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Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

Hey guys, I'm wondering what kind of lifestyle civil engineers have. Let me explain.

I'm currently a junior enrolled in Petroleum Engineering and although it interests me I'm starting to become concerned with the type of lifestyle they have. I've always been interested in Civil as well and it is starting to become more and more attractive to me. As I've matured a little bit I've realized that I have some other priorities in life that don't align with the work environment of Petroleum Engineers. For example, I don't want to live in the middle of an oil field, I want to drink beer on my weekends, watch football on Sundays, go the the gym during the week, and start a family. Therefor, my question is, what kind of work week and lifestyle do Civil Engineers typically have? Is every week a 60-70 hour work week? Are the jobs in the middle of no where? How difficult is it to have a life outside of work? Thanks guys!

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

You need to go to Netflix (or where ever it is) and watch "Family Affair," a show from the late sixties. Uncle Bill was a civil engineer who lived in a Park Avenue apartment, traveled the world, had a full time butler (Mr. French) and had no problem absorbing two Elementary School kids and a teenage girl into his life.
It's exactly like that. lol

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

civil engineers definitely have the best lifestyle of all the engineers
we make the most money, work the least and generally live in a condo in a gated community. who wants to get greasy all the time working in a field of oil?


RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

I differ a little cvg. Do some searches for "engineer salaries" etc. and you wild get some summary data. A few categories are well above civil engineers.

Edit: I should add there are several factor that are maybe equal or even above salary, such as city or country? Office or field? These days I'd look at politics. Depending, you may be out of a job or very busy depending. However for a civil and the variety out there it really has a lot to do with your life style. Another thing for sure- what the choices are now will be drastically different in years to come and fields then not dreamed of now.

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

In my view, whatever field you choose, you have a variety of lifestyles. I am from Canada and worked in Canada for 20 odd years as a geotechnical engineer. Civil engineers I know, basically lived "like accountants, lawyers, etc.) - generally an 8 to 6 job with weekends free - of course these were office types and there would be some hiccups.

For my first years as a geotechnical engineer, I spent 10 momths away from home - jobs in Nova Scotia, then in Kirkland Lake Ontario - then up to northern Quebec. A stint in the arctic (King Christian Island) and a week later down in Guyana. Finished Guyana and then up to a mining camp in northern Saskatchewan. Other times in NW Terretories, and the like. Yes, we lived in huts, sometimes hotels, ikn tents on the arctic ice. A nice hotel in Guyana and played baskertball in the town's league - -pretty good games! Nope, I didn't get to "socialize" often with my fraternity brothers or friends - family was in the States and all that - but it was fun and I drank my beer. Have you ever worked with Quebec drillers? A quart of whiskey a night almost.

Now I've been overseas for 25 years - Northwest China, Laos, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and now Tajikistan. Some nice apartments but issues - no electricity, no water qauite often depending on the place and time of year. Aircon didn't always work - or centrao heating (NW China at -25 degC). My wife complains about no good ovens and stoves . . . no family, no friends other than work colleagues. Out in nowheresville - nearest "city" usually 10 to 12 hours away by vehicle. Knowing we could always leave - but good money and good times - had some really great times. Still am.

So if you want the "life in the big city" or the burbs, grass around your house, swimming pool in the back yard, high school and universsity mates . . . it can be had; Probably 854 - 90% of the civil engineers have these things. For me, I have enjoyed and am enjoying my expat working life. and Yes, I am jealous of my mates back "home" (whereever that is) and them having their kids and grandkids around them (my kids live in Bangkok, Miami, and Maldives) but it is the lifestyle I chose and my wife and I are happy. I don't get NFL (except now); somb baseball but always during working hours. Now, only if the COVID will break and we can get back to our condo in Hua Hin Thailand for a short vacation . . . that would be nice.

Be happy with what you choose - and life has its "liku-liku" - twists and turns! - cheers

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

Quote (and life has its "liku-liku" - twists and turns!)

What language?

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?


RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

we hire "civil engineers" to work in our surface transportation, aviation, water, sewer, drainage, dam safety, mining, and community development groups. they all do different things. some travel and some make a lot of money. you need to focus on what you are most interested in doing.

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

It seems to me that among my acquaintances there are no cvg stories similar to each other, everyone has an amazing path from which they enjoy. But most of my friends are ambitious cvgs who do not like boring and monotonous projects, so they travel all over the world or are engaged in interesting projects all over the country.

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

Even better, you could go into computer science and work in a nice, air-conditioned office, or home now, and NEVER have to crawl under floor boards or wear a hardhat to protect yourself from falling lumber or bricks.

People I know have done CS and owned a condo within 5 years of graduation (YMMV) winky smile Starting salary, at Amazon as a software engineer, was over $100k this year, in addition to signing bonus in stock.

Facebook offered >$100k about 5 years ago, plus signing bonus as well, (again, YMMV).

What's INSANE is that these companies offer almost as much equivalent salary for summer interns. flame

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

If you want a career in the Municipal market, which is generally good steady work, but not the top of the pay scale, you need to be a PE to advance.
In other engineering fields millage of the PE stamp varies, but almost always looks god on a resume.
Some planning makes getting the PE easier. I recommend the following (US Locations)
  • Take the fundamentals of engineering exam during your senior year if your school makes it available. It is significantly harder if you wait.
  • Spend your first 4 years after graduation working with professional engineers that can sign the reference letters that need to be submitted when applying for the PE License exam, and take the exam as soon as you are eligible.
Putting some constraints on your lifestyle for a few years can provide more flexibility later.

Fred PE

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

My father was a petroleum engineer and I have a cousin that also was one. Money can be very good in that field, but it has its ups and downs. I moved a lot as a kid, attending 8 different schools from K-12, as my dad chased jobs. He was laid off a number of times, but made pretty good money when he was working. My cousin finally got tired of having to chase jobs because of the disruption to his family. He went back to college and got a masters in environmental engineering.

With the exception of some higher level consulting jobs, there isn't the high dollars in civil engineering that you will find in some of the other engineering fields, but it is steadier for the most part and if you stick with it you can make a very decent living and retire comfortably.

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

Depends on the type of civil engineer. I work in Geotech and spent the first 5 years living behind drill rigs and in construction camps most of the time. Alot of peers doing civil design in cities also spent at least a couple years running around in the field at a minimum doing inspections and often being a surveyor. After your E.I.T. / new grad days it seems to turn into more of a 9-5 M-F career with 50 hour weeks when deadlines are approaching.

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

Being a civil site engineer is very tough and challenging and at many times not that rewarding. The life of a civil engineer can't be just explained or experienced to a common man unless and until he becomes an engineer.

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

One of my wife's relatives got a job somewhere in Wyoming in the oil industry after graduating from MIT. His initial zeal to work in the field fizzled out after one year when he found out he got stuck in the middle of nowhere with virtually no social life.

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

chicopee - given my vast experience of similar situations (and in the developing world) I would, at first glance, say 'poor baby.' - in the oil industry you go to where the job is and that usually isn't in a location like Boston. I hope he/she/zhe finally got his/her/zher dream location . but I bet in the field he wasn't upset about the money.

RE: Lifestyle of a Civil Engineer?

I started in Aeorospace engineering but quickly changed to Civil Engineering. In doing my "research" I found there were not a lot of places to work in the Aerospace industry and the job market is highly competitive. That and the "culture" of the kids in my aerospace classes quickly got me out of there. I went with civil engineering because of my construction background growing up and because you can work just about anywhere. Granted, civil engineers don't make as much money as some of the other disciplines, but it is a pretty versatile profession.

My advice - go into exercise science and make $500,000/year being a Peleton instructor!

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