Selecting My Discipline

What Type of Civil Engineer are You?

Whether involved in projects underground, working on huge structures or meeting the water needs of developing communities, these engineers are making a difference. What type of civil engineer do you want to be? 

What Concentration Should I Pursue in College?

From my own experience as a civil engineer, and from speaking with other civil engineering professionals, I can say I don’t think your degree concentration will prohibit you from changing fields as a practicing civil engineer.

When I was in my undergraduate civil engineering program, there was no class dedicated to land development, which is what I ultimately ended up doing. I learned most of what I needed on the job.


How do I choose?

Five recommendations for determining which field is right for you.


How to become an expert?

Seven tips to make you an expert in your selected niche.


Is it better to be a jack-of-all-trades?

What path best fits your goals? Here are some examples.

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Selecting a Civil Engineering Discipline

  • 1.  Selecting a Civil Engineering Discipline

    Posted 01-14-2020 01:34 PM
    Civil Engineers are involved in many fields. How do you pick the right one? Please use this thread to ask any questions related to choosing a discipline. Or share how you selected your field.     

    Tirza Austin
    Manager, Online Community
    American Society of Civil Engineers
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive
    Reston, VA 20191

  • 2.  RE: Selecting a Civil Engineering Discipline

    Posted 01-15-2020 08:38 AM
    Civil engineering has many fields and you can select  according to your knowledge.  For example there are the various options you could have selected:

    1. planning engineer
    2. structure  engineer
    3 quantity surveyor
    4 design engineer
    5 site engineer.
    6. project coordinator
    7. quality controller

    According to your  base, you have selected anyone field. I can also explain deeply but now we have some work therefore we end here.

    Pankaj Jha S.M.ASCE

  • 3.  RE: Selecting a Civil Engineering Discipline

    Posted 01-16-2020 07:55 AM
    Hi Tirza,

    Thanks for this fantastic thread!

    First I'd like to refer to the CEBOK, which specifies seven technical outcomes for CEs, among others Management, Economics, Design, etc. Yet I want to emphasize on another outcome, the Breadth of CE(ing), which requires CEs to possess the knowledge of at least four specialty areas. (The areas could be directly related to the ASCE institutes, journals and committees, etc.)

    As far as my education in Cost Engineering, my field working experience and my interest in construction are concerned, I decided to go after Construction Engineering. Regarding on the breadth, I might not choose the "huge" ones like Structural or Geotechnical. Instead, I found the two specialty areas covered by ASCE journals (Structural Construction; Legal Affairs) are more interesting and, more importantly, easier-to-acquire. I still need identify another specialty areas as the fourth, strictly speaking.

    Best luck to this topic! I couldn't be more happy to know other CE's choices and thoughts!

    James, Wang, M.ASCE
    Senior Cost Estimator
    Turner & Townsend
    Shenzhen, China