Public Works: Lowest and Highest Paying Jobs for Civil Engineers

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© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

Civil engineers form the largest engineering discipline with employment at 249,120. They design and oversee the construction of the nation’s infrastructure, which includes bridges, freeways, sewer systems, harbors, airports, railways, canals and dams. Their salaries depend on employer and job location. All information is from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Basics

Civil engineers in the USA make a mean $39.56 per hour or $82,280 per year.

  • The lowest earning 10 percent get $24.31 per hour or $50,560 per year while the top earning 10 percent get a mean $57.37 per hour or $119,320 per year.
  • This average is slightly more than the mean earned by all 2.3 million engineering and architecture occupations, which runs $36.32 per hour or $75,550 per year.
  • It is over 85 percent more than the mean $21.35 per hour or $44,410 per year earned by all 127 million workers in the U.S.

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Industries

The industries with the best pay for civil engineers are the following:

  1. Commercial and industrial machinery repair and maintenance have means at $64.34 per hour or $133,830 per year. This does not include automotive and electronic equipment.
  2. Wholesalers for plumbing and heating equipment, and hardware offer a mean $53.93 per hour or $112.180 per year.
  3. Other unclassified heavy and civil engineering construction companies average $47.70 per hour or $96,390 per year.

The industries with the lowest pay for civil engineers are the following:

  1. Manufacturers or commercial and service industry machinery pay mean wages of $28.18 per hour or $58,620 per year.
  2. Insurance brokerages have mean salaries of $28.39 per hour or $59,050 per year.
  3. Government-owned elementary and secondary schools average $29.97 per hour or $62,340 per year.

States

The top paying states for civil engineers are as follows:

  1. California, the most populous state, offers means at $45.66 per hour or $94,970 per year.
  2. Louisiana averages $44.58 per hour or $92,730 per year.
  3. Alaska, where a high-cost of living raises all salaries, shows mean wages of $42.96 per hour or $89,350 per year.

The states with the lowest wages for civil engineers are as follows:

  1. Puerto Rico, with averages at $29.42 per hour or $61,190 per year, and Guam at $30.97 per hour or $64,420 per year.
  2. South Dakota has mean salaries at $31.12 per hour or $64,740 per year.
  3. Montana shows average wages at $31.43 per hour or $65,370 per year.
  4. West Virginia has mean salaries at $32.47 per hour or $67,540 per year.

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Cities

The following cities boast the top pay for civil engineers:

  1. San Jose, California, in the heart of high-tech Silicon Valley, shows means at $50.05 per hour or $104,110 per year.
  2. Houston, Texas, which depends on energy production such as oil and gas, averages $49.52 per hour or $102,990 per year.
  3. Riverside, California, shows mean salaries at $47.99 per hour or $99,810 per year.

The following cities have the lowest pay for civil engineers.

  1. The lowest salaries are in Aguadilla, Ponce and Mayaguez in Puerto Rico. They run between $23.15 to $25.32 per hour or $48,160 to $52,660 per year.
  2. Cape Girardeau, Montana, shows means at $25.41 per hour or $52,850 per year.
  3. Johnson City, Tennessee, averages $25.66 per hour or $53,370 per year.

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5 comments

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Very interesting. I'll have to let my significant other see this - he's a mechanical engineer and his dad was a civil engineer. Hmmm. Good food for thought. Thanks for sharing.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Thanks again for stopping by cclitgirl. I hope your S.O. also reads my mechanical engineering salaries hub.


Ian Dabasori Hetr profile image

Ian Dabasori Hetr 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

Some great information there. Use to hate engineering course back in college but some how got a pass and graduated..lolz. Useful and voted up.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Very interesting information. Apparently, I chose the wrong major (well, financially anyway). I could have skipped the five years it took to get the doctorate and made twice the money instead. lol Oh, well. Good Hub.


antigravity profile image

antigravity 20 months ago

Thanks for sharing useful information about civil engineering because it is an evergreen job sector. Your career graph grows rapidily when you join in civil engineer works.

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