Everything You Need to Know About Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline which deals with the design, construction and maintenance of different types of infrastructure such as dams, bridges, water supply systems, transportation systems, governmental buildings and public facilities like bus stops, train stations and airports.

It is one of the oldest branches of engineering, dating back to when people first started living in long-lasting settlements and commenced shaping their environments to suit their needs. Civil engineers are responsible for measuring and mapping the earth surface by designing and supervising the construction of large building projects, tunnels, pipelines, bridges, dams and coastal structures. They plan, layout, construct and maintain highways, railroad and airport, and devise systems for the control and efficient flow of traffic.

Also read: 10 Careers You Didn’t Know Existed in Engineering

Other tasks of a civil engineer include, providing plants and systems for water supply, sewage and disposal of refuse. In addition, they plan and build river regulation and flood control projects. Civil engineering is a very extensive branch of engineering and it encompasses seven major specialized areas of practice:

  1. Structural engineering
  2. Construction engineering and management
  3. Transportation engineering
  4. Environmental engineering
  5. Hydraulic and water resources engineering
  6. Geo-technical engineering
  7. Geodetic engineering

#1 Structural Engineering

Structural Engineering
Structural Engineering, Image Courtesy of AdobeStock

Structural engineering is a broad sub-branch of practice within civil engineering and it is concerned with the design of large buildings, towers, tanks, bridges, dams and other large structures. Structural engineers design and select appropriate structural components (e.g., columns, beams and slabs) and systems in order to provide adequate strength, stability and durability.

#2 Construction Engineering and Management

Construction Engineering and Management
Construction Engineering and Management, Image Courtesy of AdobeStock

The construction industry is the choice of most civil engineers and a large fraction of civil engineers work in this industry. They construct the facilities that architects and engineers design. The main job of construction engineers is to manage and utilize the resources of construction, in order to build the structure on time envisioned by the designer.

#3 Transportation Engineering

Transportation Engineering
Transportation Engineering, Image Courtesy of AdobeStock

Transportation engineering is the application of scientific principles for the design, operation, management and proper planning of transportation systems. Transportation engineers plan and layout highways, harbors, airports and mass transportation systems. They plan and design transportation terminals. Moreover, they create and operate systems for the efficient control of vehicular traffic.

#4 Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering
Environmental Engineering, Image Courtesy of AdobeStock

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to design and develop solutions to environmental problems.as well as improve environmental quality. They design and supervise the operation of fresh water treatment and waste water treatment plants. Environmental engineers also measure and monitor pollutants on land, lakes, streams of water and in the air.

#5 Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering

Water Resource Engineering
Water Resource Engineering, Image Courtesy of AdobeStock

Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineers are concerned with the flow of water through conduits, ditches, canals and dams. These engineers use their specialized knowledge of fluid mechanics to plan and design dams, irrigation systems, municipal and urban water tasks and finally erosion and drainage control systems.

#6 Geo-technical Engineering

Geo-technical Engineering
Geo-technical Engineering, Image Courtesy of AdobeStock

Geo-technical engineers are mainly concerned with the behavior of soil and rock. Their task is to analyze earth’s support systems and design foundations that are capable of transmitting the live and dead loads of structure to the underlying soil. They analyze and design earth walls, highways and airport pavements.

#7 Geodetic Engineering

Geodetic Engineering
Geodetic Engineering, Image Courtesy of AdobeStock

Geodetic engineers are responsible for measuring and mapping the earth surface. They can precisely locate property and building lines and survey the location, elevation and alignment of various engineering projects.

Civil Engineering Salary

According to Payscale the average salary of a civil engineer is around $66,085 per year and top 90% civil engineers earn $98,000 per year. The job satisfaction rate among civil engineers is high, 4 out of each 5 civil engineers are satisfied with their career.

Now, we would like to hear from you. Which specialty of civil engineering do you like the most? Share your thoughts using the comment box below.

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M. Ibrahim

M. Ibrahim Asad is the co-founder of Engineering Passion. He is an engineer and has obtained his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Kandahar University.

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2 Comments

  • […] Civil engineering is one of the most reputable fields of engineering. Civil engineering is a broad field, which is divided into various sub-fields. Some fields include structural, construction, environment, transportation, and coastal. You can read our article to learn more about civil engineering: Everything You Need to Know About Civil Engineering. […]

  • I had no idea that there are so many different types of civil engineering. It is nice to know that you will wat not talk to the engineer you hire about what they specialize in. That does seem like a good thing to consider if you need to get them to help you with something specific.

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