Civil Engineers

What they do:

Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.

On the job, you would:

  • Analyze survey reports, maps, drawings, blueprints, aerial photography, and other topographical or geologic data to plan projects.
  • Plan and design transportation or hydraulic systems and structures, following construction and government standards, using design software and drawing tools.
  • Compute load and grade requirements, water flow rates, or material stress factors to determine design specifications.
  • Inspect project sites to monitor progress and ensure conformance to design specifications and safety or sanitation standards.
  • Direct or participate in surveying to lay out installations or establish reference points, grades, or elevations to guide construction.
  • Estimate quantities and cost of materials, equipment, or labor to determine project feasibility.
  • Prepare or present public reports on topics such as bid proposals, deeds, environmental impact statements, or property and right-of-way descriptions.
  • Test soils or materials to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations, concrete, asphalt, or steel.
  • Provide technical advice regarding design, construction, or program modifications and structural repairs to industrial and managerial personnel.
  • Conduct studies of traffic patterns or environmental conditions to identify engineering problems and assess potential project impact.

Knowledge

  • Engineering and Technology
  • Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design
  • Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Building and Construction
  • Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Physics
  • Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Transportation
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Administration and Management
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skills

  • Mathematics
  • Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operations Analysis
  • Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management
  • Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Science
  • Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Abilities

  • Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering
  • The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Visualization
  • The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Work Activities

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
  • Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Interests

  • Realistic
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Conventional
  • Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Artistic
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail
  • Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Integrity
  • Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence
  • Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Leadership
  • Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.