Civil Engineers

Civil Engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with construction and maintenance of structures such as roads, dams, bridges and buildings. Civil Engineers plan, design, maintain and operate infrastructures while keeping the welfare of the public and environment in mind. They also improve deteriorating structures. Civil Engineering includes sub – disciplines such as Environmental Engineering, Mining Engineering and Urban Engineering.

Civil Engineering is one of the oldest professions of the world. Civil Engineers today are hired by the public sector as well as the private sector. It is a well paying career that provides you with the opportunity to travel.

What do Civil Engineers do? 

Civil Engineers plan and implement the construction of large scale public works projects such as buildings, dams, bridges etc.

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Civil Engineers conceptualize and design structures as per the requirements of the client. They often make models and drawings to be approved by the client before going ahead with the construction.

When a Civil Engineer plans a structure, he takes into account its usage and also the various environmental phenomena that it would need to withstand such as earthquakes, wind, rain, topography etc. Civil Engineers make provisions for and design the ventilation, air – conditioning and heating systems. Civil Engineers consider and minimize the environmental impact of the structures. They design to minimize resource utilization and wastages and pollution.  They also make sure that the structure does not break or go against any rules or regulations of the area.

After the construction begins, Civil Engineers constantly inspect the structure to ensure progress as per design using the desired quality of materials. 

Civil Engineers also maintain old structures and improve and re – construct them whenever necessary. 

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How to become a Civil Engineer?

The road to becoming a Civil Engineer starts from school itself. You should concentrate on your studies and pay extra attention to subjects like math, algebra, trigonometry, science, computers etc. You should take Science after your 10th.

Once you complete your schooling, you will pursue a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering. But before you pursue your Bachelor’s degree, you need to pass your desired college’s entrance exams. The IITs use JEE (Advanced) for all their Engineering courses. The NITs use JEE (Main) examinations. Other colleges have their own examinations that you have to pass in order to get admission.

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Once you complete your B.Tech or B.E. in Civil Engineering, you can choose to study further or start work immediately. Studying further is a good option if you’re very sure about a particular specialization that you want to get into. You can even pursue a PhD once you complete your Master’s if you want to go into research.

Internships are very helpful to not only make contacts, but also to gain valuable experience. Do as many internships as possible during your school/college life.

Networking forms a vital aspect of Civil Engineering. As the projects are of a very big scale, it is important that the client trusts you before hiring you. Attending seminars is a good way to network and build contacts. You can also choose to join an Association which will provide you with the opportunity to network with other Civil Engineers.

To become a Civil Engineer, it is imperative to be comfortable in making layouts and models of buildings and structures. You should know how to use different types of computer software that help in drawing layouts.

What are the skills required to become a Civil Engineer?

Civil Engineers need to love working on the field, creating large structures, analyzing different requirements and applying their knowledge of science. They need to be creative and innovative while solving problems. Civil Engineers need to have the ability to interpret data and applying that to real life situations. Civil Engineers need to have a strong knowledge base in math and science. They need to have honesty and integrity. Dishonest Civil Engineers can be the cause of major disasters such as bridges collapsing etc. They need to have confidence in themselves. Civil Engineers need to be flexible as they might have to work in sites with harsh weather. They need to have great communication and leadership skills. It is important for a Civil Engineer to have a lot of stamina as well as experience. Most importantly, Civil Engineers should have the desire to be involved in the construction of big projects and contribute to the welfare of the public.

Is this the right career for me?

The life of a Civil Engineer is not easy. You have to deal with architects, clients and workers contractors constantly. A Civil Engineer has to take responsibility for his work and prevent any defects in the structure. Civil Engineers have to constantly solve problems on the spot and deal with unforeseen circumstances. It is a well paid job but requires a lot of hard work and dedication.

So if you’re not comfortable with working in harsh conditions, then maybe this isn’t the right career for you. But if you would love to build huge structures, from concept to reality, this might just be the perfect career for you. 

Fields Related to Civil Engineering:

Environmental Engineering combines the aspects of Science and Engineering to keep the environment clean. The aim is to be able to provide healthy air, water and land for people. It includes concepts like Waster Water Management, Waste Disposal, Air Pollution Control, Recycling etc. It’s best to complete civil engineering first and then take up environmental engineering at the Master’s level after exploring your interests at the bachelor’s level.

Mining Engineering is a field that involves the science of mining extraction and its application. It consists of the process that includes extracting and processing minerals that are found in a naturally occurring environment. It also includes the processing of minerals for additional value. Mining engineering is a specialization you will usually commit to at the Bachelor’s level itself.

Architects, cartographers and surveyors, Engineers

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