Is Online Civil Engineering Degree worth it in 2021?

Is a civil engineering major or online civil engineering degree really worth it? that’s what we’re going to be talking about in this article and let’s jump right into it. First what exactly is civil engineering?  you’re going to focus on planning building and implementing large infrastructure projects besides engineering a lot of the skills you’re going to run. You are going to be computer science surveying project management and analytical problem-solving. Now there are around 13,000 people that graduate with this degree every year at a bachelor’s level.

Civil Engineer Average Salary

Now there are four important components we’re gonna go over but the first thing we’re gonna talk about is the salary. With this degree, you would expect to make around 61,000$ a year starting out, 103,000$ in mid-career pay. 

If you become a civil engineer you would make around eighty-seven thousand dollars a year which is around forty-one dollars per hour. Another career path you might go down is becoming a surveyor and they make around sixty-three thousand a year that is almost thirty dollars an hour.

When you look at engineering over a  lifetime you see that it’s the highest paying civil engineering degree they make around 3.5 million dollars over a lifetime whereas the other average degree is going to make 2.4 million dollars. Now, of course, this is data from about 40  years ago up until now this is the census data.

But you know maybe the future census data 40 years from now will show that other types of degrees are more lucrative now. I always recommend that you try to go for a career where you could make around  75,000 $ a year because studies have shown that your happiness increases on average salary up to about 75 to  80,000 a year.

So it’s always a good idea to maximize your happiness and so most people are going to be happiest once they’re making around 75 to 80 000 a  year and this degree can definitely get you to that point so overall engineering degrees pay really well. The salary score of civil engineering is going to be 9 out of 10. 

Civil Engineering Job Satisfaction

When it comes to job satisfaction, civil engineering degrees have a 68  meaning score which is basically how much you think your career positively impacts. In the world, you can compare that to one with a very high and a very low meaning score and you’ll see that it is on the higher side so this is a degree that leads to careers where people find a lot of meaning.

If you look specifically at the career of civil engineering you’ll see that it has a 68 meaning score and if you look at the job satisfaction it’s 71%  and again you can compare that to a  really good one and a really bad one and you’ll see that it is on the better side.

Now when it comes to how much people regret their degrees engineering is the third least regretted type of degree only. Around 15 of engineer graduates regret their degree and the main reason is that some of the best jobs require an advanced degree like a master’s. I do want to emphasize here that this is the most subjective section by far for one person it could be like a  one out of ten and for another person, it could be like an 11 out of 10 amazing best careers ever.

So take all this with a  grain of salt your job satisfaction meaning could also have a lot to do with you like, who your manager is, you work for the company, you work for the industry, your co-workers, etc. There are so many different things that can impact this but with that being said I am going to give this one a score of 7.5 out of 10. 

Demand of Civil Engineering

When it comes to civil engineers demand is a little bit weird. For instance, when you look up the job market of civil engineering you’ll see that there are 329,000 jobs available right now and it’s only growing at about 2%  which is slower than average. That means over the next 10 years only 5500 jobs are going to pop up even though there are tons of people graduating every year.

If you look at these stats you would probably think there’s a huge imbalance and there’s a ton of unemployed civil engineers. Well, there may not be that many jobs specifically for civil engineers but people who graduate with a civil engineering degree generally are able to find a job in a related career and these types of careers tend to be relatively high paying as well. 

Generally speaking, when you look at unemployment rates with the different degree types you’ll see that engineering degrees tend to be on the lower side. When you look up the keyword civil engineering degrees on you’ll see that about 8700  job listings have that keyword in the description you can compare that to a degree that has tons of demand like computer science with 141 000 or one that doesn’t have very much demand at all like anthropology at under 1 000 and you’ll see that it’s pretty decent.

I know that might not seem very good but  8700  is definitely on the higher side. computer science is kind of like a freak outlier and one thing you’ll notice here is even if businesses aren’t actively looking for people who have civil engineering degrees a lot of the time if you apply to just a random job that’s like you know pretty well paying like a business job for instance and you have a civil engineering degree you’re more likely to get hired than if you had a degree that might not be as well respected.

A lot of companies have the philosophy that they’re going to hire engineers. They’re just basically going to hire the smartest and hardest working people. They can then teach the engineers how to do the specific skills required for the job later on. With that being said the overall score here is going to be  8.5 out of 10.


There are few x-factors and that is anything that we didn’t go over before is important. The first thing as discussed earlier: the engineering degrees in general over a lifetime make around 3.5 million dollars, not only that though the engineering degrees that go into completely unrelated careers still tend to earn a lot more than the degrees that are related to this career. 

For instance, engineers that become artists will make around three million dollars over a lifetime while engineers that get into the community and legal services will make around 3.2 million over a lifetime so you see that engineers across the board are going to be making more money over a lifetime than a lot of different types of degrees.

Now a lot of people will say it’s correlation or causation. Maybe it’s because engineers are just really smart and people who are able to do those degrees are just really smart in the first place. ZipRecruiter’s skill index has civil engineering at 61  out of 100 and you can compare that to a  really high one and a really low one and you’ll see that it’s definitely on the better side.

On top of that when you look at the likelihood of automation for pretty much any type of engineering degree, it’s always going to be pretty low. For instance, in this case, it’s  1.9 percent. The engineering-related careers would not ever be able to be fully outsourced just because you have to be able to communicate really well in person there’s a lot of tangible and intangible skills involved. There is a lot of creativity involved, most of the time you’re going to have to actually be on-site so you can touch things and you know fix issues.

Another thing is that engineering degrees tend to create a ton of millionaires. The reason why is because so many people end up starting their own businesses when they get an engineering degree. Most of the time engineers are on the cutting edge of technology and so it’s very easy for them to see problems that can be solved and that’s basically what entrepreneurship is, it’s practical problem-solving.

If you’re somebody who might want to start a business in the future this might be something for you to look in. I always like to mention that engineering-related degrees are very difficult so you’ve got to know what you’re getting yourself into. If you want to go to college and just party all the time engineering is going to be tough for you to accomplish that unless you’re a genius but overall I’m going to give this one an x-factor score of  9 out of 10.


When you add all those up and divided them by 4 you’re going to get an overall score of 8.5 out of 10. This is a  great degree for the right person. Always make sure you do your due diligence research. Reach out to people who are in careers that you’re interested in and figure out what are your strengths and weaknesses. what your passions are,  what your natural talents are,  and figure out what types of careers align with that don’t just go into this one because I recommend it or because I say that it’s high paying or anything along those lines.

1 thought on “Is Online Civil Engineering Degree worth it in 2021?”

Leave a Comment