Jobs for Civil Engineers in the most diversified branch of engineering
Civil engineering one of the oldest branches of engineering and is one of the most important section of professionals for each economy. The roads that we travel, the homes that we live in, the transport system that we use all is the outcome of the skills and expertise of many civil engineers. Civil engineering as a branch of engineering, is one of the most diversified branches with jobs for civil engineers that fits in with their area of expertise and strengths. Civil engineers can specialize in various other sub-disciplines of civil engineering such as environmental engineering, materials engineering, water resource engineering, structural and geo-technical engineering. However, in the last couple of years the scope for civil engineers have increased multi-dimension-ally; as new areas of study are opening up, which indeed are equally rewarding and promising; which we will talk about in later stages of this article.
Civil engineers not only facilitate construction of buildings, roads or airports, they are involved in a project right from the scratch. Before a project is even started a civil engineers skills and expertise comes in to play. The first phase of any project is surveying, followed by project design, implementation and so forth; this leaves with them the need of earning a specialization, as it helps them to apply for specialized roles which come with fatter pay checks and a speedy progression in their career. For instance; a geo-technical engineer is responsible for conducting tests on the construction site by taking samples of soil, rocks and underground water and studying their composition with respect to the design, construction, and operations of that particular project. These specialized roles are an important part of each civil engineering project; facilitating various aspects of a project.
Which sub-discipline you would go for ?
Traditional areas of specializations that you may want to specialize in:
Materials engineering: This sub-branch of civil engineering is concerned with research and development of new and improved construction materials. Materials engineers are also involved with repair and maintenance of existing structures. Materials engineers are of prime importance to every sub-discipline of civil engineering as they are co-related. These engineers are also responsible for selecting materials to resurface a road, developing a concrete mix for a residential complex, all of these tasks are done considering the forces of nature that will act on them. A materials engineers primary tasks throughout their career revolves around developing innovative construction and testing procedures, designing concrete and construction methods to construct structures that can last for at least 100 years.
Water Resources engineering: This sub-branch of civil engineering deals with problems associated with the use and control of water. Management and development of water resources is what is taken care off in this profession. Water resource engineers are primarily involved with designing the physical infrastructure required for sustainable utilization of water resources. This profession is also concerned with access to safe drinking water, building and management of water treatment plants, network to supply water in buildings and homes, and treatment of domestic and industrial waste water. Water resource engineers are the ones who design hydraulic structures such as reservoirs, floodways, dams, spillway, channels and water intakes. These engineers also devise solutions to avoid flooding and other possible means to avoid threat to lives and property.
Structural engineers are the ones who are responsible for planning and designing structures of all kinds. This is one of the most innovative job roles within civil engineering, as it allows an engineer to showcase their creativity along with application of principles of civil engineering to make structures with improved performance. They work closely with materials engineers to develop and use advanced construction materials, to make buildings earthquake resistant and to stand other forces of nature. Structural engineers are majorly concerned with developing structures that can with stand forces of nature which are constructed using new materials that adds to the life of that particular structure.
Geo-technical engineers study and conduct tests on a construction site to know the soil, rock and underground water conditions in order to know in advance wether or not the conditions inside the land can support the structure during its entire life time. They are also concerned with prevention of contamination of the ground with chemical and biological agents. Devising ways to prevent hazardous contamination of ground is facilitated by them. Geo-technical engineering has been further divided into new branches such as geo-environmental engineering, which deals with underground pollution. Geo-technical engineers apply principles of mechanics to determine the systems of forces, displacements, stresses and strains to analyze and determine the characters of the underground materials.
Emerging branches of civil engineering
Project Management: Project Management is the science of structured means to develop and implement large investments by government, companies and individuals for safe, timely and cost effective delivery of a project. Project management is not only confined to civil engineering however, it is widely applicable in industries such as oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, design, information technology and telecom. Project management in civil engineering is responsible for completing a task in a specified time span. Civil engineers in are a perfect match for this job role as they are equipped with the skills essential for planning, scheduling, implementing and structuring various tasks of a project. A project manager usually works with a team to oversee the production of deliverable, achievement of specified set of goals over a defined time period.
Real time monitoring: Civil engineering did not remain untouched by the digital revolution. Civil engineers now employ digital means to measure the responses and behavior of various structures. This helps them to know about the reactions of the structure towards the forces of nature such as wind, rains and storms. Tilt meters and accelerometers are used to determine these responses which is further used in assessment of full-scale load tests. This is relatively a new sub-disciplines that has evolved owing to need of using digital means to determine the strength and other characters of structures such as bridges, buildings, elevated roads and highways that are constantly subjected to the forces of nature which might shorten the life span of a structure. Real-time monitoring helps them to find out methods to increase the life span of structures.
Earning a specialized degree to boost your job prospects
Earning a specialization in any field certainly boosts your job prospects; be it civil engineering or any other domain. Earning a specialization in any of the above mentioned sub-domains will make you highly employable, opening avenues for positions in senior-level management as well as one can take up roles in the education domain.
Jobs in civil engineering, along with specializations above will allow you to apply for jobs with higher salaries. As well as in the coming future, the demand for specialized civil engineers will rise sky-high, as more stress is being laid on infrastructure development which will happen over a period of time. Those who have just started their career in civil engineering, must look forward to earn a specialization in any of these domains, after earning work experience of 2-3 years; as the experience will be of considerable value when applying for these courses as well as when applying for job as an expert in any sub-discipline of civil engineering.
The central government is also coming up with an institute for skills development of civil engineers, this institute will be managed by the Central Public Works Department.