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California State University, Long Beach

Construction Engineering Management (CECEM)

Should I Choose Civil Engineering?

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is a "people serving profession". Civil engineering deals with the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance and research of fixed structures and infrastructures such as buildings, highways, bridges, railroads, tunnels, dams and airports. Civil engineering deals with solutions to problems involving traffic, water supply, sewer, flood control, and the environment. There are several areas in civil engineering: structural, construction, geotechnical, traffic, water resources, urban planning, materials, and many other emerging areas.

The Civil Engineering Program at California State University, Long Beach provides students with a broad educational background essential to modern civil engineering practice and research. The program is built around a basic core of mathematics, natural and engineering sciences common to accredited professional engineering programs. It is planned to give a selection of basic engineering-science and design education to enable the graduate to begin a career in any of the various fields of practice in civil engineering or to prepare for graduate study in related engineering majors. It makes possible a systematic and integrated foundation in the principles of structural analysis and design, transportation systems, environmental systems, geotechnical engineering, water resources engineering, materials, construction engineering management, and information technology. Opportunity to explore a particular area of interest is offered in the wide selection of civil engineering design electives to permit students a sequence of courses related to the area of their choice.

Who Should Take It?

Anyone who is interested in solving practical problems, enjoys working with team, and is strong in mathematics and sciences may take civil engineering. Analytical and communication skills are also important in civil engineering field.

What Type of Career Does It Prepare Students for?

Civil engineers design and supervise the construction of roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage systems. They must consider many factors in the design process, from the construction costs and expected lifetime of a project to government regulations and potential environmental hazards such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Civil engineering, considered one of the oldest engineering disciplines, encompasses many specialties. The major ones are structural, water resources, construction, environmental, transportation, and geotechnical engineering. Many civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions, from supervisor of a construction site to city engineer. Others may work in design, construction, research, and teaching.

Courtesy of: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition, Engineers, on the Internet (visited December 10, 2008).

Additional Employment Information

Most Recent Bureau of Labor Statics Employment Outlook and Wage Information

Exploring a Civil Engineering Career

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