2 answers

As a civil engineer, what percent of your time would you say per week you spend on site helping to organize construction efforts and people and what percent of your time do you spend in an office making calculation and coming up with designs?

Asked Helena, Montana

I would love to be a civil engineer one day. I definitely don't want to be a construction worker and spend all day outside working with tools and building things but I also wouldn't want a 10 hour a day desk job. Civil engineer seems like a happy medium and I just wondered from a professional if that was the case. #mathematics #civil-engineering

2 answers

Myron’s Answer

Updated California, California

It all depends on what type of job you have. In my days as a new Civil Engineer, I also spent my full days either drafting or making calculations. During my structural design days, I spent all hours of the day in the office making calculations. Never saw a project. When I hit Public Work things changed. I did visit project sites, did project administration, did calculations and other administrative work. The amount of time spent on the various items was completely dependent on the project and what was happening. You can go days without getting out of the office and then you can spent an inordinate amount of time in the field. It is extremely variable. I loved it!

Michael’s Answer

Updated Washington, Washington
Sort of on top of what Myron said, the "correct" answer is it varies. Being a civil engineer is a vary wide ranging and encompassing profession, from designing bridges to working with construction contractors in the field to managing projects & funds in the office. It really is up to you where you want to take it, and while it can be somewhat difficult to find a position that you can do all three, they are definitely out there. My advice would be to try and get internships in college or even just a day or two shadowing in high school or later in three different places: a private consulting firm (i.e. AECOM, or a local equivalent), a construction contractor (like Kiewit), and a state or local government office (like a Dept of Transportation). While there are many varying roles within these sorts of organizations, the attitude of who you work for will shape you more than what you are doing.