Civil engineers are most commonly associated with building bridges and designing buildings. But, so much more of our world is made possible because of civil engineering. The first step to becoming a civil engineer is to earn your degree. Learn how to earn your civil engineering degree online through our guide.
What is a Civil Engineer?
Civil engineers design roads, space stations, energy supply, flood defenses, and water structures. They are the ones to thank for the infrastructure we all rely on every day. Civil engineers not only design and supervise the construction of infrastructure, but they are also responsible for the safety, efficiency, and functionality of the infrastructure.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for civil engineers will increase by six percent by 2028. The reported yearly median pay for civil engineers in 2019 was $87,060, or $41.86 per hour. This is significantly higher than the average American yearly wage of $56,516.
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If earning such an income while designing the infrastructure trusted by your fellow citizens interests you, read on. You’ll learn where the best online civil engineering programs and courses can be found.
Best Schools for Civil Engineerings Degrees Online
Online learning is becoming increasingly popular, especially in 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing quarantines.
You can save a significant amount of money by earning your civil engineering degree online when compared to taking the traditional on-campus route. You also gain access to a more flexible schedule and a customizable degree plan.
Below is a list of the best civil engineering online degree programs, ranging from free recreational courses to doctoral degrees. If you are interested in becoming a professional engineer, but not sure about civil, then look through our list of the best online engineer degrees for 2020.
Online Civil Engineering Recreational Courses
Princeton University via edX
Duration: 5 weeks
The Princeton University free civil engineering course is titled “The Art of Structural Engineering: Bridges” and is five weeks long. In this course, you will learn about bridge design and structural engineering. You will find efficiencies in structural design using equations and by analyzing suspension, beams, and prestress tests. Students also learn about bridges as an art form and how cultural influences impact them.
This course does not offer any certification or credit hours upon completion.
Indian Institute of Technology via Swayam
Duration: 12 weeks
The Indian Institute of Technology hosts a free civil engineering course titled “Design of Steel Structures” via Swayam. This self-paced, 12-week civil engineering course will cover the limit state design method, connections, strength, tension, and beams.
There is an optional paid certificate available upon completion.
Harvard University via edX
Duration: 10 weeks
The course “Energy Within Environmental Constraints” is available for free by Harvard University via edX. In this online learning course, students learn about costs, fossil fuels, electric grids, and more.
Online Civil Engineering Certificate Programs
American Society of Engineers
Tuition: $2,855 to $3,575
Duration: Each course is six weeks long
Credit Hours: 18 credit hours
Certificate: Construction Engineering
The American Society of Engineering’s Construction Engineering Certificate Program prepares students for a leadership position in construction management. These master-level courses are taught by teachers who are highly experienced in construction engineering. Students will pick a core path of either Building Emphasis or Heavy Civil/Utilities. Then, students can pick four core courses and two elective courses.
University of Kentucky
Tuition: $685 per credit
Duration: 15 weeks
Credit Hours: 9 (3 courses, 3 credit hours each)
Certificate: Graduate Certificate in Structural Engineering
This certificate program will help students expand their knowledge of structural engineering design and analysis. These courses can be used as professional development hours for Civil Engineering or Structural Engineering license requirements. To apply, a BS in Engineering is required.
University of Illinois
Tuition: $1110 to $1408 per credit hour
Duration: 1 semester – 1 year
Credit Hours: 9-12 credits (3-4 courses per certificate, 3 hours each)
Certificate: Several offered
The University of Illinois has several Civil and Environmental Engineering online certificate courses. These include Construction Management, Pavement Engineering, Railroad Engineering, and Transportation Engineering. Requirements include a BS in engineering or science and at least a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credit hours. Significant field experience may substitute for a GPA lower than 3.0.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering
Tuition: $390 to $455 per credit hour
Amount of Courses: 28
Liberty University has an online civil engineering degree program for students to get their BS in civil engineering. Classes include Project and Construction Management, Transportations Engineering, and Surveying. Their school is ranked in the top one percent of colleges by BestColleges.com and is the #2 best online school in America on Niche.com.
This program will apply to get ABET-accredited in 2023.
University of North Dakota
Tuition: $668.92 per hour
Credit Hours: 128
The University of North Dakota boasts that its civil engineering degree program is top-ranked, personalized, and has small classes. This undergraduate degree is ABET-accredited. Courses include Fluid Mechanics, Steel Design, Reinforced Concrete, and more. New students who apply by the priority deadline get an automatic scholarship.
Old Dominion University
Tuition: $360 to $407 per credit hour
Credit Hours: 120
Old Dominion University offers an online civil engineering technology degree. Their program was ranked #11 on the Best Colleges for Online Degrees in Engineering 2020 on CollegeFactual.com. After completing the degree plan, students will be eligible to take the Fundaments of Engineering exam, a requirement in some states.
Best Online Civil Engineering Master’s Degree Programs
Tuition: $949 per credit hour
Credit Hours: Minimum of 30 hours
Degree: Master of Civil Engineering
Aburn University is offering an online master’s degree in civil engineering. A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, GRE, and three letters of recommendation are required to enter this graduate degree program. Online students can choose between a thesis or a non-thesis option. Courses include Open Channel Hydraulics, Chemical Principles of Environmental Engineering, Planning for Multimodal Transportation System, and more.
Tuition: $1,300 per unit
Credit Hours: 45 units
Stanford’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Masters program must be completed within five years of starting. No thesis is required for this degree plan. Most of their courses are available online, however, some courses may only be available in person.
Tuition: $23,696 to $42,240
Credit Hours: Varies
The Master of Science in Civil Engineering program at the University of Washington has two tracks available. The first is the Professional Master’s program, which is for students to enter the workforce without writing a thesis. Alternatively is the research-intensive academic track, which is for students that plan to get their Ph.D.
Doctoral Degree in Civil Engineering
Missouri State University
Tuition rate: $495.12 per credit hour
This online doctoral graduate program at Missouri State University has specialties like Construction Engineering and Management, Structural Engineering, and Geotechnical Engineering.
Once you pick a civil engineering school from above, your next question will likely be what type of jobs are available to you. From project management to building infrastructure, civil engineers have several career opportunities available to them. Read on to learn a variety of civil engineering jobs you could fill and what your expected salary may be.
Jobs in Civil Engineering
Because of the variety of duties civil engineers have, there are many opportunities in different fields and job positions. Below is a list of potential job opportunities for people with a bachelor of science in civil engineering.
Average Salary: $92,013
Planning engineers find the most cost-efficient ways to complete projects while complying with safety standards. They evaluate cost factors like materials, labor, and time to choose the best plan of action.
Average Salary: $88,023
Mining engineers examine potential risk factors that may occur during the extraction of oil, gas, or metals from the ground. They also estimate the commercial value and asses particular sites.
Average Salary: $81,932
Geotechnical engineers are similar to mining engineers in that they find potential risk factors and verify the structural safety of projects. However, geotechnical engineers focus on environmental factors and subsurface soils rather than oils, gasses, and metals like mining engineers.
Average Salary: $78,801
Project engineers are responsible for planning infrastructure construction projects. They create budgets, manage timelines, keep track of materials needed and used, and train construction staff. They also assess the project throughout its phases to make sure no changes are required.
Fire engineers assess and implement fire safety elements in buildings, such as fire exit signs and smoke detector spacing. They are responsible for ensuring the construction of a building meets fire safety standards.
Horizontal Construction Engineer
Average Salary: $42,119
This type of construction engineering is a part of the army. They operate heavy machines that move materials, identify soils, and also manage machine usage.
Water Hygiene Engineer
Average Salary: $58,435
Water hygiene engineers plan for and construct sewage systems. They also build and maintain water structures that function as a means of holding, carrying, and maintaining clean water resources.
To learn about 33 more types of engineers and their salaries, check out our list.
Should You Get Your Civil Engineering Degree Online?
If you enjoy math, problem-solving, critical thinking, and being creative, civil engineering may be the career path for you. No matter your educational background, financial ability, location, or current job, there are opportunities for civil engineering options for everyone.
Online Civil Engineering Degree FAQ
A civil engineer design, builds, constructs, and maintains infrastructure, such as airports, tunnels, buildings, bridges, and dams.
It takes about four years to become a civil engineer. The minimum requirement for most civil engineering positions is a bachelor’s degree in the field.
PayScale states that the average civil engineer salary is $66,883 a year. This salary varies based on experience, education, certifications, and location.
Yes, your online civil engineering degree carries the same weight as a traditional degree. Make sure you get your degree from an accredited program.
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