The story of civilisation is, in a sense, the story of engineering. That long and arduous struggle to make the forces of nature work for a man’s good.
~ L. Sprague de camp
One of the oldest and most influential branches of engineering since the olden times is civil engineering. It uplifts the standard of living and paves the way for a comfortable lifestyle.
It needs no introduction since it is the occupation that is responsible for building the homes we live in, the offices we work in and the roads we walk on. It is the stepping stone for civilisation from the beginning.
The earliest remnants of civil engineering were found to have been built in ancient Egypt (Indus valley civilisation) and ancient Iraq (Mesopotamia). The pyramids of Giza and the Qanat water management system are examples of large-scale constructions undertaken by the first builders.
The Roman roads were the earliest roads that became an example for civilisations around the world to emulate and then eventually improve upon to make more economical.
From using large sized stones to the modern-day materials like bitumen, construction has become largely about being economical without any wastage of materials or money alike.
- Site engineer
- Project manager
- Geotechnical engineer
- Maintenance technician
- Technical assistant
- Site supervisor
- Structural engineer
- Auto cad draftsman
- Environmental engineer
- Bridge design technician
- Concrete technician
- Pollution control technician
- Highway engineer
- Traffic engineer
- Research and development
- Planning engineer
- Water resources technician
- Water supply systems designer
Courses and exams
Civil engineering is offered in a large number of institutions throughout the country. The minimum criteria for eligibility are 60% marks in science stream during 12th standard.
The various entrance exams for the same are listed below-
- Joint entrance exam (JEE-main)
- Joint entrance exam (JEE-advanced)
- Birla Institute of technology and Science admission test (BITSAT)
- Vellore Institute of technology engineering entrance exam (VITEEE)
- SRM university engineering exam
- Indraprastha university common entrance test (IPU-CET)
The total duration of a civil engineering B.Tech/B.E degree is 4 years.
Civil engineering has a very vast scope and hence has around 15 sub-disciplines related to different aspects of construction such as geotechnical engineering, water resources engineering, highway engineering, environmental engineering, structural engineering etc.
The roles of different sub-discipline differ drastically from each other. Hence, it makes for an extremely interesting profession with a varied scope.
This field also has a huge leeway for research in materials and construction methods. Some of the work-related roles and responsibilities are listed below-
- Planning, designing and supervising construction of various structures.
- After construction maintenance of buildings.
- Surveying sites and creating to the scale accurate drawings of the site for planning.
- Analysing survey charts, drawings, maps and aerial photography for planning purposes.
- Using various software to design, analyse and plan the entire project or a part of it.
- Scheduling and keeping track of the project to complete it according to its due date.
- Ensure conformance to design specifications according to codes provided by the government and check the feasibility of the project.
- Estimation of quantities and cost of materials along with factors like labour charge required equipment etc.
- Prepare proposals for bidding for tender contracts.
- With experience, the pay of a civil engineer becomes very desirable.
- The growth in this field never stops, there is always some new technology or a new software to learn and increase your expertise and hence improve your resume. This makes for a very dynamic and exciting occupation.
- The amount of excitement and joy you feel for having contributed something to the skyline of a city is unparalleled.
- There are very few professions that offer as many diversified job roles as civil engineering. You can work in surveying, foundation engineering, maintenance, site supervision, project planning, structural analysis, traffic analysis and many other fields.
- It is a profession that benefits a huge amount of population directly and makes their life better, raising their standards of living and hence is a very respected profession.
- This profession will never become redundant and will always have job opportunities. All the government jobs are primarily offered in the core sectors of engineering.
- This is a field that is a perfect amalgamation of technical expertise and human creativity. It is an extremely stimulating job.
- You don’t have to sit in a cubicle from 9 to 5 and rot inside it for the rest of your work life.
- You get to travel to new places and work together with different sectors.
- You have to in some cases stay outside on the construction site for long periods no matter what kind of weather it is.
- The safety hazards at the construction sites can be a huge deciding factor.
- You might sometimes end up working in very remote locations without proper basic amenities and no people around to socialise with.
- There is very little scope for mistakes as your small mistake can cost the lives of many people.
- The stress related to work can be pretty high in most cases. But so is the pay.
- It can be difficult to find a job at the beginning of your career.
- Extremely competitive field.
It is advisable to learn as many soft skills as possible during the duration of your course such as software including AutoCAD, Staad.pro, Primavera, Microsoft planning, 3ds max, Etabs, Revit and Sketchup.
Along with this basic knowledge of MS office is essential and communication skills must be developed. It is also recommended to engage in at least 2-3 internships during college to gain perspective.
Civil engineering is a branch of engineering that has a lot of earning potential as you gain experience in it. Though the work hours might be a little hectic, it makes up for a luxurious lifestyle in the end.
After gaining some experience on the field, it is advisable to transfer into managerial roles for a comfortable lifestyle.
Salary and growth perspective
The starting salary of a civil engineer can be anywhere between 3-4 lpa. But unlike a few other professions, it does not become stagnant after a few years.
The growth potential of a civil engineer is amazing. There are many opportunities available out there.
For knowing about the options available for civil engineers after graduation, please refer to the link below.
- Problem-solving skills and logical reasoning power.
- Good communication and leadership skills.
- Good rapport with others and ability to work in a team.
- Certain stamina and endurance for doing physical supervision.
- Good technical skills.
- Creativity and critical thinking.
- Ability to deliver under extreme pressure.
- Calm demeanour.
Level of difficulty: 5/5