Becoming a civil engineer in Minnesota will allow the candidate to take advantage of great job opportunities. It all begins with great educational programs, including the one at the University of Minnesota which is consistently ranked near the top of the country, and continues with passing the Professional Engineering licensing tests. Finally, there are many great career opportunities to be found in Minnesota as a civil engineer.
All civil engineering programs begin with the basic 101 course and moves up through various electives in transportation, mapping, and other essential lines of study depending on one’s interests. Juniors and seniors can take advantage of internship and co-op programs as long as they have completed at least one semester at the university and these will let them work directly with local private and government engineering firms while still working towards their degree. The six-month co-ops give students a chance to see the professional environment firsthand while gaining job experience and meeting potential employers. The undergraduate is generally a four year degree, with an opportunity to gain a two-year Master’s degree as well.
A state board handles the bi-annual licensing exams for fundamentals and principles and practices of engineering. Starting in 2014, that test will be moving from a paper-based system to a computer-based system. The license depends upon the following:
- graduating from an accredited program
- passing the certification exams
- work experience
The Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers says that having the professional engineering license will demonstrate to employers that you have the highest quality and standards available to an engineer, and it highly recommends getting it. The MSPE offers continuing education seminars free for their members should any engineer wish to continue learning more about their field.
Minnesota has a very high skill workforce base with a strong need for talented engineers to work in both the government and private engineering firms or construction. The average salary for civil engineers in Minnesota is $78,100. Salaries in Minneapolis and Saint Paul rank above the national average for civil engineers, however, salaries in rural Minnesota may be somewhat lower than the national average. Many engineering companies in Minnesota work with the transportation systems, on bridges and dams in the many rivers and waterways, including the Mississippi river, which means there is a fairly steady need for engineers long into the future.