A civil engineer is trained to design and construct large-scale structures, from roads to water supply systems. In addition to drafting construction plans, these professionals also oversee their execution—surveying land, testing materials and ensuring building codes are met, among other tasks. It’s a big job and requires a broad yet specialized skillset. 

Education & Licensing Requirements

To become a civil engineer, individuals must first complete a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related specialty. This includes coursework in areas like math, mechanics, and statistics. The program should be approved by ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

After completing this four-year degree, graduates must complete the Fundamental of Engineering exam for Engineers in Training, EITs. This confirms that they have mastered the fundamental skills needed to start working. Once they pass, they can begin to gain on-the-job experience in a junior role, such as an internship.

civil engineerThose who want to progress should get a master’s degree. Additionally, each state requires individuals to get a license before they can assume a formal title like “general engineering contractor.” National and board-level certifications—for instance from the American Society of Civil Engineers—are also available.

What to Look for in a Civil Engineer

Once they enter the working world, civil engineers can be responsible for huge constructions, from buildings to tunnels and water treatment plants. Given the expansive scale of these projects, it’s important they are entrusted to the proper professionals. 

When looking for a civil engineer, check that they are licensed as described above. Additionally, be aware that there are many specialties in the field of civil engineering itself. You want someone with the expertise—for instance structural engineering or environmental engineering sciences—that suits your needs.


McCarty Associates has been providing reliable civil engineer, architectural design, and surveying services since 1963. Located in Hillsboro, they serve southern and southwestern Ohio. Their impressive portfolio of projects includes everything from the Wayne Township Fire Department to the Village of West Union Sewage Lift Station and the Cargill Ethanol Plant in Jeffersonville. You can learn more about the firm’s history online. For an appointment to discuss your needs, call (937) 393-9971.