Illinois has several universities which offer a curriculum in civil engineering. Some major universities include, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Southern Illinois University, and Bradley University.
The civil engineering program typically takes four years to complete. Preliminary core courses are taken at a lower level which help the students get a better understanding of the more advanced courses. Some of the lower level courses include but are not limited to statics, dynamics, strength of materials, and soil mechanics. The soil mechanics class is enriched with a laboratory session, where students can get hands experience.
Upon completion of the preliminary courses, the students enroll in more advanced courses in structural analysis, concrete, masonry, and steel.
Licensing is administered and controlled by the Illinois State Board of Professional Engineers. Upon graduation, or as early as the last year of the program, students are encouraged to enroll in a multiple choice Engineering In Training (E.I.T) exam, which is also known as the Fundamentals in Engineering (F.E) exam. After a four years of experience in the field, most engineers go on to obtain a P.E. The Professional Engineering (P.E) exam is an eight hour exam, split into a morning and evening session. The benefits of having a P.E. license in Illinois include:
- the ability to stamp and seal designs
- bidding for government contracts
- offering consulting services
- becoming a principal in a firm
Licenses must be renewed every two years. The Illinois Department of Transportation, as well as the American Public Works Association offer lots of courses for continuing education.
Civil engineering has several specialties ranging from drainage, land development, structures, to irrigation. A handful of civil engineers in Illinois are employed in the public sector, helping government agencies in utilities, drainage and overall economic development. Illinois has several big international and local companies who employ civil engineers. They range from private companies focusing on development and construction to utility companies and the federal government.
Illinois Civil Engineering Employment Outlook
The average mean salary for a civil engineer and a license in Illinois is in roughly $82,120. With more experience civil engineers working in the public sectors with the state and small municipalities as well as those in the private sector earn salaries in the low hundreds. The field of civil engineering in Illinois is growing and will continue growing, since there will always be a need for services such infrastructure construction and maintenance.