CAREER CHANGE– teacher turned civil engineer

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

Sorry, not me, but I wish you well!!!!

Post # 4
920 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I worked for a civil engineering company for 2 years. It seemed like all the engineers loved problem solving and designing. We worked with municipalities exclusively which proved to be a huge challenge on the business end…. governments now are cutting budgets and it was always a fight to get sales/projects from them because they didn’t have the extra money to redo roads or work on their sewer systems, etc. In this area it was highly competitive and my company wasn’t one of the strongest competitors. I worked on marketing for the company and got so frustrated. We would submit responses to cities’ requests for services and maybe got chosen for the project 10% of the time. In many cases the engineer/project manager was responsible for being the client liaison too… they wore a lot of hats! Of course not all civil engineers end up working for a private engineering firn, but that was my experience with it! 



Post # 5
94 posts
Worker bee

I’m a civil engineer! I work a bit out of the field these days, still within engineering, but less of a civil focus.

how long will it take you to get the eng degree? Will you study full time or continue teaching as you study? I have a friend who went the other way- engineering but retrained into maths teaching. Do what you love!

Post # 6
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Wow, that is a big change!  Good for you!

I am an Environmental/Water Resources Engineer (which is pretty close to Civil) and I love it!  I’ve been working in a consulting firm since graduating and my job definitely keeps me on my toes.  I find the projects I get to work on give me a better understanding of how the world works, and I get to work for a good variety of clients in various industries which keeps it interesting. 

The one thing that can be challenging is that some (not all, but some) engineers are a little lacking in the social skills department, so sometimes they can be hard folks to work with.  So I would say as you are going through your program, and later on with work, that’s just something to be aware of.  There also tend to be more men in engineering than women (not necessarily a bad thing – I like working with men) but again something to keep in mind.  Right now the group I work in has 15 people, and 3 of those are women.

Post # 7
2394 posts
Buzzing bee


I am a teacher too and like you I am also looking to get off of this sinking ship. You go, girl! In civil engineering you will be well compensated for your talent, creativity and hard work. (Unlike in teaching…)

Post # 9
2394 posts
Buzzing bee


I hear everything you’re saying… we plunged head first into Common Core this year and have gotten one mixed message after another over how we’re supposed to be implementing it. Meanwhile we’re supposed to write an encyclopedia’s worth of learning benchmarks on our boards everyday, “what are we learning” boards and specific learning scales for each lesson; and 90% of our planning periods are now being chewed up by meetings and trainings.

I have spent $1,000 out of pocket on supplies so far and am now putting on the brakes with the spending. From now on, if it isn’t provided to me by the school district, it’s not happening in my room.

I’ve been spending hours and hours this Christmas break crunching numbers, trimming expenses in the household budget (phone/cable service changes, etc.) and am planning to switch jobs, which will probably mean a pay cut. And I don’t care about the money anymore… not that teaching pays that much money.

I just want a job where I’m not taking home bags and bags full of work (UN-PAID WORK) weeknights and weekends, while being jerked around and abused by administration.  It’s not worth it anymore.

I love my students too. But I love my mental health more than I love them, LOL. The taxpayers have gotten their money’s worth out of me and this gravy train is about to shut down. 


Post # 10
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@karmalkween:  Not a civil engineer but am a former Math teacher.  I switched careers after 2 years and haven’t looked back once.

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