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Every Detail About Civil Engineering Revealed!

Updated on July 9, 2015
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Today, we are living in the world of technology. With the advancement in infrastructure, our standard of living and quality of life has improved to a great level. Construction of sky touching buildings, modern schools, offices, hospitals, broad roads, metro lines, malls and more have changed the way we used to live. Have you ever thought, who is behind all these advancement? The main role players in providing all the infrastructural amenities to people are the civil engineers.

Yes, civil engineers are the most important people that are contributing towards to community development. Their masterminds are creating magical transformations in terms of infrastructures. They are also developing water and sewer systems keeping in mind the safety standards, health and comfort of the residents.

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Who are Civil Engineers?

Civil engineers are basically the engineers who work to build and improve the community infrastructure. They plan, design, develop, maintain and monitor various infrastructures. Most of their time is spent outdoors at work sites. They work closely with various architects and contractors in order to deliver the desired results in the form of a high-rise building, irrigation projects, bridge, a power plant, a hydroelectric dam or a hospital. The job of civil engineers is such that it keeps them active and on the move.

These engineers are also appointed to work in-house with various national and multinational companies. Some of the major employers of civil engineers are:

  • Government departments

  • Civil engineering contractors

  • Environmental organizations

  • Railways

  • Local authorities

  • Electricity/gas/water companies

  • Job of civil engineers

Although the job of civil engineers is very interesting, at the same time it is full of challenges and operational issues. However, at the end, they can see and analyze the result of their work. The major civil engineering work includes:

  • Designing the transport systems including roads, railways, subway systems, airports and more to keep the cities on the move

  • Developing electricity for homes using sun and wind's energy

  • Constructing easy-to-build schools for childrens in faraway places

  • Performing site investigations before starting the work

  • Determining the sustainability and environmental impact of assorted projects

  • Setting project specifications and preparing tender documents

  • Working in close coordination with the clients and various professionals such as contractors and architects for executing the exact requirements

  • Making sure that the projects they working on complies with the legal requirements

  • Finding out the potential flaws and resolving the issues related to the design and development of various projects

  • Assuring the smooth running and completion of project within the specified budget and time

  • Managing the budget, material and equipment costs, and project resources

  • Supervising the running projects

Civil Engineering Roles:

There are mainly two types of civil engineering roles:

  • Consultants: The role of consultants is usually to focus on the planning and design work of various projects. These people spend more of their time in the office or working with the clients.

  • Contractors: Contractors are more focused towards the onsite construction work. They supervise the construction activities and spend most of their time on the construction sites.

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Different Types of Jobs Available:

Being one of the oldest engineering disciplines, civil engineering is the most demanding field offering a lot of jobs for civil engineers. They are not only in demand for their subject-specific knowledge but also for their technical knowledge and understanding of various aspects of civil engineering. They know how to make the best possible use of the available resources and techniques in order to design, create and build various structures. Some of the job roles offered in this field includes:

  • Construction engineer: Usually involved in the planning, construction and maintenance of different structures.

  • Structural engineer: Deals with analyzing and designing the structures that can withstand extreme temperatures, earthquakes, heavy winds and other natural calamities, keeping in mind all the safety regulations.

  • Geotechnical engineer: Generally involved in the study of soil, foundations and bearing capacities. It is the responsibility of a geotechnical engineer to determine the effective ways for supporting various structures on and in the ground.

  • Transportation engineer: The job of a transportation engineer is to plan, construct and managing the transportation facilities for supporting the travel needs of people, goods and materials on land, air and water.

  • Surveying engineer: This type of engineer generally involved in the surveying of lands. He/she also handle various tasks related with the leveling of land using different types of instruments.

  • Water Resource engineer: Generally involved in the construction of hydraulic structures like canals and dams, this type of engineer is responsible for the design and structure of various water resources.

  • Environmental engineer: The environmental engineer basically deals with the design and construction of environmental friendly structures. The main motive of an environmental engineer is to eliminate the pollutants from the air, reduce the nonhazardous water volumes and contaminants from water and also developing groundwater supplies.

  • Municipal engineer: Usually works with the government organizations to make sure that the various structures within the municipality are designed and implemented properly.

  • Coastal engineer: deals with the design and construction of coastal and marine structures.

  • Tunnel engineer: Involved in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of tunnels.

  • Earthquake engineer: Deals with the planning, design, and construction of earthquake resistant structures.

  • Material engineer: Involved in the study of various materials that are used in the construction of various structures.

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Educational Qualification

In order to start a career in civil engineering, one needs to have a degree in civil or structural engineering. These days, several employers including governmental institutions offer vacation work or the year out placements that may prove to be advantageous in terms of building valuable contacts and insight into the civil engineering profession. Experience in a broad array of areas like marine, water, power, coastal, roads and more can avail better career opportunities in this field. Moreover, depending upon the experience in this field, one can achieve the top level positions in this profession.

Key skills required to become a civil engineer

This field usually demands creative and active minds. Employers seek for those candidates who are aware of every aspect of civil engineering and who are ready to work in any challenging environment within a team. Some of the other skills that a civil engineer must possess include:

  • Good knowledge of mathematics and physics
  • Ability to plan, design and maintain projects methodologically
  • Ability to overview the entire project and implement the necessary technical changes
  • Excellent communication skills including oral and written
  • Good leadership skills with proper delegation of work
  • Ability to generate new and creative ideas
  • Ability to identify the most reasonable approach to deal with various complex issues
  • Must have a critical thinking approach towards solving different issues
  • Excellent visualization skills in order to resolve any kind of issues before they arise or create any problem
  • Awareness of various ethical issues
  • Ability to evaluate and supervise the work of others on the project

Some of the other skills that a civil engineer must possess include:Good knowledge of mathematics and physicsAbility to plan, design and maintain projects methodologicallyAbility to overview the entire project and implement the necessary technical changesExcellent communication skills including oral and writtenGood leadership skills with proper delegation of workAbility to generate new and creative ideasAbility to identify the most reasonable approach to deal with various complex issuesMust have a critical thinking approach towards solving different issuesExcellent visualization skills in order to resolve any kind of issues before they arise or create any problemAwareness of various ethical issuesAbility to evaluate and supervise the work of others on the project

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Lucrative Wages:

As the demand for civil engineers is on the rise, the starting salaries for civil engineers are also getting high among various other engineering jobs. At present, the average salary of a civil engineer is in the range of Rs. 3, 50, 000 to Rs. 4, 50, 000 per year.

To sum up, there is no doubt that the civil engineering job is one of the most interesting and challenging jobs. The need for new facilities, infrastructures and the maintenance of existing structures in the society keeps civil engineers always in demand. The employment of civil engineers is expected to grow faster in the coming years.

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