The ASCE 2020 Civil Engineering Salary Report shows an industry with fundamentals that continue trending in the right direction.
The median pre-tax annual salary in 2019 among survey respondents was $115,000, up from $109,000 last year, continuing a half-decade-long trend of increasing compensation for civil engineers.
“This survey highlights the fact that prior to the pandemic, our profession was strong,” said ASCE President K.N. Gunalan, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE. “While the COVID-19 pandemic has indeed rocked the industry and every sector of the economy, the critical work of civil engineers has not stopped – keeping water and wastewater systems functioning; transportation systems including roads, bridges, ports, and airports delivering goods and services to our door steps; and electricity and telecommunications systems keeping us connected to the outside world as we have managed our day-to-day life and business in a largely virtual world.”
The salary report data is culled from responses of ASCE members about their jobs and financial compensation. This year, the typical respondent was a male in his early to mid-40s, with a bachelor’s or advanced degree and about 19 years of professional experience.
The typical median entry-level salary, according to the report, was $64,000.
The data also points to the importance of professional licensure and advanced education. Consider that the median salary for civil engineers with a professional engineer license was $121,000, or $31,000 higher than the median for civil engineers without any professional licenses or certifications.
In addition, the median annual salary for survey respondents who had Master of Arts or Master of Science degrees was nearly $14,000 more than that of respondents whose highest level of education attained was a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the industry in 2020, but the larger trends seen in the salary report would seem to portend a brighter future.
“If anything, the pandemic has shown that our work is essential to maintaining public health, safety, and quality of life,” Gunalan said. “While the timing may be uncertain, we are looking forward to a future where the industry continues the positive trends we’ve seen of increased demand for the skills and expertise that civil engineers possess.”
Learn more about how to access the entire 2020 ASCE Civil Engineering Salary Report, including unlimited access to searchable survey data, as well as the ASCE Salary Calculator, which allows users to assess how their salary compares with others. ASCE members get five free uses of the calculator or the searchable data.