Civil Engineering Jobs for Foreigners in the USA

Civil Engineering in America

Having a high-level infrastructure goes beyond just building impressive structures and facilities. You have to maintain the infrastructure you have, improve or expand, when necessary, correct mistakes and even make repairs when needed.

That being said, the USA has numerous buildings, facilities, and amenities that need repairs, upgrades, and expansion. For instance, the growing population creates a need for more residential buildings, but the solution to this is not so simple. This population growth is happening in major cities and urban regions, and these places are running low on space for more residential buildings.

Housing isn’t the only problem, you also have to consider how to get electricity, water, and gas to these new residential areas if they are built. Do you create a new water system for the city, or find a way to connect the new residents, do you expand road networks to contain the traffic, or develop other means of transport are just some of the dilemmas that the American infrastructure system is facing currently.

However, this isn’t all doom and gloom for everyone because this creates a massive pool of opportunity for Civil engineers. A civil engineer would be needed to make the right decision on the various issues, as well as manage these projects when they are commenced.

With these in mind, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected an 8% growth in the employment of Civil Engineers from 2020 to 2030. This can be interpreted as 25,000 vacancies will be available for civil engineers on an average each year.

This is good news for not just Civil Engineers in the USA, but also civil engineering foreigners looking to find jobs in the USA. If you are one of these, let us educate you on how you can take advantage of this opportunity.

Civil Engineering Job Description

There won’t be bridges, dams, roads, tunnels, etc. without Civil Engineers, however, they don’t magically make these things appear. Civil engineers have to design, build, supervise and maintain these structures. Here is a list of the duties and responsibilities of the average Civil Engineer;

  1. Analyze long term plans, survey reports, maps, and other information to design projects
  2. Make sure the project stays within budgets, regulations, environmental safety, and other considerable factors.
  3. Compile and apply for permits from local, state, and federal agencies
  4. Analyzing results of various tests concerning the project to be undertaken, an example is the soil testing to determine the strength of the foundation
  5. Analyze results on building materials such as concrete or wood.
  6. Work out cost estimates for materials, labor, and equipment to ensure the economic feasibility of the project
  7. Designing project plans in line with government standards
  8. Supervising the execution of these projects
  9. Manage the maintenance and repairs of these projects.

During the execution phase of the project, Civil Engineers take up the roles of supervisors. They ensure the safety of the workers and also keep the project in line with the planned schedule.

Opportunities in America for foreigners
Opportunities in America for foreigners

How to Work as a Civil Engineer in the USA

To work as a Civil Engineer in the USA you would need a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, Civil Engineering Technologies, or a related course such as Construction Technology. Ensure that your degree is from a program accredited by ABET. This enables you to earn a Professional Engineer (PE) license.

The Professional Engineer license is required if you are looking for a senior civil engineering job, but not very necessary for entry-level positions. A civil engineer with a PE license can oversee the work of other engineers, as well as approve designs and provide services to the public.

To get the PE license, you would need;

  1. An ABET-accredited engineering degree
  2. Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  3. Substantial work experience, usually four years of work with a licensed engineer.

You can take the FE exam immediately after your bachelor’s degree. When you pass the exam, you would be referred to as an Engineer in Training or an Engineer Intern.

For foreigners, you would still need to become a PE. However, if you apply directly from your country of residence, you would need the PE certification to get promoted. Meanwhile, if you don’t have up to four years of experience, you can apply for internship and volunteer roles to build experience before applying for your PE certification. This doesn’t mean you can’t get jobs without one, you can get an entry-level job which would also be useful when you apply for your PE license.

Average Salary of Civil Engineers in the USA

Civil Engineers earn about $84,304 annually on an average in the United States. The lowest-earning 25% of Civil engineers earn about $69,100, while the highest-earning 25% are paid $115,110.

The amount you earn is very dependent on your experience and qualification, as well as the industry you work for.

Civil Engineers with 6 to 9 years of experience earn around $114,842 per annum. Those with little to no experience earn about $66,888 annually.

What Branch of Civil Engineering is in Demand in the USA

Before we get into what branch is in demand the most, let us talk a bit about some of the common branches of Civil Engineering.

  1. Structural Engineers: Their expert knowledge of stress and pressure is useful in the construction of large buildings and bridges. They design and monitor the construction and usage of beams, columns, and even tension cables to ensure they can withstand the stress and pressure that will be imposed on them.
  2. Construction Manager: They are tasked with ensuring the completion of construction projects within a set schedule. They also ensure that this is done without endangering the health and safety of workers on site. To do this, they have to work and communicate properly with all parties on site. This includes the architects, surveyors, contractors, and even laborers.
  3. Geotechnical Engineer: While their responsibilities are similar to that of the structural engineers, they focus more on the foundation for whatever structure is about to be erected. A strong foundation is vital for the construction of any civil engineering work be it a bridge, dam, or building. To do this properly, they need to have adequate knowledge of geology and soil samples.
  4. Water Resource Engineers: These engineers work with large bodies of water to harness them, as well as control them to prevent floods and control erosion. They need to have knowledge of biochemistry, geology as well as environmental engineering.

Geotechnical Engineers, however, are the most in-demand Civil Engineers, because every structure to be built requires a strong foundation. A structure without a solid foundation is a risk to lives and other properties around it.

Opportunities in USA for foreigner
Opportunities in USA for foreigner

Water Resource Engineers are also in demand as cities next to rivers, lakes and oceans are constantly at risk of being flooded. Their tasks also vary depending on their location and the water body around if any.

Now, we take you through websites to find these Civil Engineering jobs for foreigners in the USA.

Websites to Find Civil Engineering Jobs for foreigners in the USA

1. Fasthire

Fasthire is one of the best websites to find international jobs, including Civil Engineering jobs for foreigners in the USA. This website also renders career and educational services to users across various countries in the world. Users can find the jobs of their choice in countries like Nigeria, China, the USA, Saudi Arabia, and many more. Beyond helping users find jobs, they also help with CVs and resumes, and other writing services.

2. Indeed

A global recruitment website that offers over 30,000 jobs daily to users in various industries across various countries. The jobs offered on their website have a wide range, from local jobs to jobs with visa sponsorship.

3. Simply Hired

This website wants to help Job seekers in their quest to find jobs in their desired roles. They also want to make the process as seamless as possible. They have a decent number of Civil Engineering jobs on their website as well.

4. Zip Recruiter

Actively connecting job seekers to their next big opportunity. Zip Recruiter was created to make meaningful connections between job seekers and employees. Civil Engineering can be assured of finding the right Caregiving job on this platform.

5. Career Jet

A job search engine designed to make the process of job searching a lot easier. They do this by gathering job listings from various recruitment agencies and specialist recruitment sites. With this website, finding civil engineering jobs in the USA should be easier.

6. Learn4Good

Another recruitment website offering numerous Civil engineering jobs for both American citizens and foreigners looking to work in America.

7. JobIsJob

One of the best job search engines around. You can find jobs from various industries in specific regions, not just countries.

Conclusion: Civil Engineering Jobs for Foreigners in the USA

America currently is an ideal place for Civil Engineers, whether you are already a citizen or you are looking to move there. We are also certain that we have given you the tools to take advantage of the situation.

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