Considered as one of the oldest engineering disciplines, Civil Engineering involves planning, designing and executing structural works. The profession deals with a wide variety of engineering tasks including designing, supervision and construction activities of public works like roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings, airports, dams, water works, sewage systems, ports etc. and offers a multitude of challenging career opportunities.
A civil engineer is responsible for planning and designing a project, constructing the project to the required scale, and maintenance of the product. A civil engineer requires not only a high standard of engineering knowledge but also supervisory and administrative skills. The planning part of their work involves site investigation, feasibility studies, creating solutions to complications that may occur and the actual designing of structures. They have to work with the guidelines of the local government authority and get plans approved by the relevant authority. They may prepare cost estimates and set construction schedules. Construction work involves dealing with clients, architects, government officials, contactors and the supervision of work according to standards. Their work also involves the maintenance and repair of the project.
The major specialisations within civil engineering are structural, water resources, environmental, construction, transportation, geo-technical engineering etc. On most projects, civil engineers work in teams or in coordination with many other engineers. They can find work as a supervisor of a construction site or a managerial position or in design, research as well as teaching in government services or private concerns. They can also work as independent consultants.
Civil Engineers can find job in Government departments, private and public sector industries, research and teaching institutions etc. Job opportunities for civil engineers are expected to increase as fast as the average for all jobs, although the construction industry is vulnerable to fluctuations in the economy.
Civil engineers will always be needed to maintain and repair existing facilities and structures and to construct new ones. After doing B.Tech, one can look for jobs in road projects, building work, consultancy firms, quality testing laboratories or housing societies. The experts say there is a high demand for experienced civil engineers in developed countries.
Civil engineers are employed in all the major construction projects carried out by the state or central government, the railways, private construction companies, military, engineering services, consultancy services etc. Civil engineering graduates can also go in for research and take up teaching or they can open their own independent consultancy services.
The earnings depend on the industries employing civil engineers such as Central or State government departments or private concerns. In India, a bachelor's degree candidate in civil engineering can receive a starting salary of Rs.15000 up to Rs.20000 approximately with 2-3 years experience. With more experience or as an established independent consultant one could earn more.
Companies abroad in Singapore, UAE etc pay around Rs1,00,000 for candidates with 2-3 years experience. In USA, according to a salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a bachelor's degree candidate as an initial salary offers averaging $30,616 a year, master's degree candidates received an average offer of $44,080, and Ph.D. candidates were offered $53,280. Average salary of engineers employed by the federal government is about $60,078.