Do you always get fascinated by tall buildings, bridges, flyovers or elevated roads in the cities, dams, and various other engineering wonders? Do you fancy building such structures? Are you fascinated by the various engineering feats such as the Bandra Kurla Sea link bridge in Mumbai, the railway tunnels en route to Kochi from Mumbai (Konkan Railways)? If you are excellent in Physics and Mathematics as well as in Chemistry, you can consider taking up Civil Engineering. There is always a demand and it pays decent.
Civil Engineers design, develop and construct all types of civil structures – from residential buildings, commercial buildings, office complexes, shopping malls, plazas, factory buildings, railway lines, bridges, roads, tunnels, dams, and so on. They may either source aesthetic designs from Architects or design themselves, draw the blueprints or detailed construction plans, organize the labor and construction materials, and then supervise the entire construction process. For large buildings and all the other civil structures, maintenance work is also supervised by Civil Engineers.
Why become a Civil Engineering?
As a Civil Engineer, you will be involved in the design, construction, erection, repair, and maintenance of different types of physical structures such as residential and commercial buildings, roads, bridges, industrial factories, power plants, seaports, airports, railroads, pipelines, irrigation facilities, and dams.
You will design physical structures, get involved in the construction project management, work at the construction sites, supervise construction work, inspect whether the construction is being done as per the design and other specifications, and take care of the repair and maintenance of the constructed structures.
Popular specialization in Civil Engineering profession
Coastal engineering is concerned with managing coastal areas to engineer solutions against flooding and erosion and coastal disasters like Tsunamis, cyclones and tidal waves. The field has expanded to techniques that allow for land reclamation from the sea and building coastal structures.
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What does a Civil Engineering do?
As a civil engineer, you will need to fulfill a combination of the following key roles based on your job profile in any project or position:
- You will analyze site locations for construction projects. This includes surveying and investigating, verifying feasibility, and estimating costs for construction purposes.
- You will need to plan your way around all the variables concerning raw materials, equipment, and manpower prior to any construction project.
- In a building/development project, you will have to prepare a detailed design layout, keeping the requirements of the client along with potential risks and challenges in mind.
- It will also be your job to ensure that your project is compliant with relevant laws as well as safety codes and regulations.
- Whilst the project is underway it will be your responsibility to monitor the staff onsite. You must facilitate an open dialogue between architects, consultants, subcontractors, etc. and solve any problems or bottlenecks if they arise.
- You will be responsible for scheduling the work, organizing the workforce and ensuring that all necessary raw materials, equipment etc are present. It will be up to you to see that projects are completed within budget and to the agreed timescale.
How to become a Civil Engineering – eligibility criteria
- Acquiring an Undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering is a standard college career track.
- You can also acquire degree-level qualification directly after your diploma by applying for second-year admission in degree engineering courses.
- You can seek additional degree qualifications in the form of an M.E and a Ph.D. in one of the following specializations: Structural Engineering, Traffic and Transportation Engineering, Hydraulics and Water Resources Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and more.
Following are some of the common entry and junior-level job opportunities available for Civil Engineers:
- Trainee Engineer (Diploma)
- Graduate Engineer Trainee
- Junior Engineer
- Civil Design Engineer
- Structural Engineer
Your work environment will depend largely on the kind of space and industry you choose. You can work both for the government or private enterprises. In many job profiles, there will be a fair bit of traveling and you will spend a lot of time outdoors, surveying sites, or in construction zones in the course of your duties. These places are often loud, hazardous, and have a lot of heavy machinery. Jobs that mostly involve designing, planning, consultancy, or research will be done indoors and from offices etc.
Salary of a Civil Engineering
You will find entry-level employment as a Graduate Engineer Trainee where you will earn Rs. 15,000 per month to Rs. 25,000 per month. From there, you can rise up to become an Assistant Engineer, Quality Control Engineer, and other roles to earn from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000. After the relevant experience, you’ll be able to work as a Supervisor or a Technical Officer which will pay you somewhere in the range of Rs. 60,000 per month to Rs. 90,000 per month. If you decide to study further and obtain a Master’s degree, you’ll be qualified for even more high-end jobs like Chief Engineer or Public Works Director, which pay around Rs, 1,00,000 to Rs. 5,00,000 per month and possibly higher based on the size and the prestige of the outfit you are working with/consulting for.
Career progression in Civil Engineering profession
Post your Bachelor’s degree you can get an entry-level job as a Graduate Engineer Trainee. After 1-2 years, you will progress into a role of an Assistant Engineer, then to an Engineer and then to Senior Engineer. After 10-15 years of experience, you can grow into roles such as Principal Engineer, Head of Projects. AGM (Assistant General Manager), General Manager, etc. After 20-25 years of experience, you can become a Chief Engineer, Executive Engineer (heading all engineering functions of a business), Vice President, etc.
Diploma Engineers also start as trainees but then they generally get the role of a Site Engineer which is a supervisory position. They can also rise up to Senior Engineer positions and in smaller companies can become Heads of Engineering too.
What does industry trends say – future prospects
The constant increase in urbanization and population demographics has facilitated the need for better infrastructure solutions. That brings in the need and demand for Civil Engineers. Development in green buildings, geopolymer concrete, sensor-embedded roads and buildings, and much more sophisticated water management techniques – all stimulate the growth for the Civil Engineering industry.
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