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Salaries Are a Matter of Degrees
The 2021 ASCE Civil Engineering Salary Report reveals that no matter how you slice it, salaries for civil engineers are on the rise. The report, which draws data from ASCE's 2020 salary survey, shows chat the average base salary fo r a civil engineer rose 3.9% in 2020, to $124, 192; examined another way, the median base salary rose 4.5% to $11 5,000.
Those increases are significantly better than the rate of inflation - which was 1.4% in 2020, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data - and the average worker's salary increase that year - 2.3% - as reported by the Society of Human Resource Management.
Not surprisingly, salaries increase with education level, years of experience, and degree of responsibility. In fact, a civil engineer whose highest degree is a bachelor's earned a lower-than-median salary of $108,000 in 2020. But salaries rose quickly with increased levels of education. A civil engineer holding a master's degree in engineering earned a median salary of $118,066, and a civil engineer holding a Ph.D. or equivalent earned a median of $127,000. Those who made the commitment to earn a Master of Business Administration were rewarded even more, with a median salary of $150,050.
Of course, professional practice credentials matter as well; those with professional engineer licenses earned more than the median salary ($123,35 0). Engineers who added Project Management Professional certifications enjoyed a median salary of $140,250.
The survey revealed that becoming certified in a specialty can also provide a salary boost. Registered land surveyors earned a median salary of $ 126,500 in 2020. Licensed structural engineers earned a median of $136,087, and registered geotechnical engineers earned a median of $156,040.
Becoming a diplomate made a significant difference as well. Diplomate water resource engineers earned a median of $ 166, 125, and diplomate geotechnical engineers earned a median of $177,000.
Interested in sustainable design and infrastructure? Consider becoming licensed as an Envision Sustainability Professional (median salary: $120,000) or a Leadershipin Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (median salary: $148,000).