Civil engineers have been getting a bad rap for years as the mainstay of modern civil engineering.
But the profession has been under siege for years from a range of reasons: the proliferation of software, the emergence of complex software products, and a lack of trained staff.
Now a new study by two civil engineering scholars suggests that the profession’s reputation as the one with the best-trained civil engineers could be in jeopardy.
The study, which was published last week in the journal Engineering Ethics, examined the careers of nearly 2,000 engineers hired in the past decade and found that the quality of the career paths available for civil engineers has deteriorated dramatically.
This may be due in part to the increased complexity of civil engineering’s work, the study’s authors note, as well as a general decrease in the amount of time spent on the job.
The authors also argue that the civil engineering profession needs to take a more active role in supporting the careers and incomes of civil engineers.
“There is a need to create a more sustainable career path for civil engineering workers,” said Jürgen Schmäller, a senior research fellow at the German Marshall Fund and a former deputy director of the National Center for Civil and Environmental Engineers.
The Civil Engineering Career Transition Project (CEST) has been developing a career guide for civil and environmental engineers for more than a decade, and it has received several awards from both the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
CEST’s report, titled “Cultural and economic impacts of the civil engineer’s decline,” notes that the number of graduates entering the profession dropped from 12,742 in 2011 to 11,917 in 2020.
As of 2020, only 3 percent of engineering graduates have a bachelor’s degree.
The report also notes that many of these graduates are “underrepresented” in the profession, often as a result of the low level of training that civil engineers receive.
The number of engineers working in civil engineering fell by more than half from 2000 to 2020, to about 3,000.
In contrast, the number working in construction rose by more that one-third.
The researchers found that civil engineering graduates tend to be older than their peers in the private sector.
A majority of those working in the industry are between 45 and 50 years old.
“The number of years spent on an engineering career has dropped dramatically,” said Schmaugher.
“A lot of these younger graduates are not working in a professional capacity at the moment.
They are working part-time.”
The study’s findings have been echoed by several studies.
In June, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a study, “The Civil Engineer’s Journey to the Future: Trends in Career Paths, Enrolment, and Compensation,” that found that more than 70 percent of all engineering graduates in the U.S. are underrepresented in the professional workforce, with fewer than 25 percent working full-time in engineering jobs.
And a study released by the Council on Foreign Relations last year found that engineers in the field are being priced out of the U., particularly for entry-level positions.
“While engineering is widely perceived as a high-paying, prestigious profession, it is also subject to significant wage disparities between men and women, especially in the fields of engineering and engineering technology,” said Michael J. Shiffrin, a research fellow in civil and international studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Shifrin added that the lack of access to high-quality training may have played a role in the overall decline in the number and quality of engineers entering the field.
The CEST report is the first comprehensive examination of the workforce for civil, civil engineering and construction professionals.
It also offers a glimpse into the lives of the engineers hired for various roles within the civil and construction industries.
It found that, in the case of the construction industry, engineers were much more likely to be women and to be from rural areas, and to have less than a bachelor degree.
Engineers also made up a larger share of the total workforce, at about 41 percent, and were also more likely than other industries to be white.
In addition, more than 10 percent of engineers were white, while 4 percent were Hispanic and 5 percent Asian.
In all, the CEST study found that about 11 percent of the workers surveyed were male.
A survey of more than 2,500 civil engineering professionals conducted in 2020 found that nearly half of respondents had less than 10 years of experience.
The survey was conducted by the Center for the Study of Civil Engineering, a non-profit that works to inform the profession about the issues that impact the profession.
“Many of the jobs are extremely demanding,” said Shiffran.
“They are not necessarily high-paid, but they do require a lot of technical skills, and many of them are very physically demanding.
These occupations require a certain level of physical strength and