How Do I Go into Civil Engineering Project Management?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson
Civil engineers design and help build public structures like dams.
Civil engineers design and help build public structures like dams.

Civil engineers are engineering professionals who are responsible for designing and building structures and services that benefit the general public. For example, bridges, dams, and public buildings are all examples of products of civil engineering. To get into civil engineering project management, you first should earn a degree in an engineering field in which you are interested. For example, if you would like to design public buildings, you should should pursue a degree in a field such as architecture or building science. A person who is interested in a career in civil engineering project management also should plan on spending years in internships and entry level positions in order to hone his or her skills and to develop a reputation in his or her field.

Civil engineers are responsible for overseeing all of the operations that are required to complete engineering projects.
Civil engineers are responsible for overseeing all of the operations that are required to complete engineering projects.

People who work in civil engineering project management tend to be responsible for overseeing all of the operations that are required to complete individual projects. For example, a project manager who is overseeing the construction of a new bridge might be responsible for keeping track of the budget, managing lease contracts for equipment, and managing concerns related to the weather or environment. In short, a civil engineering project manager takes credit for a project when it is successful and is held accountable for mistakes or oversights. When a high level manager or government official wants to learn about the progress of a project, he or she might consult a project manager.

Civil engineers should have a background in architecture or building science.
Civil engineers should have a background in architecture or building science.

To go into civil engineering project management, it is essential to get a strong background in a related field by completing a degree program. In most cases, a person who wants to go into civil engineering certainly can benefit also from earning a master's degree. Some employers do, however, accept equivalent amounts of work experience instead of graduate education, though it often is difficult to gain this kind of experience without earning higher levels of education.

Civil engineers often work on transportation-related projects, such as tunnels and bridges.
Civil engineers often work on transportation-related projects, such as tunnels and bridges.

While studying toward a degree, a person who wants to go into civil engineering project management can benefit greatly from participating in internships. These positions are unpaid, though students do get academic credit for their engagement. Internship opportunities also provide students with valuable real opportunity that can enable them to earn better positions after school. While students learn about important engineering principles and concepts, internships allow them to apply these ideas to real world scenarios.

Civil engineering project managers must have good math and analytical skills.
Civil engineering project managers must have good math and analytical skills.

An individual who wants to go into civil engineering project management should plan on working several years in his or her field before reaching this level of success. Employers normally want to make sure that a professional has the skills and knowledge to oversee a project prior to granting him or her this responsibility. Some employers might even require that aspiring project managers go through additional training prior to a promotion.

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    • Civil engineers design and help build public structures like dams.
      By: Harvey Barrison
      Civil engineers design and help build public structures like dams.
    • Civil engineers are responsible for overseeing all of the operations that are required to complete engineering projects.
      By: ndoeljindoel
      Civil engineers are responsible for overseeing all of the operations that are required to complete engineering projects.
    • Civil engineers should have a background in architecture or building science.
      By: starekase
      Civil engineers should have a background in architecture or building science.
    • Civil engineers often work on transportation-related projects, such as tunnels and bridges.
      By: bibi
      Civil engineers often work on transportation-related projects, such as tunnels and bridges.
    • Civil engineering project managers must have good math and analytical skills.
      By: Damian Gretka
      Civil engineering project managers must have good math and analytical skills.