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new_injuneer

Does this CE career path sound realistic?

9 posts in this topic

I am getting ready to do a second bachelors degree in Civil Engineering.

I already have a Bachelors and Masters degree in somewhat related fields and I am in my mid 30s. But that was another topic I already posted.

What I would like to ask is I have a career path planned out which my new degree might help me attain. Can Civil Eng professionals tell me how realistic this might be?

My interests in Civ E are in order: land development, transportation engineering, structural.

Once I graduate, I hope I can get a job paying ~ 45 to 50 K doing one of the above within a year of graduation. Hopefully my prior experience in a related field (10 years Env. Consulting) can bump me up to 50K.

I plan to get my PE after 4 years, in which time I would like to be in land development or transportation engineering. I have a Planning degree, and I hope that helps in that area. After I get my PE, and a few more years experience (say 8-10 total), I hope to be making in the ballpark of 70K.

I realize I might not be able to get a job in the exact civil discipline I want, but I think I would be happy doing one of the three above, particularly the first two. I would rather not do environmental.

How realistic are the salaries listed (non-inflation)? I am a hard worker but I do not have much interest in being upper management. If the jobs required more than 50 hours a week on a regular basis, that would also be a negative.

I would also hope that I'd be able to find a job in an area where I would like to live (NJ/NY, Boston, Seattle, CA) and would be able to find another job when/if I got laid off without TOO much trouble. Oh yeah, and the salaries I listed would be applicable for the cities listed above.

I think these expectations are somewhat reasonable. Any opinions?

Edited by jobaba

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With 10 years in Environmental Consulting, and a degree in Civil Engineering, in one of those job markets, you may be able to get a lot more than 50k. I'd suggest that you also look at a certification. If you do project management, get a PMP, for example. A LEED cert would also go great with Civil and Environmental.

Unfortunately, with the real estate bust, land development is not likely in demand at the moment. Transportation is normally in demand, and structural often is, on both coasts. Structural in the west is quite different than in the east.

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I already have a Bachelors and Masters degree in somewhat related fields and I am in my mid 30s.

Any opinions?

It is hard for me to believe that someone with a masters is making in the mid 30s

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I already have a Bachelors and Masters degree in somewhat related fields and I am in my mid 30s.

Any opinions?

It is hard for me to believe that someone with a masters is making in the mid 30s

Haha,

1. That's my age, not my salary.

2. Oh ... I know quite a few that are.

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I already have a Bachelors and Masters degree in somewhat related fields and I am in my mid 30s.

Any opinions?

It is hard for me to believe that someone with a masters is making in the mid 30s

2. Oh ... I know quite a few that are.

English majors? :P

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You mentioned you have a planning degree. Are you good with Computers, programming language. Then I strongly recommend you to get in to Modelling (Transportation Modelling). If you get good at it then within a spam of two to three year you will be have a pay check of about 70 to 80k at a minimum.

Modelling pays off HUGE

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I think it great to have a plan, but, be flexible, its just a plan. My first thought is land development is in the hole right now and I am not sure how long it will take to recover. I am not familiar with engineering work in land development but it may be tough to get the experiece you will need for your PE. Transportation is bad but there is alot of government money going that way and with our infrastucture issues It will probably be one on the bright segments of engineering, structural is always there and humming.

I am not sure where you are located but money wise I think you are low, maybe do a search for saleries, I believe the census posts saleries by experience, occupation and location.

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In CA, those salaries are realistic even without a degree or PE. Then again the cost of living plays a factor. Like someone above me said, structural is very different in the west (due to Seismic design requirements preliminarily). However, you can make huge bucks doing that (well into the 6 figures). Here once you get enough experience as a civil PE and then go take the SE exam, you can ditch your design firm and due consulting work on your own. I deal with structural engineers daily, and they all do well. Most drive hight end german sports cars...

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I wish you the best of luck... I have a very similar background and have taken a very similar path after working several years in traffic engineering, NEPA sucked me back into the environmental consulting... but stick to it... you'll get there

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