Want to become the future of roadway systems and renewable energy? Earning an online Master’s in Civil Engineering is the first step.
You’re up in an airplane looking down at the world. Tiny cars are driving on tiny roads. Little houses are lined up in gridded neighborhoods. River systems are flowing into a dam. Believe it or not, all of this is the work of civil engineers.
Civil engineering are constantly refining the way we operate infrastructure and systems in the world. How can our airports be safer and more efficient? How can we create a water system that doesn’t disrupt natural habitats? Those are just a few questions that fuel the work of civil engineers. In the end, it’s lifesaving work!
What is a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering?
Civil engineers are the busy and creative minds behind infrastructure projects all over the globe. The field demands both big picture vision and detail-oriented precision. An advanced degree in civil engineering can be a challenging process. But the rewards are ten-fold.
Most master’s programs in civil engineering will lay the groundwork with a set of core classes. But programs also encourage students to specialize in an area of interest. You might consider structural engineering, environmental engineering, construction engineering, geotechnical engineering, or transportation engineering. For general engineering degrees, see OSR’s Best Online Master’s in Engineering Degrees.
The curriculum for these programs will likely cover everything from traffic control theory to steel material design to the legal aspects of contracting. But once you’re in the real world, here are just a few of the roles you might find yourself occupying:
- Project Engineer
- Land Development Engineer
- Construction Manager
How much can you earn with a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, civil engineers make on average around $85k per year. But that number can be much higher for those earning in the top 10 percent of the field — then it’s closer to $138k.
The highest earners in this field tend to be civil engineers who work for the federal government. New projects are always on the horizon. The government needs some of the best minds at work. It’s a given that the best minds make the best money!
Our country’s infrastructure is constantly evolving. With that, the demand for civil engineering jobs is on the rise. In fact, between now and 2026, we’re expected to see an 11 percent jump in the job market for civil engineering.
What is required for a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering?
An advanced degree in civil engineering is no joke. During the admissions process, you’re going to have to prove that you’re up for the challenge. Here are a few factors you might want to consider going into the admissions process:
- Undergraduate degree
- GPA minimums
- GRE scores
If you’ve made it this far, it’s safe to guess that you already have a bachelor’s degree. Some schools insist that your undergraduate degree is in civil engineering. Others are more lenient. Regardless of your degree, most programs expect that your transcripts reflect a GPA of 3.0 at minimum.
The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) can be a daunting roadblock for some. But breathe easy! Some of these programs don’t even require GRE scores for admission. Focus your study on the Quantitative section — that’s what engineering programs look at the most. All in all, if you read the fine print, know your limitations, and emphasize your strengths, you’ll be just fine.
What are the best Master’s Degrees in Civil Engineering?
OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.
The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.