Investigated Career Choice

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I am currently a high school student aspiring to receive a career in Civil Engineering. Ever since I was a child, I have always bombarded myself with certain questions. Who builds these roads? Who builds these bridges? How did someone manage to build these large infrastructures? From this curiosity, I discovered Civil Engineering. Henceforth, I have decided to be a civil engineer because this occupation fascinated me and allows me to help the society that I commune with. Although this career may be difficult to achieve, I will not waver. Promptly after completing the Clifton Strengths Assessment, my top characteristic was achiever. This meant that I am very hard working and productive. My second trait was competition, which means that I always strive to outperform others. My third trait is deliberative, which means that I am very cautious when making decisions and anticipate possible obstacles. My fourth trait is learner, which means that I am captivated with learning and I am always striving to improve. Finally, my last trait is responsibility, which means that I follow through with my actions and stay committed to my established values (Clifton). Furthermore, I am confident that all these traits will play a vital role in my career choice. First and foremost, since I am very persevering, I will be able to work hard and achieve my career and achieve the goals that I may have within my career. My competitive attitude allows me to outperform my peers within the Civil Engineering field and helps me acquire superior position. Being a learner continuously helps me because it allows me to improve in my career and all aspects of my live. Lastly, since I am also deliberative and responsible, I will be able to make decisive decisions and commit to my goals within my career.

While being a civil engineer, I will be required to design, supervise, and build various infrastructures that are beneficial to the society. These structures include bridges, roads, airports, power supplies, sewers, dams and electrical systems. In addition, civil engineers are also responsible for repairing and rebuilding these infrastructures (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In order to become a civil engineer, individuals must obtain a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in one of its specialties (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In addition to obtaining a degree, a civil engineer must also complete an internship and pass a certification exam. This field’s job outlook is projected to increase by 6%, which is considered average (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). As for the financial aspect of this occupation, the 2018 median pay of a civil engineer is $86,640. The highest 10 percent received more than $142,560, while the lowest 10 percent received $54,780.

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Civil engineers in the Houston area have identical responsibilities and tasks as other civil engineers in other areas; however, the average pay of civil engineers in the Houston area is higher than the national average. According to the HCC Career Coach, civil engineers in Houston normally earn $106,389 annually, whereas the standard national average is only $86,640. In addition, there are currently 10,045 civil engineers employed in the Houston area; however, this number is predicted to increase to 10,936 in the year 2029, which is about a 9 percent increase. (HCC Career Coach). Therefore, the job outlook of this field is higher in Houston than it is nationally. As for the education, civil engineers in Houston usually also obtain a bachelor’s degree.

According to the Texas Reality Check assessment, in order to sustain a preferred lifestyle for myself, I would need to earn $84,555 annually. I plan to live a relaxed and pleasant life. I do not need to own expensive items or live an exorbitant life. I will be satisfied and happy if I am able to provide for family with the necessities. I also plan to save my excess money so that I may provide my children with a good education and for any vacations. After doing research on the statistics of my occupation, I am definitely able to reach the salary requirements (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Both the national and local salaries are sufficient towards my lifestyle. Since both salaries are higher compared to the necessary salary, I will have excess income. With this money, I can repay my parents and take care of them as they have done for me. In addition, if there is still excess money, I can save it for additional activities that I may partake in. These activities could be investment or travelling.

If I could move to another other city, I would choose Los Angeles, California because it has always been very appealing to me. However, according to the CNN’s Cost of Living Calculator, the cost of living in Los Angeles is approximately 54% percent higher than living in Houston. In other words, if my preferred salary in Houston is around $85,000, it would be $131,042 in Los Angeles. Firstly, all of the expenses in Los Angeles are substantially raised. The transportation, housing, and grocery expenses are very high. Grocery rates are increased by 30 percent, transportation rates are increased by 30 percent, and housing costs are increased by a massive 160 percent (CNN Money). My other choice of destination would be Denver, Colorado because some of my relatives reside there. After depositing Denver into the calculator, the cost of living would increase by about 18 percent. Specifically, I would need to make a minimum of $99,875 if I decided to relocate there. The factors that contributes to this increase is the food costs, housing costs, and healthcare costs. The housing rates are increased by 56 percent, the grocery costs are increased by 14 percent, while the healthcare costs are increased by 10 percent (CNN Money). Furthermore, after analyzing these two different areas, I can conclude that housing and food are some of the main factors that contributes to a place’s cost of living. After conducting these calculations, I have decided to most likely stay in Houston because the cost of living is much less.

Volunteering is one of the best ways to familiarize myself with my career choice. When I was researching different volunteering opportunities, I came across two organizations that were very interesting. The first volunteering match was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This organization offered aspiring Civil Engineering students a chance to become a trainee or intern. Within this internship, I will be required to test and inspect construction projects, participate in partner meetings, draft construction designs, and plan design projects. While attending this internship, I will also participate in other activities in order to; furthermore, advance my engineering experience. The second volunteering opportunity that I have located is with an organization known as Rebuilding Together Houston. In this volunteering job, I will work together with other Houstonians in order to rebuild and repair homes. While participating, I get a chance to interact with others and use some of my engineering skills. Both of these volunteering opportunities can help me improve my professional network. First and foremost, these activities allow me to gain hands-on experience and allows me to utilize my learned experiences. In addition, it also helps me increase my social skills. In both ventures, I will be socializing with other volunteers which will help me improve my communication skills within my actual profession. Considering these benefits, volunteering can considerably improve my skills in my occupation.

While composing this essay, I have learned many important information about my career choice. Using this information, I can construct a conclusive goal for myself. Once I complete my bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and complete all the necessary training and qualifications, I will join the labor force as a civil engineer. In order to do this, I would first need to do well academically. Since attending high school and college is the first step of obtaining this occupation, I need to continue to keep my grades up. The second step would be doing competently within my Civil Engineering internship. This internship is very important because it enables me to obtain first-hand experience within this profession. Finally, the last step would be the final certification exams. In order to be accepted and licensed as a civil engineer, I would need to pass these exams. Since I am still a freshman in high school, I plan to complete these tasks or goals within the next 12 years. Within these years, I may face many obstacles. One of these obstacles could be the difficulty of the courses within my college career. Since I am in high school, I do not know of the college experience; however, I can only expect it to be exponentially harder. Even with this struggle, I can still overcome it by focusing on my studies and continuing to hone my academic skills. Another obstacle could be an insufficient amount of money. In other words, it would be a crisis if I did not have the enough funds for my tuition. Although this is a major issue, I still feel that I can overcome it by applying for financial aid and earning scholarships. Additionally, another problem could occur when I am obtaining the necessary skills within my internship. As an intern, I will be provided with many hands-on tasks unlike the written assignments in college. This may create difficulties because it is something that I am not accustomed to. However, this can be solved if I volunteer with certain engineering organizations before graduating. If I can volunteer ahead of time, I will be prepared when I start my internship. Considering my assets and liabilities, if I am able to accomplish my goal, it will be very gratifying, and my life will only become better.

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Investigated Career Choice. (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
“Investigated Career Choice.” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022,
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