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May 9, 2016

5/09/2016 12:23:00 PM


Civil engineers are becoming more and more important with time. Now, they are also responsible for looking after the fire control systems and installing quick fire exit points in the buildings they design. This will help in minimizing the loss of life during fire accidents. Civil engineering is one of the oldest of the engineering professions. Ancient feats such as the building of the Egyptian pyramids and Roman road systems are based on civil engineering principles. Another very important aspect of civil engineering is environmental engineering. In this case, the civil engineers are concerned with applications of various methods to purify the contaminated air, water and soil. The polluted system should be cleaned, the waste extracted and the purified constituent must be sent back to the natural system.

Civil engineers are also responsible for building good quality transportation systems like highways, airports, rail lines, sea ports, etc. A civil engineer is concerned with determining the right design for these structures and looking after the construction process so that the longevity of these structures is guaranteed after completion. These structures should also be satisfactory for the public in terms of comfort.

Amongst all branches of engineering, the range and application of civil engineering is the broadest and the most visible. In fact, the entire infrastructural framework of a modern nation is the creation of civil engineers. The credit of building mighty power plants, dams, airports, sea ports, highways, inland waterways and industrial plants goes to civil engineers. These professionals are also engaged in building an unending array of urban structures such as commercial complexes, skyscrapers, tunnels, bridges, roads, urban rapid transport systems, sports stadia and so on.

Wherever you might be, in cities or towns or in the far-flung areas of the country you simply cannot miss the creation of civil engineers. The nature of this profile makes it an evergreen prospect for career minded youngsters. There is an endless demand for this job profile both in the private as well as in public sector undertakings in our country.


If you have decided to become a civil engineer then there are two options available. You can either go in for a diploma or degree in civil engineering. After a graduate degree, you can also pursue post graduation in the subject.

You can go for a three year Diploma course after Class 10. For applying to a graduate program in civil engineering, you will have to qualify an entrance test either on a national level or on the state level. Your performance in 10+2 examinations could also be taken into consideration. The duration of the graduate program is four years.

After successful completion of this degree course, you can go for a post-graduate course if you are interested in research or teaching. Those interested in higher studies and research can apply for a doctoral program.

For a qualified civil engineer, there is no dearth of jobs, in both government departments and private organisations.

Start Early

The first and foremost thing in choosing this profession is the inherent interest in making something useful for the society at large. You must also have a liking for appreciating ancient and modern buildings. 

A good start to achieve the goal of being a civil engineer is a “well rounded education” which is very necessary to get into this field. For that, you have to take up and excel in subjects like Maths, Physics and Chemistry in 10+2 and during graduation.

Is it the Right Career for Me?

As a civil engineer, you will have to plan out, design and supervise the construction of different types of buildings. You need to posses good knowledge of mathematics and science. Also, you must also have good supervisory and administrative skills. 

Furthermore, you must be ready to sweat it out at construction sites and even work under stressful and hostile conditions. And if you think you fit the bill then civil engineering is the right profession for you.

What would it Cost Me?

A graduate course from a private college will cost you between Rs1,00,000 to Rs 2,00,000, annually. However, in a reputed government run establishment such as the Indian institute of Technology (IIT), you will have to pay an annual fees in the range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000.


Colleges offering programs in civil engineering generally extend scholarships to students from socially and economically backward classes. Scholarships, freeships, stipends and financial assistance are also provided to students on the basis of merit and other qualifying criteria.

Job Prospects

There is huge demand for civil engineers in India and it is also expected to get a boost as the country gets ready to upgrade its infrastructure with growing economic and political clout in the world. The career opens a lot of opportunities in numerous government departments. Civil engineers are employed in all major construction projects carried out by central and state government agencies. 

There are equally good opportunities in the private sector for civil engineers. A major opening for qualified civil engineers is also in armed forces where they can make vital contribution to the protection of the country. Last but not the least you can set up your own engineering consultancy.

Pay Packet

Pay packet of a civil engineer depends on a number of things such as educational qualification, type of employer, industry, location of work and so on.

Starting monthly salary of a graduate in civil engineering could be around Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. With due experience and continuous upgrade of skills, the salary increases by leaps and bounds. Professors in engineering colleges get extraordinary amounts as monthly salary along with other benefits.

It is important to ensure that you get a degree or diploma from a reputed college as salary will also depend on the brand image of your college.

Demand and Supply

In the past few years, the demand for civil engineers has exceeded the supply. The growth in economy and exceeding demand for well qualified and experienced civil engineers has resulted in towering pay levels. Shortage of 7,000 civil engineers is witnessed by India every year. Therefore, no civil engineer can go without a job after his graduation. As a civil engineer, good job opportunities will await at your doorstep.

Market Watch

Growth in the economy as a whole and the construction industry in particular has brought cheers to youth seeking to make a career in civil engineering. This demand has been further pushed higher with more multinational engineering companies setting up their footprint across India. Further, the rapid increase in population and the steady technological progress made by the country has considerably enhanced the market for civil engineers.

International Focus

Indian engineers are in high demand in Asia, Africa and the middle-east. Those graduating from IITs also manage jobs in developed countries. The employment opportunities abroad are very appealing but sometimes it also carries a certain amount of risk. For instance, Indian engineers involved in construction work in Afghanistan have been repeatedly targeted by terrorists. So the decision to go abroad should be taken after considering all the possible scenarios and your won priorities in life and career.


  • In big cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, new employees are even paid salaries that come close to salaries of Information Technology professionals.
  • Construction industry is experiencing a boom in the country and lucrative opportunities are plentiful.
  • You derive the satisfaction of having built numerous structures that facilitate the betterment of the society and the country.

  • You will have to undergo six moths to a year of training before you get a full-time job in the industry.
  • Construction industry is vulnerable to fluctuations in the economy.
  • Civil engineers often work in varied settings shifting from posh modern offices to job sites in extremely remote areas. 
  • The job often involves frequent travelling.

Different Roles, Different Names

The following are some of the important branches of civil engineering:
  • Construction engineering: This branch involves construction of highways, railroads, airports, power plants, bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers and so on. As per their abilities and position, engineers generally take care of different aspects of construction as well as business management. They have to manage project planning, costing and budgeting, scheduling, quality assurance, quality control, on site layout survey, material testing, material procurement, etc.
  • Hydraulic engineering: Engineers in this field primarily make their contribution in setting up structures associated with different water bodies. They contribute in the development of hydroelectric plants, dams, irrigation and navigable canals, reservoirs, bridges, culverts, storm sewers, water pipelines, etc.
  • Coastal and ocean engineering: This branch of civil engineering involves monitoring coastal areas and taking adequate steps to protect them from sea storms, flooding and erosion. These professionals also have a hand in the development of various sea port facilities.
  • Transportation engineering: Engineers in this branch are concerned about the development of city roads, interstate highways, railroads, airfields, pavements, canals and urban mass rapid transport systems. They also play an active role in urban development and planning, traffic management and betterment of the transport system in the country.
  • Materials engineering: This branch of experts has to ensure the quality and durability of a vast variety of materials used in the development of different edifices. Material engineers usually deal with materials such as cement, concrete, concrete additives, metals and alloys, polymers and paints.
  • Structural engineering: Structural engineers are responsible for analysing different types of stresses and strains that a structure has to endure during and after it has been built. The study generally involves the identification of different types of loads that would act upon a structure and plans for making the structure safer from these loads. Structural engineers are also concerned about the overall strength of a structure when it is built so that it can withstand the onslaught of natural elements as well as human intervention.
  • Earthquake engineering: Seismic activity is the biggest enemy of all types of manmade structures. Experts who research the impact of earthquake on different types of edifices and implement quake resistant measures are referred to as earthquake engineers.
  • Urban engineering: Engineers responsible for the design and development of urban public utilities are categorised as urban engineers. Public works include structures such as city roads, pavements, fresh water pipelines, waste water disposal systems, public parks and so on. These engineers play an important role in urban planning as they are primarily responsible for setting up the core infrastructural requirements of an urban area.
  • Environment engineering: Although a relatively new field, this branch of civil engineering is rapidly gaining importance with the growing emphasis on environment protection and sustainability. These engineers have to develop strategies for protecting the environment from air, water and land pollution. They have to manage issues such as solid waste management, water treatment, air and water pollution, safe disposal of hazardous materials. Another dimension of this profile is the construction of buildings that are environmental friendly, energy efficient and green.

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