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Top 10 Civil Project Engineer Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for civil project engineers, including requirements, benefits, and potential career paths.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for civil project engineers in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise, knowledge and experience that employers look for when hiring. Certifications often provide evidence of specialized training and education, as well as practical experience in the field, which can help to set an engineer apart from other applicants. Additionally, certifications can be used to demonstrate continuing professional development and a commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and technology. For these reasons, certifications are an integral part of a civil project engineer's success in the job market.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the most beneficial certifications for Civil Project Engineers, and how they can help enhance their professional development and career prospects.

What are Civil Project Engineer Certifications?

Civil project engineer certification is a professional credential that demonstrates a level of knowledge and proficiency in the field of civil engineering. This certification is offered by various organizations and can be obtained by passing an examination that tests an individual's technical expertise in the areas of civil engineering design, construction methods, project management, and safety regulations. With this certification, civil engineers are better equipped to provide high-quality services to their clients.

In addition to providing proof of technical competency, obtaining a civil project engineer certification can also help individuals advance their careers. The certification demonstrates a commitment to excellence in the field and shows employers that the individual is committed to continuing education and staying up-to-date on the latest developments in civil engineering. It also serves as a valuable networking tool, allowing certified professionals to connect with other qualified professionals who specialize in similar areas. Finally, it can open doors for career advancement opportunities such as promotions or job offers from leading companies in the industry.

Pro Tip: To become a certified civil project engineer, it is important to obtain a Professional Engineer (PE) license. The PE license is the most widely recognized engineering certification in the U.S., and it requires passing an exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Additionally, aspiring civil project engineers should also consider obtaining specialty certifications from organizations like the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) or the American Concrete Institute (ACI). These specialty certifications can demonstrate expertise in specific areas of civil engineering such as structural design or construction management.

Related: What does a Civil Project Engineer do?

Top 10 Civil Project Engineer Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Civil Project Engineers today.

1. Professional Engineer (PE) Certification

Professional Engineer (PE) Certification is a professional licensure for engineers in the United States. It is granted by state boards of engineering and administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). This certification demonstrates that an engineer has met the educational, experience, and examination requirements set forth by their respective state board.

In order to obtain a PE license, an individual must first complete an accredited engineering program at either a college or university. After completing their degree, they must then gain relevant experience through supervised work in their field of engineering. Generally, this requires four years of full-time work under the supervision of a licensed engineer. Once these requirements are met, applicants can then take the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam (PE Exam). The exam consists of two parts: a general engineering portion and a specific discipline portion.

The cost for taking the PE Exam varies depending on the state in which you are applying. The NCEES charges $225 per exam part plus any applicable taxes or fees associated with your state board’s processing fee. Additionally, some states may require additional fees such as application fees or background checks.

Once all requirements have been met and the exam has been passed, applicants will be issued their Professional Engineer license from their respective state board. This process can take anywhere from several weeks to several months depending on each individual’s circumstances.

2. Certified Construction Manager (CCM) Certification

Certified Construction Manager (CCM) Certification is a professional certification program that provides construction professionals with the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to the construction industry. The CCM certification is administered by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).

The certification process consists of three steps:

1. Submit an application for the CCM exam.

2. Pass the CCM exam, which consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as project management, contract administration, safety, quality control and more.

3. Complete a minimum of four years of documented experience in construction management or related fields.

It typically takes two to three months to complete all three steps and receive your CCM certification. The cost for the application fee and exam fee is $399 USD for CMAA members and $499 USD for non-members.

3. Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification

Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a globally recognized professional credential offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to demonstrate an individual’s proficiency in project management and their commitment to the profession. The PMP certification recognizes an individual’s ability to effectively manage projects, lead teams, and deliver results.

It typically takes between six months to one year to complete the process of getting a PMP certification. This includes studying for and passing the PMP exam, completing the application process, and meeting the experience requirements set by PMI.

To become certified as a PMP, you must meet certain criteria set by PMI. You must have either a secondary degree (high school diploma or equivalent) plus at least five years of project management experience with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects; OR a four-year degree plus at least three years of project management experience with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects.

The cost of obtaining your PMP certification varies depending on whether you are an existing member of PMI or not. If you are an existing member of PMI then it will cost $405 for members and $555 for non-members. If you are not currently a member of PMI then it will cost $555 for members and $1,080 for non-members.

4. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Certification

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes the knowledge and experience of civil engineers in their field. The certification is designed to demonstrate the commitment to excellence in engineering practice and to enhance the public's confidence in the profession.

The ASCE Certification Program consists of two levels: Professional Engineer (PE) and Structural Engineer (SE). In order to obtain either level of certification, applicants must meet certain educational, experience, and examination requirements.

To become a PE or SE, an applicant must have an accredited bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or related field; four years of relevant work experience; and pass a comprehensive exam. Depending on the state where you are applying for certification, additional requirements may apply.

The process of obtaining ASCE Certification typically takes between six months and one year from start to finish. It begins with submitting an application package which includes proof of education and work experience as well as other supporting documents. After submitting your application package, you will be required to take the appropriate exam which can take up to several months depending on when it is offered in your area. Once you pass the exam, your application will be reviewed by ASCE’s Board of Examiners who will then determine if you meet all the necessary qualifications for certification.

The cost for obtaining ASCE Certification varies depending on where you live and what type of certification you are seeking. Generally speaking, it costs around $500-$1000 to apply for certification plus any additional fees associated with taking the exam such as registration fees or travel expenses.

5. LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) Certification

LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) Certification is a professional credentialing program offered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of green building principles and practices, as well as the ability to implement them in the design, construction and operation of buildings.

The LEED AP certification process typically takes between three to six months to complete and requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy optimization and indoor environmental quality. To become certified, applicants must also demonstrate their knowledge of green building principles through a portfolio review or other evidence of experience.

To get LEED AP certification, applicants must first register with the USGBC and pay an application fee. Once registered, they can choose from one of three different paths: self-study, instructor-led study or online study. After completing the coursework required for their chosen path, applicants must then take the LEED AP exam at a local testing center or online. The cost of registration and exam fees varies depending on the path chosen but typically ranges from $200-$500 USD.

Once certified, LEED APs are able to provide valuable guidance on green building projects and help organizations achieve their sustainability goals. They are also eligible for continuing education credits which can be used towards maintaining their certification status in the future.

6. Construction Quality Management for Contractors (CQM-C) Certification

Construction Quality Management for Contractors (CQM-C) Certification is a program that has been developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that contractors are meeting quality standards on construction projects. The certification requires contractors to demonstrate their ability to manage and control quality during the entire life cycle of a construction project, from planning and design through completion and closeout.

The CQM-C certification process typically takes 6-8 weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the project and the contractor's experience level. The process involves completing an online application, attending a two-day training course, passing a written exam, and submitting documentation related to previous projects. The cost of the CQM-C certification varies depending on the size of the company and the number of employees who need to be certified. Generally speaking, it can range from $1,000-$2,500 per person for training materials and exam fees.

In order to maintain CQM-C certification, contractors must participate in continuing education activities every three years. This includes attending seminars or workshops related to quality management topics as well as participating in self-study activities such as reading books or articles about quality management topics.

7. Certified Professional in Stormwater Quality (CPSWQ) Certification

The Certified Professional in Stormwater Quality (CPSWQ) certification is a professional certification program administered by the International Erosion Control Association (IECA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and expertise in stormwater quality management. The CPSWQ certification is intended for professionals who are involved in stormwater quality management, including engineers, landscape architects, planners, regulators, and other professionals.

To obtain the CPSWQ certification, applicants must complete an application process that includes submitting a detailed resume of relevant experience and passing an exam. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and covers topics such as erosion control best practices, stormwater regulations, design principles, and water quality monitoring. Applicants must also demonstrate their commitment to continuing education by completing at least 12 hours of approved training courses within the past three years.

The application process typically takes four to six weeks to complete. Once approved for the certification, applicants will receive their certificate within two weeks. The cost of the CPSWQ certification varies depending on whether or not you are an IECA member; non-members pay $400 while members pay $300.

8. Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Certification

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Certification is a professional certification program that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of transportation engineering. The ITE Certification Program is designed to provide recognition for professionals who have demonstrated their abilities in the field of transportation engineering. It also serves as an indication to employers, clients, and colleagues that an individual has achieved a certain level of knowledge and proficiency in the area of transportation engineering.

To obtain ITE Certification, applicants must meet certain educational requirements and have at least five years of experience in the field of transportation engineering. Applicants must also pass a written exam that covers topics such as traffic operations, traffic safety, highway design, public transit planning, and more. After passing the exam, applicants must submit a portfolio demonstrating their mastery of the subject matter.

The process typically takes between six months to one year to complete. The cost for the ITE Certification Program varies depending on which type of certification you are seeking (i.e., Professional Engineer or Certified Transportation Professional). Generally speaking, it costs around $400-$500 for each certification application fee plus additional fees for exams and portfolio submission.

9. Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) Certification

Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) Certification is a professional certification program offered by the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). The CFM program provides a way for floodplain managers to demonstrate their knowledge and experience in the field. It also serves as a benchmark for employers to identify qualified professionals.

The CFM certification process involves completing an application, passing an exam, and meeting continuing education requirements. The application process requires applicants to provide information about their educational background, work experience, and other qualifications related to floodplain management. Once the application is approved, applicants must pass an exam administered by ASFPM. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as hydrology, hydraulics, floodplain mapping, and risk assessment.

The entire process typically takes several months to complete. It can take up to three months for applications to be processed and exams to be scheduled. After passing the exam, applicants must complete at least 24 hours of continuing education credits every two years in order to maintain their certification status.

The cost of the CFM certification varies depending on the applicant’s membership status with ASFPM. Non-members pay $450 for the application fee and $200 for the exam fee; members pay $350 for the application fee and $150 for the exam fee.

10. Environmental Protection Agency Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Certifications

The Environmental Protection Agency Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Certification is a program designed to protect the public from exposure to lead-based paint hazards during renovation, repair, and painting activities. The RRP rule requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, schools built before 1978 have their firm certified by EPA (or an EPA authorized state).

To become certified under the RRP rule firms must:

1. Be registered with EPA as a Lead Safe Certified Firm

2. Have at least one supervisor who has been trained in the use of lead-safe work practices

3. Follow lead-safe work practices when performing renovations

4. Provide educational materials to occupants about lead safety

5. Keep records of renovations for three years after completion

6. Comply with all other applicable requirements of the RRP rule.

Getting certified can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on how quickly you complete the necessary steps and paperwork. To get certified you must first register your firm with EPA and then attend an 8-hour training course conducted by an EPA-approved trainer. After completing the training course you will need to submit documentation verifying your successful completion of the training course to EPA or your state’s certification authority. Once your application is approved you will receive a certificate of compliance which must be displayed prominently at any job site where renovation activities are being performed.

The cost of getting certified varies depending on the type of certification needed and the state or region in which you are located. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $200-$500 for initial certification and $100-$200 for annual recertification fees.

Do You Really Need a Civil Project Engineer Certificate?

A civil project engineer certificate is a great way to demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in the field of civil engineering. However, it is important to consider whether or not you actually need a certificate to advance your career.

The answer depends on a few factors. If you are just starting out in the field, then having a certificate may give you an edge over other candidates when applying for jobs. It can also provide employers with assurance that you have the necessary qualifications and training to get the job done right. On the other hand, if you already have experience in civil engineering, then having a certificate may not be as important as having other qualifications such as practical experience and problem solving skills.

At the end of the day, it comes down to what your goals are and what type of career path you want to pursue. If your goal is to become a top-level civil project engineer, then obtaining a certificate could certainly help in achieving this goal. However, if your focus is more on gaining practical experience and developing your problem solving skills, then investing time and money into obtaining a certificate may not be necessary or even beneficial.

Related: Civil Project Engineer Resume Examples

FAQs About Civil Project Engineer Certifications

1. What qualifications do I need to become a Civil Project Engineer?

Answer: In order to become a Civil Project Engineer, you must have an appropriate bachelor's degree in civil engineering or related field, as well as experience working on civil engineering projects. Licensing may also be required depending on the state in which you will be practicing.

2. How long does it take to complete a Civil Project Engineer Certification?

Answer: Depending on the specific program and certification requirements, completion of a Civil Project Engineer Certification can take anywhere from six months to two years.

3. Are there any prerequisites for taking a Civil Project Engineer Certification exam?

Answer: Yes, most programs require that applicants have either an associate's degree in civil engineering or relevant work experience prior to taking the exam. Additionally, some programs may require that applicants pass prerequisite exams before being eligible for the certification exam.

4. What topics are covered in a Civil Project Engineer Certification exam?

Answer: The topics covered in a Civil Project Engineer Certification exam vary by program but typically include topics such as project management, budgeting and scheduling, contract management, and construction techniques and materials.

5. Are there any continuing education requirements for maintaining my Civil Project Engineer certification?

Answer: Yes, most programs require that certified professionals maintain their certifications by completing continuing education courses or attending seminars on relevant topics every few years or so.