Civil engineers build and maintain bridges, roads, airports, dams, sewage systems and many other types of structures and facilities. Demand and wages for civil engineers in South Dakota continues to increase.

Southeast Technical Institute and Western Dakota Technical Institute are two of a few schools in South Dakota that offer an Associates degree in Civil Engineering. South Dakota State University and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology both offer a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering.

Civil engineers spend most of their time in an office where they are responsible for designing and supervising municipal construction projects like bridges, sewage systems, or apartment buildings. Occasionally civil engineers visit project sites to ensure plans are being properly followed.

Civil engineers, regardless of state, must complete a bachelor’s degree program in civil engineering that is ABET-accredited. After completing a bachelor’s degree program a civil engineer must then pass the Fundamentals of Engineering(FE) exam. After passing the FE exam a civil engineer is qualified to be an intern where they must gain at least four years of experience before they can apply to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering(PE) exam. Passing the PE exam is the last major hurdle before becoming a fully license civil engineer in South Dakota. In order to maintain their license engineers are expected to continue their education by attending at least 30 professional development hours every two years.

Employment opportunities for civil engineers in South Dakota are expected to grow by 24 percent between 2008 and 2018, nationally growth is expected to be slightly lower according to the BLS. Growth in the industry is attributed to increased infrastructure spending and population growth. Civil engineers earn an average of $82,000 per year and can be as high as $133,000 per year.

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