What is Civil Engineering?

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What is Civil Engineering?

Considered to be one of the oldest disciplines, civil engineering deals with the design, building, and maintenance of physical structures.

Every career requires some or the other kind of expertise and knowledge. There are few, which require a person to have a wide expertise, logical thinking, and creativity in work. Out of the many technically demanding and challenging career opportunities in the industry, a job in civil engineering is an important one.

It is considered to be the most respected form of engineering, and is believed to be one of the oldest. It relates to the construction of physical structures, such as bridges, building, canals, highways, dams, and other huge developmental projects. This field mostly makes its presence felt in government and private sectors.

Professionals working in this sector are referred to as civil engineers. It is considered as a broad field, and encompasses sub-disciplines such as construction, environmental, geotechnical, materials, structural, transportation engineering, etc.

Different Sub-Disciplines

  • Construction Engineering: It is associated with the planning and execution of construction in fixed structures, such as dams, reservoirs, and skyscrapers.
  • Environmental Engineering: As the name suggests, it deals with solving problems that affect the environment. It includes treating biological, chemical, and thermal waste, water and air refinement, and preparing contaminated areas for further use. It demands working with natural as well as constructional aspects.
  • Geotechnical Engineering: It pertains to studying and working on rock and soil matters for construction to be built upon. Geotechnical engineers study the soil, material science, and hydraulic concepts, in order to build strong foundations and walls of structures.
  • Material Engineering: It includes dealing with metals, fibers, steel, cement, and other materials to be used for construction.
  • Structural Engineering: It includes work associated with the actual structural design, analysis, and pattern of structures to be built. It particularly focuses on studying and analyzing different aspects of structures, such as load and pressure on the foundation, ideas for handling and bearing pressure, height and weight of the structure, appropriateness of structures, and other related aspects.
  • Transportation Engineering: The work in transportation engineering is apparent in roads, bridges, airports, railway lines, and other mass transit infrastructure. The job is mainly concerned with ensuring convenience, in relation to the transportation of people and goods, by improving infrastructure.

As a Career

The job of a civil engineer is one of the highest paid in the market. If you are thinking of entering this creative and responsible field, you need to possess certain qualities, apart from those obtained by relevant professional education. Requirements include technical knowledge, mathematical and scientific analysis, and management abilities. In order to become a professional, you need to at least possess a bachelor’s degree, after which you can even pursue master’s/doctoral degrees.

For attaining the license, completion of a degree from a college/university, recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is required. It is also necessary to pass the ‘Fundamentals of Engineering’ exam, gain some years of experience, and clear the ‘Principles and Practice of Engineering’ exam.

Note that the salary is reported to be around USD 75,000 per annum. Every state demands a civil engineer to obtain licensure, if he/she is providing services to the public.

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