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Civil engineering is one of the oldest of the engineering fields It is very broad with many subspecialties Structural engineers are concerned with the design and erection of both large and small structures These can range from small warehouses to skyscrapers from highway overpasses to large bridges and include dams of all sizes Both steel and concrete designs may be called for Geotechnical and soil mechanics engineers evaluate the capacity of rocks and soils to bear heavy structures Water resource engineers deal with water collection and purification the erection of dams flood control irrigation and water distribution systems Environmental or sanitary engineers are concerned with water and sewage treatment as well as the disposal of residential and industrial wastes The protection of rivers and lakes is part of their responsibility Here a knowledge of chemistry and biology must be added to the engineering base Transportation engineers design highway and public transportation systems to meet the needs of local and intercity traffic Employment in the Field The National Science Foundation estimates that in the early 1980s there were nearly 2 million engineers employed in the United States Nearly 90 percent of them had bachelors or advanced degrees These included about 471000 electrical or electronic engineers 372000 mechanical engineers 272000 civil engineers and 115000 chemical engineers The greatest concentration of engineers was in the following industries electrical machinery 15 percent transportation equipment 13 percent nonelectrical machinery 12 percent communications equipment 8 percent and aircraft and parts 7 percent About 76 percent of all engineers were employed in business and industry about 8 percent by the federal government nearly 4 percent in educational institutions and the remaining 12 percent in various areas including state and local governments From 1976 to 1983 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics engineering employment in the United States grew by about 40 percent It promises continued growth The greatest demand is expected to be for computer electronic and aeronautical engineers
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