civil engineers was higher than 87% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $87KAll jobs' median $39K$85K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$50K$100K$150K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for civil engineers are anticipated to grow by 11% over the next decade; only 23% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for civil engineers is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20002010202020300100,000200,000300,000400,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most civil engineers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as civil engineers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Civil Engineers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.01.02.03.04.05.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where civil engineers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for civil engineers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for civil engineers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Civil Engineers to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which civil engineers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.01.02.03.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Civil engineers (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
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