Civil engineers use their knowledge of physics, mathematics and engineering to help design, build and repair a wide range of projects. These workers can be found aiding in the construction of skyscrapers or planning harbor expansions and dam construction. Civil engineer salaries vary widely based on numerous variables.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were about 259,320 civil engineers employed in 2009. These workers earned an average salary of about $39.03 per hour, or about $81,180 per year. The middle 50 percent of them made about $36.82 per hour, or about $76,590 per year. The lowest 10 percent of civil engineers had salaries of about $23.86 per hour, or $49,620 per year, while the top 10 percent made about $56.88 per hour, or about $118,320 per year.
Most Common Industries
The "architectural, engineering and related services" sector of the industry employed the most civil engineers in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The approximately 135,560 engineers employed in this sector earned an average salary of about $39.44 per hour, or about $82,040 per year. Those in the second-most common sector, "state government," made about $36.48 per hour, or about $75,870 per year.
Highest Paying Industries
Civil engineers employed in the "oil and gas extraction" industry earned the highest average salaries out of any sector in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, making an average wage of $51.65 per hour, or about $107,430 per year. The second-highest paying sector, "other pipeline transportation," paid an average wage of $51.49 per hour, or about $107,100 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the five states with the highest average salaries for civil engineers in 2009 were: the District of Columbia, California, Texas, New Jersey and Louisiana. Engineers in the District of Columbia earned an average ov $45.09 per hour, or about $93,790 per year, while those in Louisiana made an average of $41.73 per hour, or about $86,790 per year.