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6. Civil Engineer
Civil Engineer
Growing up in Nigeria, Bakare wanted to be a civil engineer like his dad.
Top 100 rank: 6
Sector: Construction, Architecture, Engineering

What they do: Design and supervise the creation of highways, bridges, sewer and water systems, power plants, and the like. Huge projects in countries like China and India are creating a shortage of qualified local engineers, bolstering demand for U.S. talent. America's own infrastructure is in desperate need of an overhaul.

What's to like: What's perhaps most satisfying for engineers is the tangible legacy they leave. "My son and grandson will be able to see how I left my mark on the world," says Tajudeen Bakare, 52, of CT Consultants, who has designed major bridge and highway improvements in the Columbus area. You can find jobs no matter what kind of community you prefer, from big cities to small towns.

What's not to like: The maze of permits and regulations can be maddening. Writing detailed proposals and speaking at local government hearings are not every engineer's idea of nirvana.

Requirements: A bachelor's in civil engineering and a state license. Specialty jobs like structural engineer often require a master's.

Do Civil Engineers have great jobs, or what?
Civil Engineer stats
Pay
Median pay
(experienced)
$80,000
Top pay $120,000
Opportunity
10-year job growth
(2008-2018)
24%
Total jobs
(current)
170,000
Quality of life ratings
Personal satisfaction B
Job security B
Future growth A
Benefit to society B
Low stress C
Flexibility B
From the November 2010 issue
Notes: All pay data from PayScale.com. Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2008-18. Total current employment level is estimated number of people working in each specific job

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
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MONEY and compensation experts PayScale.com used Bureau of Labor Statistics growth forecasts for 7,000 jobs, and identified industries with the biggest increases in jobs requiring bachelorís degrees. Ranked them by 2008-18 growth and pay. More

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