Civil Engineering, B.S.

Civil Engineering, B.S.

What is a civil engineering degree?

Civil Engineering DegreeCivil engineering at Florida Tech is a rigorous, accredited curriculum that prepares students to enter the workforce with a minimum of additional training and a maximum of opportunity or for admission to top graduate schools. The program has six areas of engineering specialization available:

  • Construction Management
  • Environmental
  • Geotechnical
  • Structural
  • Transportation
  • Water Resources

Whether you want to design your dream house, bridges, foundations, water distribution systems, water and wastewater treatment plants, canals, highways, transportation system, or engage in land-development, a civil engineering degree from Florida Tech will help you develop a strong background in engineering with hands-on experience in computer-aided design and construction management.

Gain Practical Experience

During your first two years of your civil engineering degree program at Florida Tech, emphasis is placed on foundation courses in chemistry, mathematics, physics and engineering mechanics, augmented by practice-oriented civil engineering courses. Classroom study is enhanced through field trips and lab work.

As a junior and senior, you will be completing a number of real-world design projects as part of course assignments, and will culminate with a two-course sequence capstone design project in collaboration with a team of your peers. During the capstone design project sequence, you will design a large-scale, real world project, using good sustainability concepts, while paying attention to local and global issues. You will learn to work in a multi-disciplinary team, and also greatly enhance your communication skills by writing a technical report and making presentations to industry leaders and prospective employers.

As a result, you get practical experience, an expanded professional network and perhaps even a pre-graduation job offer.

Build Professional Relationships

Beyond the classroom, civil engineering degree students build leadership and professional experience through exciting internships and participation in academic organizations like Chi Epsilon (civil engineering honor society), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Tau Beta Pi, Student Government and over 100 other campus-wide student organizations.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Employers seek our graduates with a civil engineering degree from Florida Tech. Employers that have recruited our students for internships and careers include nationally and internationally well-known companies such as Bechtel, CH2M Hill, GeoSyntech Consultants, VHB Miller Sellen, and BRPH. Our students are also employed by dozens of cities, counties and municipalities. Several of our students have started their own companies.

Earn an Advanced Degree

After receiving their civil engineering degree, many of our students go on to graduate school at universities such as Florida Tech, Stanford, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Virginia Tech and Cornell.

Accreditation

ABETThe undergraduate aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, ocean engineering and software engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Why pursue a civil engineering degree at Florida Tech?

The ABET-accredited civil engineering program at Florida Tech provides a small student-to-faculty ratio, with an average of 18 per class within the department, making us one of the best civil engineering schools in the country. The family-oriented community at Florida Tech is conducive to academic success even in the face of a challenging academic environment. Qualified students are encouraged by professors to get involved in research projects. About 80 percent of our students have at least some internship experience before they graduate; 90 percent are offered jobs at their place of internship, further supporting our reputation for being one of the best civil engineering schools.

Experienced Faculty of Professional Engineers

Florida Tech's civil engineering department is staffed with experienced instructors who are professional engineers; this is another reason students consider us one of the best civil engineering schools. All of the faculty members have experience in real-world design and conduct research. Many hold several awards such as the College of Engineering (COE) Teacher of the Year Award, Florida Tech Researcher of the Year Award, COE Research Award and Florida Tech Service Award.

High-Tech Laboratories Support Research

A big reason why Florida Tech is considered one of the best civil engineering schools in the country is the availability of fully-equipped civil engineering laboratories that support research in materials and structures, and geotechnical engineering. In addition, students have full access to the F.W. Olin Engineering Complex, a 68,500-square-foot state-of-the-art building that houses the latest in electronic and communications technology, specialized research labs and a 142-seat multimedia auditorium.

Valuable Internships

Here is a statistic that illustrates why Florida Tech is one of the best civil engineering schools: Most civil engineering degree students complete at least a semester-long internship before graduation and many are offered civil engineering careers by the organization at which they interned.

5,000 High-Tech Companies Waiting for You

Many of the best civil engineering schools in the country cannot compete with Florida Tech's location. Located in the heart of the Space Coast and within the Florida High Tech Corridor, Florida Tech is close to the fifth largest high-tech workforce in the country and over 5,000 high-tech companies.

Just minutes away from campus are 72 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches and the Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America, as well as destinations such as Kennedy Space Center and Orlando tourist attractions. Campus life is relaxed and a full range of activities such as intramural sports and clubs or social activities are available. When it comes to the best civil engineering schools available, Florida Tech is a top choice.

How will a civil engineering degree prepare me for the future?

A large majority of our civil engineering students complete an internship during their time at Florida Tech. Our students have completed civil engineering internships with scores of consulting companies and government agencies, including:

  • Allan and Conrad, Inc.
  • Ardaman & Associates, Inc.
  • Bechtel • Boueri Engineers, Inc.
  • Bowman Engineers
  • BRPH Architects & Engineers
  • CH2M Hill
  • City of Palm Bay, Brevard County
  • GeoSyntec Consultants
  • Edward J. Haeck Landscape Architects
  • Jones Edmonds Engineering
  • Kimley Horn & Associates
  • Miller Sellen Conner & Walsh, Inc.
  • Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport
  • NASA
  • Quantitative Environmental Analysis
  • Saint John's River Water Management District
  • STV Group
  • Tensor Engineering
  • Turner Construction
  • VHBA

Civil engineering internships for juniors and seniors include but are not limited to civil engineering design, cost estimation, subdivision design, drainage planning, landscape planning, bidding processes, construction site evaluations and negotiating.

Simulate Real World Situations

In addition to civil engineering internships, Florida Tech students culminate their senior year of civil engineering with a capstone design project. These team-based projects are completed over the course of two semesters, and students take their designs from basic blueprints to presentable projects at the Northrop Grumman Senior Design Showcase held on campus each spring. Capstone projects are designed to simulate a real-world civil engineering situation and include multiple presentations and investigations of project feasibility and environmental impacts.

Industry Support

The Civil Engineering Advisory Committee (CEAC) is involved in reviewing the department's strategic plan and takes part in the outcome assessment process of the academic program ensuring the learning outcomes are achieved. The CEAC also helps connect students with the civil engineering industry by providing guest lecturers, field trip opportunities and civil engineering internships.

In addition to the technical education students receive from the university, the Construction Industry Advisory Board (CIAB) provides students with a solid understanding of the many difficult management issues engineering professionals face in the construction industry.

Finish in Five with a FastTrack Master's Degree Program

In addition to research opportunities and civil engineering internships, students can take advantage of the FastTrack Master's Program. This program allows students to take graduate course work as undergraduates, so students can complete a master's degree in as little as one additional year of study. Earned scholarships carry over to the fifth year.

Join Clubs and Organizations to Enhance Your Civil Engineering Degree

Florida Tech's chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is among the most active organizations on campus. ASCE takes part in several nationwide competitions to test their engineering skills, including concrete canoe and steel bridge. Our concrete canoe team has reached the national level several times and receives sponsorships from a variety of local businesses.

Chi Epsilon is an honor society dedicated to honoring engineering students who have exemplified the principles of scholarship, character, practicality and sociability in the civil engineering profession.

These organizations allow for networking opportunities for future civil engineering internships and careers.

What can you do with a civil engineering degree?

If you're interested in such things as infrastructure planning and development, land development and taking care of the basic needs of humanity: shelter, clean air and water, and an adequate transportation systems; you are likely someone destined for one of the civil engineering careers available to graduates of Florida Tech with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. A Florida Tech Civil Engineering degree has, historically, yielded a job offer or admission into graduate school, prior to graduation, for 74 percent of our seniors.

Career Outlook

Civil Engineers are needed everywhere; job location is never a problem. FIT’s civil engineering students are hired by private architectural, construction, environmental, geotechnical, land development, structural, transportation and water resources companies including several national and multi-national companies. Our students also work for local, state (water management districts, department of transportation) and federal agencies (USGS) as well as organizations such as the Walt Disney World. Many civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions, while others work in design, project management, research, and teaching. Civil engineers work in collaborative environments that often include civil engineering technicians and technologists.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in civil engineering careers is expected to grow 19.7 percent between 2012 and 2022. During that period, about 53,700 jobs will open up. While government funding is often the source for civil engineering projects, private company projects will continue to create demand for civil engineering careers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things. Check BLS website for information and the outlook for civil engineering careers. The median Civil Engineering salary in 2014 was $87,130. Professional licensure is very important for civil engineers and median salaries go up by approximately 15% as a result making civil engineers to be among the highest paid in engineering. 

Career Options

The type of civil engineering careers available with a degree in civil engineering includes:

  • City Engineer
  • County Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Geotechnical Engineers
  • Materials Engineer
  • Pipeline Transportation
  • Structural Engineer
  • Transportation Engineer
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Project Manager
  • Urban Transit Systems
  • Water Resources Engineer

Potential Employers

Local and national engineering firms that have hired Florida Tech graduates include:

  • Allan and Conrad, Inc.
  • Ardaman & Associates, Inc. 
  • Bechtel
  • Boueri Engineers, Inc. 
  • Bowman Engineers 
  • BRPH Architects & Engineers 
  • CH2M Hill 
  • City of Palm Bay, Brevard County 
  • GeoSyntec Consultants 
  • Edward J. Haeck Landscape Architects 
  • Jones Edmonds Engineering 
  • Kimley Horn & Associates 
  • Miller Sellen Conner & Walsh, Inc. 
  • Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport 
  • NASA
  • Quantitative Environmental Analysis
  • Saint John's River Water Management District
  • STV Group
  • Tensor Engineering
  • Turner Construction
  • VHBA

Entry-Level Salary Expectations

No matter what year it is, the base level salary for Civil Engineers is always good. However, salaries vary widely based on career choice and location. The median entry level salaries for civil engineers pursuing careers as:

  • Environmental Engineers: $55,000
  • Geotechnical Engineer: $61,500
  • Project Managers (Construction): $68,000
  • Structural Engineer: $59,000
  • Transportation Engineer: $57,000
  • Water Resources Engineer: $57,000

Check PayScale.com for the most recent information on these and other careers.

Graduate Degree Programs

20 percent of Florida Tech civil engineering students attending graduate school typically specialize in construction, environmental, structural, transportation/highways and water resources. Equally impressively, 99 percent of our degree recipients begin civil engineering careers or enter graduate school within three months after graduation.

Florida Tech Civil Engineering degree students have attended graduate school programs at such prestigious universities as:

  • University of California at Berkeley
  • Cornell
  • Georgia Tech
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Stanford
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