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What is typically expected in a work day for someone that is a civil engineer specializing in structural engineering?

Growing up, I have always been told that as a civil engineer, you either draw bridges or perform math calculations to make sure the bridges are able to successfully stand. However, what is it REALLY like in a typical work day? Do you work on indoors computers? Do you work outdoors at construction sites? What tasks are you expected to be completing in a single day? #engineering #civil-engineering #professionals


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Ken’s Answer

Hi Gillian!


Here is a continuation for the previous comment:


Your school counselor can help locate and participate in coop, shadowing, volunteer, and internship programs. The head of alumni relations at your school can help you locate and talk to graduates of your school who are working in your areas of interest. Here is a site for locating internships: http://www.fastweb.com/. The most frustrating times when I was doing college recruiting were the times when I hired graduates who when on the job found that it was not something that they liked because they did not get enough career exposure to know what jobs in the career field were really like. Here is some advice about getting helpful information and creating helpful relationships: http://www.wikihow.com/Network and https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations.


Best of luck!


Keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress!


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Ken’s Answer

Hi Gillian!


You asked a good question. Here are some sites that will help: Also look at the options along the right side of the screen to get more pertinent information:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqfSHCxZrLE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hu9zCsC_Vw


Best of luck! Please let me know if this helps and keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.


This has absolutely helped me, thank you so much! I have been pretty much set on engineering as a career choice, but I've been struggling to find which type of engineering that would suit me best. I feel like my best talents lie within being able to draw and not becoming easily frustrated with math, which is why I was curious as to whether or not civil engineering would be a good fit. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can better decide which type of engineering field to pursue? Gillian C.

You can best find out by participating in coop, intern, shadowing, and volunteer programs and talking to graduates of your who are doing what you think that you want to do. Career exposure is important. Selecting a career is like buying a pair of shoes. You have to try them on and walk in them for a while to determine the proper level of fit and comfort. See comments in next section. Ken Simmons

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Peter’s Answer

Gillian:

If you graduate as a "Civil Engineer specializing in Structural Engineering", you can expect to spend the majority of your time in the office doing structural analyses and writing reports. However, it is quite common for new engineers to spend a lot of time at construction sites serving as construction inspectors. So field work could also occur. As your career advances and you gain experience, you can begin to shape the kind of work you do and its location.

I cannot judge whether you have your heart set on Structural Engineering. I will tell you that this discipline is only a small part of Civil Engineering. Other very interesting disciplines include water supply, environmental (and Sanitary) engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering and hydrology. Civil Engineers do a lot more than design structures!


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