Can Civil Engineers Be Millionaires?

Even though the richest man in the world in 2013 was a civil engineer worth billions, Carlos Slim, civil engineering is not a career that comes to mind when people think of billionaires or millionaires, for that matter.  That being said, with the right education, experience, and career decisions, civil engineers can become quite wealthy.  Regardless, civil engineering related careers pay very well and are in high demand globally. 

 Here is a list of the Top 9 Highest Paying Civil Engineering Careers in the US, what they do and what education and experience is needed: 

 9) Civil Engineering Technician 

Average Salary: $53,000 – $66,000 

Education: A civil drafting diploma or degree is required.  No job experience is requried to start out. 

Job Description: A civil engineering technician assists in developing engineering drawings and specifications and performs other technical duties pertaining to civil engineering. 

8) Civil Engineering Drafter 

Average Salary: $31,659 – $81,429 

Education: A civil drafting or engineering diploma or degree is required.  No job experience is requried to start out. 

Job Description: Civil drafting technologists and technicians prepare engineering designs and related technical information. 

7) Engineering Plans Reviewers and Inspectors

Average Salary: $66,000 – $95,000 

Education: A civil engineering diploma or degree is required.  Usually requires 2+ years of job experience. 

Job Description: Engineering plans reviewers and inspectors review and inspect civil and new construction projects to ensure they comply with government and industry regulations. 

6) Civil/Geotechnical Engineer

Average Salary: $66,000 – $95,000 

Education: A bachelor’s degree or civil engineering diploma with related experience is required. 

Job Description: A civil engineer plans, designs, develops and manages projects to construct or repair buildings, bridges, highways, and other structures. 

5) Engineering Managers 

Average Salary: $95,000 – $125,000 

Education: A civil engineering diploma or degree is required.  Usually requires 5-10 years of job experience. 

Job Description: An engineering manager plans, directs, organizes, controls and evaluates the activities of the engineering department, project or firm. 

4) Senior Civil Engineer 

Average Salary: $62,000 – $135,732 

Education: A bachelor’s degree or civil engineering diploma with related experience is required.  Usually requires 10-15 years of job experience. 

Job Description: A civil engineer plans, designs, develops and manages projects to construct or repair buildings, bridges, highways, and other structures. 

3) Engineering Project Managers 

Average Salary: $56,250 – $149,729 

Education: A civil engineering diploma or degree is required.  Usually requires 15+ years of job experience.

Job Description: An engineering project manager plans, directs, organizes projects, including preparing proposals, maintaining financial records, product strategy and ensures the project conforms with safety regulations. 

 2) Principal Engineer 

 Average Salary: $120,000 – $250,000+ 

 Education: A bachelor’s degree or civil engineering diploma with related experience is required.  Requires a unique set of technical, business, and interpersonal skills. 

 Job Description: A principal engineer is an owner of an engineering firm who runs the business, sets company priorities, directs project managers, networks and meets with key clients.  Principal engineers will oversee the profit/loss and balance sheet for the company and makes the major decisions related to budgets, expenditures, marketing, and growth. 

1) Engipreneur 

Average Salary: $250,000+ 

Education: A bachelor’s degree plus a varied and broad education in areas of engineering, business, finance, professional skills and social skills .  Requires a VERY unique set of technical, business, entrepreneurial and interpersonal/social skills. 

Job Description: An Engiprenuer is a very unique individual that has a varied range of skills and talents that they leverage to develop civil engineering businesses and new or innovative products and solutions.  Engiprenuers often will think “outside the box” in their approach to design challenges, business issues, and market conditions or trends. 

Joe Sturtevant
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