What Can I Become With a Master's Degree in Civil Engineering?

You could say Civil Engineering dates back to around 2,600 B.C., when the first Egyptian pyramid was built by Imhotep, the first acknowledged civil engineer in history.

A civil engineer develops the plans and manages all the steps of construction projects, such as buildings, roads, bridges, railways, etc. However, you should not mistake them for architects.

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While architects come up with the ideas and design, civil engineers take these ideas further and adapt them taking into account factors like natural disasters, the purpose of the project, and more.

Top countries for studying a Master's in Civil Engineering

Picking the right country for your Civil Engineering studies is important because it can influence your future career. Some countries have more job prospects than others. Some countries have better universities and colleges than others in this field. That’s why it’s important to go for the countries that have the best Engineering school offer for your future career: 

One of the international students from Ghana, that went to study in Italy, told us why he picked a Constructions degree:

"My whole educational life has been in my home country, Ghana, and I felt that I needed a change in order to experience and acquire the necessary skills and to learn internationally accepted ways of going about the day-to-day activities in my chosen field i.e. Construction."

6 Popular jobs to convince you to apply for a Civil Engineering Master’s degree

1. Construction engineer

A construction engineer will be responsible for the design, management, and supervision of various construction projects, like buildings, roads, bridges, etc. As a construction engineer, you will have to consider environmental issues and construction regulations related to your project.

In addition, you’ll identify aspects that might negatively impact the construction work. You will work with architects, construction managers, planners, and surveyors.

You can also work in Construction Engineering with a Master’s in Environmental Engineering, which is a bit more relaxed in terms of curriculum. 

Civil Engineering careers

2. Structural engineer

Structural engineers design structures like buildings, bridges, tunnels, railways, etc., and act as consultants for architects or contractors. You will have to decide what structural systems and materials to use, while considering natural factors (like snow, wind, etc.) and consult with other team members such as materials engineers and environmental engineers.

An alternative pathway to a career in Structural Engineering is taking a Master’s in Architecture, either after a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering or after a degree in Architecture. 

3. Building control surveyor

As a building control surveyor, you will have to first make sure that building regulation and legislation is followed for the construction project. Some of the main duties will be to inspect and test foundations, drainage, or building materials.

In case the building doesn’t meet all the necessary requirements you will have to suggest a solution that eliminates safety risks while avoiding delays and extra expenses, or to propose demolition.

You can also develop a career in the building control area if you pursue a Master’s in Materials Engineering.

4. Water resource engineer

Water resource engineers are in charge of developing equipment and systems for water resource management facilities. You will deal with the design, management, and maintenance of these systems. Other important tasks include evaluating storm drainage and flooding and creating systems that pump water out of flooded areas.

You’ll work with structural engineers in order to gather information about the construction of dams and reservoirs.

Alternatively, you can also work in Water Engineering with a Master’s in Hydrology & Water Management.

Civil Engineering careers

5. Building services engineer

You will have to deal with the design, installation and maintenance of all the services that are needed to allow the building to function accordingly. These services may include acoustics, health and safety, heating, lighting, power and supply.

6. Quantity surveyor

Working mainly as a consultant, your job will involve finding solutions to minimise the costs of a project, while still keeping the required standards and quality. During the construction process, you’ll keep track of time and labour costs, monitor each step, make financial estimates for clients and advise them on legal and contractual matters.

You can also get there with a Master’s in Sustainable Development.

Average salaries for civil engineers

Civil engineers can be employed by local or national authorities or they can work for a private company. The demand for civil engineers will continue to be on the rise, as the need for infrastructure projects will increase. 

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The job of a civil engineer is pretty well-paid. Here are some average income numbers for Civil Engineering jobs around the world, according to PayScale:

  • United States - 50.800 EUR/year
  • United Arab Emirates - 22.850 EUR/year
  • Germany - 32.200 EUR/year
  • Australia - 46.560 EUR/year
  • Canada - 41.500 EUR/year
  • Denmark - 53.300 EUR/year

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