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Is there a lot of traveling in civil engineering


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#1 prime97

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:25 AM

I am interested in civil engineering but I don't want to travel a lot. I want to stay close to my family and go home to them most of the days. Is there going to be a lot of traveling?

#2 Dexman PE

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:24 AM

Depends on what specific field you get into, which company you work for, and the area you live in. Large construction firms need engineers willing and able to go to where the work is whether its in town or across the country. Design firms are typically localized, but can have some travel involved. I added the area you live in because larger cities are easier to find work locally whereas smaller towns may not have enough work to support local only projects.

#3 prime97

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:37 AM

If you work for a company near center city philadelphia, would there be a lot of travel

#4 JoeBoone82

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:26 PM

I agree with the previous posts, it all depends on who you work for and what type of Civil Engr work you will be doing. I would say, at most design firms, you will be going home to your family 90% of the time. If all else fails, call a couple firms in your area and ask some of them.

#5 EnvEngineer

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:03 PM

I spent the first 10 years of my career in international travel, mostly because I wanted to. Typically job descriptions will let you know what percent of time will be required for travel. Design work typically has less travel than construction management.

#6 geo pe

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 12:59 AM

I agree with the above post, Design work doesnt need much travel, at the most its couple of days.. so not that bad!

#7 3point5

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 03:48 AM

I spent the first 10 years of my career in international travel, mostly because I wanted to. Typically job descriptions will let you know what percent of time will be required for travel. Design work typically has less travel than construction management.


+1 … I spent the first 10 years traveling quite a bit…I'm sure there are worse cases than mine but in my construction management days I lived/worked in 9 states over 7 years…and worked in more on a temporary basis. But it's a double edged sword…I made approximately 20% more than my non-travelling counterparts, because I travelled I was considered more often for promotions, a better company vehicle, more paid-time off, bonuses, etc and I lived in some pretty cool cities that I would have never experienced if I didnt travel and the type of projects I worked on were incredible…so I enjoyed the travel!

If you are really set on staying in town look for a county/city/state/municipal job -

#8 cdframe

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:51 AM

If you get into a niche you may be forced to travel when that niche dries up in your area.

For example I work with a rail engineering firm and currently there are engineers from Boston and Washington with us in San Diego because there is a lot of rail work going on down here right now. In five years or so that won't be the case and they may need to go somewhere else.

I think in most cases civil engineering is pretty stationary though, a most work usually comes from local contacts and cities.

#9 Boomer01 PE

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:43 PM

I might travel to another touching state every now-and-then, but it's mostly all in-state.

#10 sac_engineer

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:51 PM

Most engineers don't travel as much these days other than for construction jobs or for specialized work. For general civil engineering work, it's not common for design engineers to travel frequently unless the client and/or project required some on-site presence. Apart from construction, engineers associated with processing or manufacturing (industrial, chemical) may have a higher chance of travelling between their office and the plant.

Design-build projects may require some last-minute travelling for the design engineers if the construction location is far enough away where it would require some lodging, but most design issues can be resolved over the phone and internet to exchange updated design plans.

#11 pu_grad2001

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:46 AM

If you want to travel go into sales engineering. It generally pays more as well.

#12 csb

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:29 PM

If you are really set on staying in town look for a county/city/state/municipal job -


Don't work for a state DOT if you want to stay in town all the time. They'll want you to actually see the state. City jobs hang around town a lot.




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