How do I Become a Drainage Engineer?

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  • Written By: N. Kalu
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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To become a drainage engineer, you must be able to design and construct systems that will be used for drainage in both urban and rural areas. Drainage engineer training is quite comprehensive. You typically begin by getting a bachelor's of engineering degree in civil engineering, followed by a master's degree in civil engineering or work experience. After about four or five years of work experience, you will need to sit for the Professional Engineer (PE) licensing exam. As someone who wants to become a drainage engineer, it will be important for you to learn the different sorts of software used in this field.

Obtaining a bachelor's degree in civil engineering is your first step to becoming a drainage engineer. As a civil engineering student you will encounter many concepts related to drainage, such as hydraulic analysis, optimizing water resources, and drainage master planning. An undergraduate program in civil engineering will afford you the opportunity to learn from qualified professors who themselves have advanced degrees in the subject. It will be easier for you to obtain engineer training internships in the field while you are a student.


Some jobs in this field will also require a master's degree in the subject for anyone who seeks to become a drainage engineer. You should look for a university graduate program that is particularly strong in civil engineering. Be sure to select a program that focuses on structural design, as this is an area that you will focus on as a professional drainage engineer. Drainage engineers with a master's degree will typically command a higher salary than those with only a bachelor's degree, so you will need to consider your education options carefully.

After a couple of years of working in the drainage engineering industry, it will be time for you to sit for the PE exam given by your country's professional engineers association. This exam will test your knowledge of all drainage engineering principles that you have learned through formal education and throughout your career. It is necessary that you pass the exam in order to become a drainage engineer who is licensed to practice in a certain geographic area.

Companies usually prefer job candidates to have knowledge of specific software related to the field. There are many types of drainage design and analysis software that you should become familiar with. Having this software experience will give you an advantage when trying to secure a job in drainage engineering.



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