Best Career Opportunities in Civil Engineering

How Can a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering Advance My Engineering Career?

To get the best civil engineering jobs, choose an engineering master’s degree that sets you apart from the pack.

Although civil engineering dates back to ancient times, 21st-century civil engineering careers are as exciting as ever. Civil engineering ranks #2 on U.S. News & World Report ’s list of Best Engineering Jobs because of the profession’s high salaries, robust demand and wide range of professional opportunities.

Civil engineering career opportunities are especially strong for individuals with a master’s degree in civil engineering. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, civil engineering salaries averaged $95,000 per year for individuals holding an engineering master’s degree. That’s more than 10 percent higher than the average salary for civil engineers with only a bachelor’s degree.

If you’re already in the engineering workforce, it’s not too late to earn a civil engineering master’s degree Merrimack College’s one-year master’s degree in civil engineering is well designed for working professionals who already have full-time jobs.

“It was the perfect fit for me,” says Joseph Privitera, who chose Merrimack over two other civil engineering master’s degree programs. “It was an easy commute from my job, and classes met one evening a week, so they never interfered with my work schedule. Nearly all of the faculty have industry backgrounds, so they understand the professional world and the realities of civil engineering in practice.”

With aspirations to rise into management someday, Privitera knew he would need an advanced education to compete in a tight job market. And it didn’t take long before he reaped dividends from his investment. A few months after completing his engineering master’s degree, Privitera was recruited into a new job at AECOM.

“It was clear a master’s degree in civil engineering could increase my potential,” he says. “I viewed it as a way to help me accelerate my civil engineering career development.”

Today’s Civil Engineering Careers Require Versatile Skills

Civil engineering careers start with advanced technical expertise—but that will only take you so far. You need a broad range of additional skills to qualify for the best jobs in civil engineering.

A master’s degree in civil engineering is an excellent way to diversify your professional toolkit. lists more than a dozen “soft skills” that can elevate your civil engineering career trajectory, including the ability to manage diverse employees, communicate effectively, think critically, budget your time, visualize data, work collaboratively, and negotiate.

Those skills are particular strengths of the civil engineering master’s degree at Merrimack College. The program equips you for professional success by offering:

Management training.

You can choose an optional management specialization that features courses in project leadership, decision analysis, communication, global markets, and other management and business subjects.

Fluency with data.

“We have an outstanding data analysis program,” says Merrimack engineering professor Sadegh Asgari. Master’s in civil engineering students can gain hands-on experience in data analytics, data visualization, computational tools, algorithm programming and related subjects. The College offers a stand-alone degree in data analysis, supported by expert faculty and first-rate resources.

Fellowship experience.

Highly qualified engineering graduate students can receive professional mentoring and hands-on teaching and research experience via Presidential Fellowships. These competitive positions include an internship of up to 25 hours per week, with one-on-one faculty supervision and mentorship. The fellowships give civil engineering master’s degree students the opportunity to cultivate outstanding skills in leadership, communication, research and interdisciplinary collaboration.

“If I were entering the civil engineering job market today,” Asgari says, “I would try to demonstrate a combination of hard and soft skills. I would want a portfolio that shows not only how I designed a building, but also how I controlled the costs, how I selected energy-efficient materials, how I maximized the talents of my team, and how I used data to drive my decisions.”

“These are the skills that employers are looking for,” says Asgari, who has consulted widely for corporations and government agencies. “And so, accordingly, these are concepts we emphasize in the civil engineering master’s degree at Merrimack College.”

“It was clear a master’s degree in civil engineering could increase my potential. I viewed it as a way to help me accelerate my civil engineering career development.”

Contact Us

To talk to someone about the Master of Science in Civil Engineering, contact the Merrimack College Office of Graduate Admission.

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