Civil engineers with a Ph.D. and a Professional Engineer (PE) certification can expect to make the big bucks. These engineers can typically demand the highest salaries on the civil engineering pay scale. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 249,120 individuals working as civil engineers in the United States in 2010. Salaries varied based on location and employer, but education and certification typically factor into what the civil engineer can expect to make also.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of most civil engineers was $82,280, with a reported median salary of $77,560 annually, as of May 2010. The bureau also reports that the middle 50 percent of all those working in the civil engineering field earned salaries ranging from $61,590 to $97,990 per year. However, it is more likely that civil engineers with a Ph.D. and the PE designation can expect to command as much as the highest paid civil engineers. At the top of of the pay scale were those civil engineers who earned salaries of $119,320 or more per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the highest paid civil engineers worked in the commercial and industrial machinery equipment field, earning an average salary of $133,830 per year, as of May 2010. The bureau indicates that those working in hardware, heating and plumbing supplies made an average salary of $112,180, while those in oil and gas extraction made $105,250 per year. The largest number of civil engineers worked in architectural, engineering and related services earning an average salary of $83,320.
Location also provides some indication of what civil engineers can expect to make. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest average salary for civil engineers was made by those engineers working in California. Civil engineers in California earned an average salary of $94,970 per year. Louisiana and Alaska were the next highest paying states with average salaries of $92,730 and $89,350, respectively. Aside from California, Texas was the state with the highest number of engineers employed in this specialty. These engineers made an average salary of $89,110 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects above average job growth for civil engineers during the decade from 2008 to 2018. The bureau indicates that the number of jobs in this field should grow by about 24 percent during this period, compared to only 11 percent overall growth in the engineering field. Renewed emphasis of infrastructure should drive job growth in this field. Those with the highest levels of certification and and education should be in high demand in the job market and should be able to command the highest salaries.