Civil engineering certifications differentiate experienced civil engineering professionals from others in the field. They show that you have a specialized skillset, which can help you land high-level roles in the industry. They are also an indication of your commitment to education and excelling in the civil engineering field.
Are you looking to get a certification in civil engineering? This article contains a list of the highest-paying civil engineering certifications, resources to prepare for certifications for civil engineering, and whether a civil engineering certification is worth it.
What Is a Professional Certification?
A professional certification is a designation earned by a person who has proven that they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to succeed in a particular job role. It is earned when an individual passes an exam developed by an organization that sets and upholds the prescribed standards for the industry involved.
What’s the Difference Between a Certification and a Certificate?
The main difference between a certification and a certificate lies in the course content and program outcomes. A certificate program is academic and provides students with the fundamental knowledge to build a career or remain competitive in specific fields. A certificate program is shorter and less expensive than a bachelor’s or master’s civil engineering program.
On the other hand, third-party organizations award certifications to professionals who demonstrate mastery in a particular field of study or work. They require experience and may have stringent academic requirements.
Why Is Certification in Civil Engineering Important?
A certification in civil engineering is important because it offers advantages such as professional credibility, specialized skills, and increased earning potential. Graduates of a course offering a certification in civil engineering can have access to higher salaries.
According to the Project Management Institute, civil engineers with project management professional certifications earn higher median salaries that are 16 percent more than those without a PMP certification.
Best Civil Engineering Certifications by Salary
|Project Management Professional (PMP)
|Project Management Institute
|$405 for PMI members; $555 for non-PMI members
|Certified Construction Manager (CCM)
|Construction Manager Certification Institute
|$325 for CMAA members; $425 for non-CMAA members
|Certified Building Commissioning Professional (CBCP)
|Association of Energy Engineers
|$300 for in-person exam; $400 for remote exam
|LEED AP Building Design + Construction (LEED)
|Green Business Certification Inc.
|$250 for USGBC members; $350 for non-USGBC members
|Certified Safety Director (CSD)
|National Association of Safety Professionals
|Diplomate, Water Resources Engineer (D.WRE)
|American Academy of Water Resources Engineers
|$300 for ASCE members; $400 for non-ASCE members
|Diplomate, Geotechnical Engineering (D.GE)
|Academy of Geo-Professionals
|$300 for ASCE members; $400 for non-ASCE members
|Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC)
|Certified Survey Technician (CST)
|National Society of Professional Surveyors
|Autodesk Certified Professional in Civil 3D for Infrastructure Design (ACP)
Best Civil Engineering Certifications to Further Your Career
How to Choose the Best Civil Engineering Certification for Your Career
The best civil engineering certifications will help you maintain a high level of knowledge and skill to succeed in leadership positions. But there are many certification options, and it could be difficult to choose the right one for you. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the best civil engineering certification for your career.
Consider Your Career Goals
Certain certifications help develop the specialized knowledge to delve into other types of engineering fields. For instance, civil engineers who want to branch into survey and mapping would benefit from the Certified Survey Technician Certification. Getting certifications that are related to your career interests can provide the required skills to land your dream jobs.
Investigate if a Certification Is Popular Among Civil Engineers
Check whether a particular certification is popular among other civil engineers. If yes, then it might be best if you get the certification to remain competitive in the industry. You should reach out to people who have obtained the certification to inquire about its value.
Research a Certification’s Outcomes
Research the advantages of getting a certification in civil engineering and how it can impact your career. For instance, if you are looking for a salary increase, you may want to consider the PMP certification. According to the Earning Power Management Salary Survey, professionals with a PMP certification earn 16 percent more than people without it.
Which Civil Engineering Certifications Pay the Most?
The civil engineering certifications that pay the most are the project management professional, certified construction manager, certified building commissioning professional, certified safety manager construction, and LEED AP Building Design + Construction.
Highest-Paying Civil Engineering Certifications
- Project Management Professional: $111,000
- Certified Construction Manager: $97,000
- Certified Building Commissioning Professional: $90,000
- LEED AP Building Design + Construction: $87,000
- Certified Safety Director: $82,000
Which Civil Engineering Certifications Are the Best for Beginners?
The best civil engineering certifications for beginners are Certified Survey Technicians and Certified Building Commissioning Professionals. Compared to other certifications in this guide, these certifications have simple experience requirements and can easily be earned by entry-level civil engineers.
Best College Certificate Programs
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How to Prepare for Your Civil Engineering Certification Exam
You can prepare for your civil engineering certification exam by using civil engineering exam prep materials including online engineering courses, books, online communities, and websites. There is a wide range of learning options that candidates can utilize to study the required knowledge needed to ace certification exams.
Best Courses to Prepare for Civil Engineering Certification Exams
This section contains a list of the best civil engineering prep courses that civil engineers can take to prepare for civil engineering certification exams. Some certifications offer preparatory courses to prepare students for the certification examination requirements.
Other Resources to Prepare for Your Civil Engineering Certification Exams
Apart from courses, candidates can also utilize other civil engineering prep resources to prepare for a certification exam. They can read books, learn from online websites, and even join an online community of fellow candidates to gain the necessary knowledge to pass the exam.
LEED AP with Specialty Candidate Handbook
This book covers current policies and procedures of the LEED AP exams. It also contains the knowledge domains for the building and construction exams, including the LEED process, integrative strategies, location and transportation, and sustainable sites.
LEED AP with Specialty Candidate Handbook Overview
- Type of Resource: Book
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: People who want to take the LEED exams
EnviroCert General Principle Review Manual
This study guide outlines the rules and guidelines of the CPESC exam. It identifies the specific body of knowledge of civil engineering that is tested in the certification exam. It also contains conversions, glossaries, worksheets, and equations.
EnviroCert General Principle Review Manual Overview
- Type of Resource: Book
- Cost: $50 for paperback; $150 for hardcover
- Ideal For: Candidates who want to take the CPESC exam
PMI Certification Handbook
This book provides all the important information that certification applicants need to know before they take the PMP exam. It contains useful tips and key details on what to expect during the examination.
PMI Certification Handbook Overview
- Type of Resource: Book
- Cost: Free
- Ideal For: Candidates who want to take the PMP examination
Best Online Courses
Civil Engineering Job Outlook and Average Salary
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), civil engineer jobs will grow by eight percent between 2020 and 2030. This is as fast as the general job outlook for all occupations and translates to about 25,000 new openings for civil engineers per year in the next decade. Civil engineers earn an average annual salary of $88,050.
Best Civil Engineering Jobs After Certification
The best civil engineering jobs after certification are construction manager, environmental engineer, design engineer, geotechnical engineer, and licensed land surveyor. Getting civil engineering certifications can qualify you for high-paying positions in the civil engineering industry.
Best Civil Engineering Associations
The best civil engineering associations are the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), and the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE). These professional bodies foster development, collaboration, and competence in the civil engineering profession.
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
This is the oldest engineering society in the United States. Founded in 1852 to support civil engineering professionals, it has over 150,000 members from more than 177 countries. It offers technical and professional conferences and programs to advance civil engineering specialties. You can join by choosing a membership cadre and paying the application processing fee.
Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
Founded in 1818, this is the oldest engineering association in the world. It is a professional membership body of over 95,000. It aims to advance the civil engineering profession through professional qualification, professional programs, and partnerships with government, industry, and academia. You can join by choosing a membership package and paying the application form fee.
International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE)
This scientific association of professionals in the structural engineering field has members in 90 countries and 58 national groups worldwide. Its primary mission is to encourage collaboration and exchange of knowledge between structural engineers. Aspiring members can join through student membership, individual membership, and collective membership plans.
Are Civil Engineering Certifications Worth It?
Yes, civil engineering certifications are worth it because they boost civil engineering skills, increase your earning potential, enhance your knowledge, and help you establish professional credibility. They also provide a competitive advantage. When you have a civil engineering certification that your competitors don’t have, it sets you apart and establishes you as the best person for the job.
Additional Reading About Civil Engineering
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Civil Engineering Certifications FAQ
The most important certifications for civil engineers are Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, Certified Construction Manager, LEED AP Building Design + Construction, and Certified Safety Director.
The seven fields of civil engineering are structural engineering, construction engineering and management, geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering, transportation engineering, water resource engineering, and materials engineering.
Yes, PMP is worth it for civil engineers. It is a great certification for civil engineers who want to gain a deeper understanding of the field and build a career in project management. It will help civil engineers plan and implement civil engineering projects more efficiently.
The most demanded branches of civil engineering include geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, environmental engineering, and water resource engineering. Upon successful completion of a course or a degree, civil engineers can pursue a career path in a wide range of civil engineering jobs in the public and private sectors. Also, obtaining a higher-level degree like a PhD in Civil Engineering will give you access to a wider variety of roles.
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