career repository


By on Nov. 17, 2017

1. Career Overview

Burj Khalifa stands tallest on earth at 828 meters. Channel Tunnel is built some 75 to 115 meters below the Sea level and connects Folkestone in UK to Pas de Calais France under the sea. Both these magnificent structures, of mammoth proportions, reflect ingenuity of Civil Engineers, who work day-in and day-out for years until such their awe-inspiring deisgns take a shape on earth.

Civil Engineering is the branch of Engineering and involves, designing, constructing and maintaining manmade or natural constructions like roads, dams, buildings, bridges, canals and wastewater management systems. The name Civil Engineering was adopted at one stage to differentiate it from military engineering.

Civil engineering borrows various concepts from Physics, Maths, Geology, and Hydrology for incorporating them into practice use. Engineers of this stream constantly endeavor to design structures that are cost effective, durable, energy efficient and safe.

Civil Engineers, though not formally qualified at that time, have been in business since the Pharaohs in Egypt built Pyramids and the Indus Valley residents created their perfectly planned Wonder cities.

India’s growing economy and the lack of infrastructure provide ample job scope for the many Civil Engineers graduating every year. Urbanization, environmental concerns and other factors emphasize the need for special civil engineers who are expected to use resources at disposal and come of with structures customized for different types of environments. The pay scales in this line of work are high compared to most industries.

A Bachelor’s degree (B.Tech) qualifies one to apply for professional Civil Engineer’s license. Top jobs with high salaries are up for takes for students who have completed their Masters course in Civil Engineering

2. Role Models

Johan Smeaton is generally considered the “Father of Civil Engineering.”

Civil Engineers think big. Most of their projects effect and influence the shape and environment of large areas in the long periods of time. Hence Civil engineers have been role models not only for future aspirants but for the society at large. Two role models mentioned here, have been instrumental in developing Infrastructure in India from the scratch.

• E.Sreedharan- Popularly called the metro man, E.Sreedharan was instrumental in the setting up the Kokan Railway and Delhi Metro, which created a positive impact on Public transport system in India. He is the recipient of Padmashri and Padma Vibhushan awards. He was also honored by the French Government with a Chevalier De la Legion d honneur award. He has been mentioned in the reputed Time magazine as one of the Asia’s heroes in the year 2003. E.Sreedharan is also on the panel of the United Nations’ High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (HLAG-ST) at present.

• M.Visveshvarya – Is one of the greatest engineers of India. He was responsible for the coming up of KrishnaSagar Dam in Mandya. Water thus obtained has been used for irrigation and for drinking facilities in many cities around the area. Visveshvarya has been knighted by the Commander of order of the Indian Empire for this. He also received the Bharat Ratna for his services in Engineering and Education. He also has received many honorary degrees from Indian Universities.

• Women can take inspiration from Ms.Emily Warren Roebling, who was the chief architect of the Brooklyn Bridge that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn over the East river. She was a homemaker but learnt basics of engineering to help her sick husband who was the Chief Engineer at the time of construction of the famous bridge. She has the distinction of being the first woman to address the American Society of Civil Engineers.

• Isambard Kingdom Brunel was a very famous civil engineer in the 19th century. He was instrumental in the building of the Great Western Railway that links London to the western England parts. Some of his achievements include getting elected to the Fellow of the Royal society in the year 1830. A museum called Brunel Museum has been built in England in his honor.

• Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. Popularly called, “the magician of iron”, French Engineer and Architect Eiffel was the guiding factor for his Company’s Eiffel & Cie’s construction of the famous landmark Eiffel Tower. Eiffel has also worked on many famous projects in other countries like United States, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Uruguay, Chile and Peru. He was also partly responsible for the building of Statue of Liberty. Eiffel was awarded the Samuel P Langley Medal for Aerodromics in 1913.

3. Education Track

3.1 Undergraduate Entry Point

3.1.1 Eligibility Criteria

Direct Admission: - Candidates must have passed 10+2 from CBSE or an equivalent board with minimum qualifying marks in aggregate with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as core subjects.

Entrance Exams: - Some State, Central and Private universities have entrance tests for admission. Few reputed colleges like BITS Pilani, SRM etc admit students who have an aggregate passing mark in Entrance exams like COMEDKJEE Main, BITSAT, and SRMJEE that is conducted at state or national level.

Admission for Diploma holders: - Students having a diploma in mechanical or allied stream are absorbed by colleges in the second year. Other forms : - Some colleges admit students with a bachelor’s degree in science.


- This subject is a special branch of Engineering and provides students with a strong foundation to study further.

- A bachelor’ degree is sufficient to apply for professional Engineer license. With experience, the candidates can also climb the higher rungs of their chosen career.

3.1.3 Challenges

- The candidates have only a fundamental knowledge of the subject. A postgraduate degree is necessary to obtain deep insight into various technical aspects in Civil Engineering

- Job opportunities and payscales are less at this stage

3.2 Post Graduate Entry Point

3.2.1 Eligibility Criteria

B.E./B.Tech candidates are generally eligible for a Post Graduate degree in Civil Engineering. They are given admission in the following two ways:

Direct Admission: - The Candidates having a B.Tech/B.E. in Civil Engineering and a minimum passing aggregate are considered eligible for a Post Graduation degree. Entrance exams: - Many Institutes require candidates to clear GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) for admission into their Post Graduate courses. The advantage of GATE is that some Public Sector undertakings directly employ candidates who have cleared GATE.

3.2.1 Benefits of Post Graduate Entry

- Since the students have a better grasp on the subject entry level jobs are not difficult to obtain

- One can take up Specialization subjects at this stage like Structural or Construction engineering and seek jobs accordingly. Exposure to technical skills are higher at this stage

- Adds Value to qualifications so one can expect bigger salary packages

- Employer have more confidence on an M.Tech qualified persons to delegate challenging jobs that improves capabilities and remuneration package.

- Candidates can decide their future at this stage whether to go for Research, Academics or sometimes Managerial studies.

3.2.2 Challenges of Post Graduate Entry

- The course fee at this stage is high and only few persons can afford it

- The course can be completed on time only if proper project guides are available

- To get the PG degree on time, Thesis should be backed up by Research and publication. Degree may be held back if these processes are not completed and 2 years of M.E./M.Tech would be wasted.

4. Specialization or Branches

Civil Engineering is a subject that has a wide scope. Students can take specializations in any of its branches of study as professionals from all these branches are in demand at present. Some of the popular ones are listed below:

Eligibility for specialization is a Bachelor in Civil Engineering with 50% aggregate marks. Few courses can be taken up at the Graduation level also.

4.1 Structural Engineering

o Structural Engineering involves planning and building structures and machinery that are able to withstand environmental pressures and Human use. The structures should be such that they do not deflect, vibrate or collapse and remain so until their estimated lifetime. Structural Engineers constantly look towards mathematical and Science subjects for this purpose. Structural Engineers design bridges, hospitals, office buildings, ships and aeroplanes. They are also responsible for selecting design-specific, cost effective and sturdy raw materials like steel, Iron, Mansory, Alloy, timber and concrete for construction. A Technical knowledge of CAD/CAM would highly improve their eligibility for jobs in this sector.

o Specialization studies under structural engineering are:

1. Building Structures

2. Aerospace Structures

3. Nanoscale strucutures

4. Structural engineering for medical science

5. Mechanical structures

6. Earthquake engineering strucutures and

7. Civil Engineering structures

o Structural Engineers find employment in Government agencies, Engineering consultancies, Civil services, Oil companies, Railways, Civil contract companies, the armed forces and Public Utility companies.

o Salaries are upgraded with experience.

4.2 Construction Engineering

o Construction or building engineering involves planning, designing, construction and maintenance of various infrastructural facilities like Dams, Roads, Railways, tunnels, Airports, Bridges and Buildings. While regular Civil Engineers concentrate on designing and Construction Managers concentrate on time and personnel management, Construction Engineers look into the on-field construction work that is taking place.

The topics or syllabus for this special area of study include:

1. Concrete Technology

2. Building Construction Materials

3. Construction estimation and cost analysis

4. Construction Management Information systems

5. Construction Planning and Control

6. Earthquake Engineering

7. Foundation Engineering

8. Construction Methods and Equipment

9. Creativity and Innovation

10. Building and town planning

o Construction Engineers can find employment in various construction sites as Supervisors, site Engineers, Project managers, Consultants and Quality Analysts. On a higher scale they can become Divisional heads, Public works Director, City Engineer and Director of Public works.

4.3 Geotechnical Engineering

o Also called Soil engineering or Geo Technics, this involves study of natural material like earth, rock, soils and underground water for construction and design of new structures or engineering projects. Geo technical engineers mostly work underground testing soil stabilization and validating designs.

o A hundred storied building requires a 200ft of foundation, called footings under the ground. Bridges over huge water bodies, highways with heavy traffic and dams holding huge amounts of water require support systems underground like pilings and drilled shafts etc. Oil drilling platforms in the sea are also supported by massive piles thousand feet deep. Footings, support systems, shafts and piles are all designed by Geotechnical Engineers who analyze soil and other earth materials for their stability of withstanding stresses and pressures. They also are responsible for checking if the area is prone to distinctive risks and to take measures to counter them.

o Geotechnical Engineers work with structural engineers, Ocean engineers and petroleum engineers on Infrastructural projects of massive proportions. Some enter the research field of material testing and allied subjects.

o Of late Geotechnical engineers have been supported by software systems to make their jobs easier.

o Geotechnical work on large construction projects, oilrigs, Public undertakings, Highways, Railways as Geological Engineers, Groundwater hydrologists, Remediation engineers and Rock Mechanics Engineers. Salaries for these professionals depend on their experience and the Company they are working for. ?

4.4 Environment Engineering

o Environmental Engineering refers to usage of scientific and engineering concepts and creating solutions to protect human and natural entities from the various environmental hazards/problems/concerns prevalent today. Environment engineers are involved in the Design of structures/systems for Waste water management, Radiation protection and reduction, Recycling, Industrial Hygine and waste treatment , Air pollution control management, Animal protection and Agriculture. They also develop regulations to protect the environment. They design municipal Water systems and find solutions in areas of public health and sanitation in public and private areas. The Environmental engineers put forward global environmental issues like Ozone depletion, Global warming, air pollution, water pollution and acid rain to forums at the local, national and International forums. Students can also take a course in Environmental Engineering law to further their prospects in this field of study.

o Environment engineers can find employment in NGOs. Research institutes, Pollution control boards, Wastewater management boards and various such Government organizations. Students with a PhD can take up teaching positions in Universities and Colleges. This is a new branch of study but there is a demand for these professionals even at International Organizations like the UNO.

o Starting salaries range from Rs.35,000 and above.

4.5 Transport Engineering

o Transport Engineering refers to planning, designing and building of facilities for any mode of transportation using scientific, engineering and technological concepts. The aim is to provide cost-effective and durable facilities that are safe, comfortable, efficient and environmental friendly. Transportation engineers plan closely with Urban planners for better results. Some of the sub divisions of Transport planning are:

1. Highway engineering – involves planning, design, Construction, operation and maintenance of Highways for smooth movement vehicular traffic. It involves estimation of traffic volumes, Safety aspects etc.

2. Railway Engineering – involves planning, design, Construction, operation and maintenance of railway systems for mass transport. Rail engineers build Rail networks that can transport many travelers through numerous Rail routes safer and faster.

3. Port and Harbor Engineering - involves planning, design, Construction, operation and maintenance of ports, canals and harbors. Some of concepts that are covered in this field of engineering are planning and design of marine terminals, ship berthing, inland navigation, port navigation etc.

4. Airport Engineering – involves planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of Civil Airports, Helipad and Seaplane bases. Airport engineers need to design the runway lengths, airport takeoff and landing areas, lighting, safety areas, Passenger waiting facilities, reception etc.

o Transport Engineers are employed by Government and Private Organizations involved in Infrastructural facilities like Highways, Railway , Marine and Airports.

5. Career Path

Students who pursue Civil Engineering can find employment in Public Infrastructure departments, Tunnel engineering, Academics, Construction companies, Transportation Companies and the like.

Civil Engineers are appointed as Technical Officers, Business Analysts, Architects, Supervisors, Managers, Land Surveyor, Consultants, Executive Engineers and Assistant Executive Engineers.

Salaries depend on the Experience of a particular candidate and the Company where employment is sought. The students with Master degree and specialization in one of the branches of Civil Engineering can even seek employment opportunities abroad.