Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

Sustainable Growth and the Role of Engineering

May 13th, 2015

A career in engineering offers you many benefits – most notably the potential for a lucrative salary and a sense of professional and personal accomplishment. That latter benefit really comes into play when working on an engineering project that helps the general public. The civil engineering discipline definitely provides many opportunities to use your skills for the common good.

Achieving a sustainable growth model is a worthy goal for many entities in the world – countries, municipalities, and more. With the specter of climate change, it becomes even more important when contrasting business development and growth against the environment’s ability to provide the necessary natural resources that support expansion. Let’s take a closer look at how civil engineering makes a difference in this area.

Sustainable Engineering in the 21st Century

The importance of technology’s influence on sustainability has led to a new term called sustainable engineering. While many areas of engineering can contribute to improved sustainability, civil engineering offers you the greatest chance to make a significant difference. Water supply systems, sustainable housing development, energy efficient transportation networks, and waste management are all areas of civil engineering that directly contribute to sustainability.

Applying green engineering techniques to these kinds of projects allows professionals to make a significant difference in the conservation of natural resources, while still providing the economic growth and development that benefit both the business world and the public. Discovering new techniques and processes to improve efficiency is one way engineers are able to make a positive impact using their skills and experience.

The Three Dimensional Model of Sustainable Development

A three-dimensional accounting framework known as the “triple bottom line” generally gets applied during the planning stages of projects leveraging sustainable engineering techniques. The three domains in this model describe a project’s impacts on the economy, the environment, and society as a whole. Some refer to these domains as the “3 Ps” which stand for people, profit, and the planet.

The ultimate goal for any project involves finding that sweet spot in the middle where all three areas are satisfied in a sustainable manner. In many cases, input from civil engineers helps a project hit that sweet spot by leveraging additional efficiencies derived from engineering innovations. This is especially notable in public transportation systems and improved water and waste utilities.

Ultimately, every civil engineer needs to pay close attention to the 3 Ps in the triple bottom line to ensure their work benefits the public both now and in the future.

If the promise of sustainable engineering inspires you to take your career to the next level, talk to the industry experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, we are a great source of Seattle engineering jobs and business insight. Make it a point to meet with us at your earliest convenience.

Civil Engineering Trends for 2015 — Which Skills will be the Most Valuable

December 9th, 2014

With the beginning of 2015 only a few weeks away, it is time to take stock of the world of civil engineering. This important scientific and technical discipline touches nearly all aspects of the human experience, from how we get the water needed for life to the roads where we commute to work everyday.

2015 is poised to be a big year for civil engineers. Let’s take a closer look at some expected trends for the practice over the next year.

Sustainable Development a Big Civil Engineering Trend

One of most promising civil engineering trends involves the increased emphasis on sustainable development practices. Considering the growing infrastructure problems in the United States and all over the world, engineers need to leverage sustainable techniques to improve the subsequent construction quality in building, road, and bridge design. It is also vital to improve energy efficiency when constructing buildings, considering the challenges of environmentally safe energy production in the 21st Century.

Nanotechnology and Smart Construction Materials gain Acceptance

Part of the move towards sustainable development in civil engineering involves the use of state of the art nanotechnology and smart construction materials to improve construction techniques. If you are currently working as a civil engineer with minimal exposure to these innovations, make the effort to research these new concepts as these skills are vital for your career development.

The Hot Civil Engineering Skills for the New Year

If you hope to become a civil engineer, or even look to improve your career prospects in the field, understanding nanotechnology and new construction techniques is paramount. Additionally, make sure you familiarize yourself with the latest versions of the engineering and design software and mobile apps used by engineers in their day-to-day work. No matter your engineering discipline, keeping abreast of new technologies and tools is an important part of your lifelong career.

If you need any additional advice on engineering career development, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, they are also a great source of Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with The Talley Group today!

Ethical Concerns for Civil Engineers

October 15th, 2014

The civil engineering field, like other engineering disciplines, relies on ethics to provide a moral center. Integrity, dignity, and honor remain the core traits for which all civil engineers strive. This happens through dedication to the hard work and problem solving that benefits both their clients and the public as a whole.

A Closer Look at the Core Principles of Engineering Ethics

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) maintains a Code of Ethics that gives guidance for how engineers can achieve the desired ethical impact on their profession. Four fundamental principles help execute this overall process.

  • Using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of human welfare and the environment.
  • Being honest and impartial and serving with fidelity the public, their employers and clients.
  • Striving to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession.
  • Supporting the professional and technical societies of their disciplines.

These same principles also apply for engineers of all disciplines. Leveraging skill and knowledge in an honest fashion to serve, while helping to raise the bar for the engineering profession as a whole is an inspirational charge that both motivates existing engineers while attracting new blood to the profession.

ASCE Code of Ethics offers a Roadmap for Engineers to Thrive

Beyond its core principles, the ASCE Code of Ethics offers additional detail on how civil engineers can energize their career by following their guidelines and fundamental canons. Whenever an engineer is faced with a difficult decision regarding project work or even a change in employer, the Code of Ethics serves professionals well as both a guidebook and a source of inspiration.

All civil engineers, and all engineers for that matter, would benefit greatly by studying the ASCE Code of Ethics, and use the content within to drive how they face each working day.

If you are looking to take your civil engineering career to the next level, talk to the staffing experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in the area, they provide a good source of Seattle engineering jobs and more. Make it a point to schedule a meeting with The Talley Group today!

Three Steps to Improve your Technical Writing

July 16th, 2014

While engineering ability and technical acumen are still vital attributes for anyone working as an engineer, it is important not to forget “soft” skills like verbal and written communication. Technical writing is especially relevant for an engineer, given the need for quality documentation in most projects.

Also, authoring an industry article or two helps to position yourself as a thought leader in the engineering field. In short, quality writing skills are good for your career. Given that fact, let’s take a look at three tips to improve your technical writing.

Find the Simple in the Complex

Considering the complex nature of most engineering disciplines, it is important for engineers to express these ideas simply in writing, especially when the audience is the general public. Even when producing technical documentation to be used in a project, take the steps to simplify the material by leveraging graphics, bullet points, and formatting. This helps make any documentation an easier read no matter the ultimate audience.

Leverage Templates and Modular Writing

For documentation that follows a standard format, leverage word processing templates to make the overall writing process easier. Some engineering firms also use modular writing techniques that allow each team on a project to contribute their own content to a larger, system-wide document. These templates and modular style usage also give the reader a familiar format that helps with understanding the underlying material.

Consider taking Formalized Technical Writing Classes

Since written communication skills definitely help your career prospects, it makes sense to consider taking a formal technical writing course. In addition to improving your writing, the best courses also help focus your mind on clearly defining the modular aspects of any engineering project. This clearer thinking also can ultimately sharpen your engineering skills in addition to your writing capabilities, so the benefits to improving your communication skills are many!

If you need any additional advice on engineering career development, including improving your written communication abilities, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in the Seattle area, they can help ensure your career stays on the right path. Schedule some time with them today to find out about the great civil engineering jobs in Seattle!

ASCE Certifications: What they do for you

April 9th, 2014

If you are already enjoying a successful career as a civil engineer, and are looking for a way to boost your standing or maybe transition into a leadership role, consider acquiring one of the certifications provided by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Becoming certified shows that you take your career seriously and have the right mix of skills and knowledge to be an asset to any civil engineering company in the business.

Let’s take a closer look at the types of available ASCE certifications and the process to acquire them.

The Available ASCE Certifications

The ASCE created an organization called Civil Engineering Certification, Inc. (CEC) to manage the process of certifying civil engineers in a variety of disciplines related to the field. Various academies within the CEC also offer these specialized certifications. These include water resource engineers, coastal ocean, port and navigation engineers, and geo-professionals.

Promoting the certification process through CEC achieves four main goals for the ASCE. They include: developing leadership, advancing technology, advocating lifelong learning, and promoting the civil engineering profession as a whole.

The advantages to you as a certified engineer are profound. Expect to be considered as a leader in your field; demonstrating a superior aptitude for the practice of civil engineering, along with a desire to stay on the leading edge of technology. Your clients are assured that you are highly qualified to work on their project needs.

The Certification Process

The specific certification process and requirements depend on the individual academy. You need to be actively employed in the specific civil engineering discipline, with over 10 years of experience and a PE license. An advanced degree or upwards of 30 hours of graduate level classes are another requirement.

A written application with all supporting documentation, three professional recommendations, and a series of oral examinations followed by an oral defense round out the application process. Becoming certified takes a lot of effort, but it is definitely worth it, considering the advantages for your career.

If you need any additional advice for career development in the engineering field, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing companies in Washington state, they have knowledgeable recruiters on hand, providing a great source for civil engineering jobs in Seattle. Schedule some time with them today!

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Civil Engineer Job Salary Review in Seattle WA

March 14th, 2014

Civil Engineer Jobs in Seattle: Salary Breakdown

Like most other engineering disciplines, civil engineers enjoy robust career benefits, including the rewards that come from performing a job needed by the public as a whole. Of course, civil engineering is also a well-paying profession with many opportunities for career development. The Seattle, Washington area is a solid place for the engineering profession in general, and civil engineering is no exception.

Average Civil Engineer Salary in Seattle

Civil engineers in the Seattle metropolitan area can expect to earn an average salary of $81,000 per year according to data from March of this year. This salary is about four percent higher than the average civil engineering salary for the entire United States. Once again, the Seattle region of the Northwest U.S. is a great place to be for engineers!

The national salary trend for civil engineers has held steady over the past two years. There have been some hills and valleys, but the salary index has remained close to 1.0, according to Indeed.com. As the economy continues to recover from the Great Recession, expect civil engineering salaries to trend upwards.

It pays to be an Experienced Civil Engineer

Becoming a “lifer” as a civil engineer can pay off in the long run, like most technical professions. Seattle’s average salary for a senior-level civil engineer comes in close to six figures at $98,000, but you can expect to find many senior positions in Seattle above the $100,000 level. Senior civil engineers specializing in highways average a little less salary at $81,000.

Structural engineering is another offshoot of civil engineering that can be lucrative with an average salary of $93,000. Engineers that want to move into project management will find a slightly higher pay rate. The average salary for civil engineer project managers in Seattle is $83,000.

If you are interested in many of the lucrative civil engineering jobs in Seattle, talk to engineering staffing experts at The Talley Group. As one of the leading engineering recruiters in the Seattle area, they are poised to help you and your career. Be sure to schedule some time with them today with a quick phone call or email.

 

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Civil Engineers giving U.S. Low Grade in Infrastructure

February 14th, 2014

The United States needs to upgrade its infrastructure and fast. That’s the opinion of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The ASCE feels this country’s infrastructure is actually close to an overall failure.

This infrastructure, according to ASCE, includes roads, bridges, rail, drinking water, waste water, solid waste, and other facilities. Its importance to the quality of life in the United States cannot be overstated.

ASCE Provides an Infrastructure Grade every Four Years

ASCE releases its grades of U.S. infrastructure once every four years. While the 2013 grade of D+ is a slight improvement over the D received in 2009, this isn’t really a reason to celebrate or take an early summer vacation. The country’s infrastructure has averaged around a D grade since the mid 90s, primarily due to a lack of investment and delayed maintenance work.

Eight categories make up the ASCE infrastructure grade. These include capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation, maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation. Solid waste earned the best grade in the current report card: a B-, while inland waterways and levees brought up the rear with a D-.

A Backlog of Maintenance Needs Funding

The ASCE study noted that new recurring methods of funding the nation’s infrastructure needs are vital for improving the grade. With proper funding, the pressing maintenance backlog can be lessened while also implementing long overdue modernization projects.

City and State level funding helped to improve the nation’s bridges grade, and private investment, enhancing overall efficiency and connectivity, improved the railway infrastructure across the nation.

The ASCE report concluded: “Infrastructure is also critical for long-term economic growth, increasing GDP, employment, household income, and exports. The reverse is also true – without prioritizing our nation’s infrastructure needs, deteriorating conditions can become a drag on the economy.

“For the U.S. economy to be the most competitive in the world, we need a first class infrastructure system.”

If working on the nation’s infrastructure needs inspired you to become a civil engineer, talk to engineering staffing experts at The Talley Group. As one of the leading leading recruiters for civil engineering jobs in Seattle, they can help you, your career, and possibly the country’s roads and bridges. Schedule some time with them today.

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