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The Built Environment: 5 Civil Engineering Specializations You Can Pursue

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Are you interested in the construction and infrastructure of buildings or roadways? Would you like to be involved with the project from the ground up? Then you should consider a career in civil engineering!

Keep reading to learn more about the different civil engineering specializations and see which degree is right for you.

1. Geotechnical Engineering

With geotechnical engineering, you will study the ways in which soils behave under the influence of soil to water interactions and loading forces. You will use this knowledge to design various types of foundations, earth dams, retaining walls, or geosynthetics for the containment of waste.

Your career goals can vary from route selection of highways or railways, designing building foundations, or developing systems for landfill disposals. You may also specialize in the water mains and pipelines required for new infrastructure or slope stabilization. You may also focus on transportation and urban planning for new towns or cities.

Environmental engineering and water resource engineering is becoming the fastest growing branches in geotechnical engineering. Under these two specialties, you will learn about how to manage pollution, flood control, and waste disposal. Earth science, materials, surveying, and coastal engineering are other degrees you can pursue under geotechnical engineering.

2. Construction Management

One of the main fields of civil engineering is construction management. These types of civil engineers are usually contracted by the developer to assist with the time management of the project. They would be in charge of keeping the schedule on track for all the trades required for the project, such as architects, plumbers, electricians, and builders.

You will also be responsible for managing the schedule in the event of poor weather and keeping safety risks to a minimum while following all building codes.

This job can oftentimes be demanding, stressful, and requires the ability to work well under pressure. If you are hired to keep a large development on schedule and it falls behind then there might be a large sum of money at stake, this position requires you to be able to handle a high-pressure work environment.

If you think you are ready for this challenge, take a look at the civil engineering continuing education requirements that will get you on the right path for this career choice.

3. Transportation Engineering

Transportation engineers are those who design public highway and transportation systems and play an important role in societal development. They are responsible for planning, designing, building, operating, and maintaining these transportation systems and ensuring the safety of those who will be using them.

The focus of automobile infrastructures can be divided up into highway design and planning and the newer area of focus, traffic control. If you choose this focus you will learn how to alleviate traffic congestions and improve the flow of traffic patterns which will help prevent future vehicular accidents. In addition, you may also choose to focus on railroads, airport and seaway locations, and the operation of these systems at the regional or national scale.

Some of the challenges you will face will be the development of network links and major hubs to satisfy the growing demands of these transportation systems. Particular regard should be paid to land usage and environmental concerns.

Most transportation engineers find employment with the county, state, or federal governments. However, there are some employment opportunities in the private sector.

4. Water and Hydraulic Resources Engineering

Water resource engineers study the circulation and distribution of water throughout the earth’s lands, oceans, and atmosphere. These studies are applied to the management of the urban water supply and how it affects flood forecasting and the storm-sewage systems.

Hydraulic engineers will study fluid mechanics and how the water flowing can be applied to a small isolated environment such as a pipe or pump or an open channel such as a lake, river or ocean. Most hydraulic engineers will be primarily focused on the open channel water flow and how it applies to larger systems. These systems include sewage conduits, hydraulic structures, dams, and breakwaters.

As a civil engineer specializing in water and hydraulic resources, you will play a crucial role in the planning and design of these various water resource systems. Positions will usually be found in private consulting firms or across all levels of government systems.

5. Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineers study to ensure that any societal developments of land, water, and air resources will be sustainable. They also will manage these resources to keep pollution and any environmental degradation to a minimum. As an environmental engineer, you will study soil, water, and air pollution issues and develop solutions to solve or control the problem.

These solutions must be compatible with any social, legislative or economical concerns. Particular attention is paid to the water supply and sewage systems, the management of groundwater and surface water, fixing any contaminated water sites, and managing solid waste.

If you choose to pursue the field of environmental engineering you will play a pivotal role in environmental protection. Your expertise in environmental solutions will be required to help the legislation meet their expectations of the standards that are set.

A career in this field will find you working with government agencies and municipalities as well as consulting firms and specialized contractors.

Learn More Today About the Various Civil Engineering Specializations!

There are many different civil engineering specializations that you should consider pursuing for your career path. Depending on what your passion is, each one will bring you a challenging, yet rewarding future.

For more career or education information be sure to visit our blog daily!

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