Romper86 joined the community
Your story sounds eerily similar. I had good grades coming out of college and wanted to stay in the area in spite of the low paying opportunities and the high cost of living. Because of this, I took the first job that came my way, which was Surveying with the promise to move forward into Land Development. After about 6 months, the only structural engineering company in town came knocking after some turnover. This was the only way to get some structural experience without going back to school. I gave my two weeks and started with the structural engineering company. I had a friend there that took me under his wing and and showed me the ropes. The work was totally different from what I had just been doing (90% of surveying is outdoors and 90% of structural engineering is in front of a screen). To make the story short, it didn't work out and we parted ways. I ended up looking for a job for about 3 months and was lucky enough to find a similar situation with another Land Development firm. There I was Surveying again. This time I stuck with it. I have since received my PE and have been promoted to project manager. I have learned so much and have had the opportunity to do so many different tasks that I can't imagine doing anything else. Grading, Drainage, Drinking Water, Septic Design, Sewer Design, Landscape Design, Roadways, LID and Other Stormwater Treatement I manage my own projects and sometimes I get to to choose the structural subcontractors now. If there is an aspect of a project that needs attention, I get to problem solve. I would say that a great deal of my time is design related, whereas in the small structural firm, I would say 75% was analysis, 25% design, and hardly any project management. Ultimately I depends on what you want to do, but in my experience Land Development is pretty cool. I will say this subset of Civil is people heavy. If you find it hard to communicate complex ideas to people who do not have the same background as you, you should look elsewhere. Hope this helps.