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Civil Engineering Career – A Guide To Start Your Construction Career In 2021

civil engineering career guide

Last Updated on October 8, 2021 by Admin

There is a lot of information available all over the internet on a civil engineering career topic. Also, you can read all about it as a subject from the books well written and crafted by legendary authors and technocrats. We have tried here to provide you the highlights of the mother branch of all engineering. A complete guide to starting your civil engineer career and construction career in 2021 and beyond.

In 2020-21 Civil Engineering is one of the top 10 career options all over the world.

This article is written to answers the most important question before taking a decision to start your civil engineering career journey, find here career advice, a career path in India, and overseas. Also, get answers for types of jobs, salary, subjects, courses, and alternative careers for civil engineers, etc. Kind check this excellent article to explore the various civil engineering career options.

Civil Engineering A Rewarding Career Option

Civil engineering, the most demanding and very much lucrative career option. We have tried to answers most of the questions to choose civil engineering as a career option. Find here all the information you want to know about civil engineering to take an informed decision for opting for civil engineering as a career option.

This article is about the civil engineering career option after 10th and 12th standard and how to make your career in civil engineering? you can find here the complete information to become a successful civil engineer. Find the right answers for civil engineering as a career option after the 10th and 12th std.

Read About: Civil Engineering Careers Blueprint eBook: The Great Construction Career

What is Civil Engineering (CE)?

It is also called the ‘Mother of Engineering’. Earlier there used to be only two types of engineering, one is Military engineering for the army purpose, and for civil purposes.

All the other branches such as Mechanical Engineering, Electrical engineering have been originated from military engineering, and go on to become independent fields, while CE remains the same. CE is arguably the oldest engineering discipline. It deals with the built environment and can be recorded for the first time someone placed a roof over his or her head.

Read About What Is The Difference Between Civil Engineering and Architecture?

Types of civil engineering Projects

Civil engineering is concerned with bridges, dams, roads, buildings, Metro rails, etc. This is actually the type of engineering that takes place at almost all levels; from the private sectors to national governments. There are several types of civil engineering which include:

Structural Engineering

Structural engineering incorporates the analysis and designing of various structures, for example, bridges and buildings. The main aim is to establish and ascertain whether these structures can be able to withstand the different types of environmental factors, such as typhoons, high winds, and even earthquakes.

Structural engineering is done by the structural engineers who have to be well informed in the behavior and properties of the different kinds of materials that are used in the construction.



Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical engineering mainly depends on science and technology in creating projects and providing solutions to the problems that relate to geology. The construction projects incorporate pipelines, tunnels, levees, mines, structural foundations, stable slopes, and embankments.

The geotechnical engineer must possess the capability of understanding the soil conditions in absolutely all these types of scenarios because projects are bound to fail if the soil is not suitable. Geotechnical engineering normally uses the rock and soil mechanics principles to assess the risks that the site conditions may have.

Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering makes an analysis of the problems especially the environmental ones and strives to generate a solution to the problems. It puts together the study of mathematics, environmental science, biology, atmospheric science, engineering technology, chemistry, and hydrology.

The tasks carried out by the environmental engineers include improving the quality of water and air, locating underground water sources and treating, management of solid waste, and treating both hazardous and non-hazardous substances.

Water Resources Engineering

Water resources engineering is aimed at improving the quantity and the quality of the water sources and water. Meteorology, environmental science, fluid dynamics, and hydrology all play a very crucial role in water resources engineering.

The water resources engineers concentrate on stormwater and food analysis, groundwater remediation, wetland protection, wastewater treatment, and water supply planning.

Construction Engineering

Each of the civil engineering projects has to incorporate construction. Construction engineers, therefore, manage tasks such as the erection of structures, digging of tunnels, construction of roads, and building of the treatment plants.

A construction engineer, therefore, provides the required support to the project managers and plays a very crucial role in coming up with the scopes, designs, and even the cost estimates for the planning and consequently the construction of the projects that have been approved. Although many skills are required for this type of engineering, skills in math and science are the most important.

Transportation Engineering

Transportation engineering involves the process of designing, constructing, and maintenance of railways, highways, ports, and airfields. Transportation engineers research and improves traffic controls as well as coming up with new ways of transportation, in an effort to ameliorate mass transportation.

Simply put, transportation engineering aims at providing efficient, safe, comfortable, rapid, economical convenience, and a movement of goods and people in such a manner that is much compatible with the environment.

Read To Know About Top 27 Emerging Trends In Civil Engineering To Watch In 2020



Why a Civil Engineer is a good career option?

Civil engineers are committed to the design and building of highways, plumbing design, transportation systems, bridges, and tunnels.

They also perform services for schools, hospitals, airports, and other buildings, sewage systems, and water treatment facilities, and material science.

Most structures, large and small, require the help of a civil engineer whether in the designing, planning, or managing of the project.

 Download: Civil Engineer Careers Blueprint eBook – The Great Construction Career

Civil Engineer Career Path

This the typical civil engineering career path for most civil engineering graduates.

civil engineer career path


In construction, civil engineers start as entry-level engineers and could be promoted up to the Project manager profile.

The core civil engineering curriculum provides an excellent foundation for the critical thinking necessary to work in the construction sector. Additional classes in project management, safety, scheduling, estimating, and risk management are recommended.

As construction is hands-on, early field experience is essential to building your career. Civil engineers in the construction sector are instrumental in building and maintaining the world we live in.

What does a Civil Engineer do?

 Role Of A Civil Engineer

The role of a civil engineer could be quite complex, so you should know about it before you try to become one. In some places, CE is also known as construction engineering or structural engineering. There are several interesting things about CE, which you will get to know with experience. Here we list some of the things you might be focusing on as you work:

  • Airports.
  • Tunnels and bridges.
  • Fire stations.
  • Mining.
  • Ports and harbors.
  • Drainage and flood barriers.
  • Railways.

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Duties of Civil Engineer

Civil engineers typically perform the following duties;

  • Civil engineers are involved in the design and building of highways, bridges and tunnels, schools, hospitals, airports, and other buildings, sewage systems, and water treatment facilities.
  • Civil engineers also help to preserve our environment by assisting in the cleaning up of existing pollution and planning ways to reduce future pollution of our air, land, and water.
  • Civil engineers help plan and supervise a variety of projects involving construction, water systems, and roads.
  • Most structures, large and small, require the help of a civil engineer whether in the designing, planning, or managing of the project.
  • Civil engineers are responsible for planning and creating building projects, such as water systems, tunnels, bridges, and other public works projects. During the design phases of a project, engineers calculate the load requirements and weather conditions that the completed structure needs to withstand. They then usually consult with the builders to ensure that the project is constructed safely and successfully.
  • The civil engineering field offers a variety of professional and educational opportunities.
  • Civil engineers conceive, design, build, supervise, operate, construct and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.

  • Many civil engineers work in planning, design, construction, research, and education.
  • Analyze long-range plans, survey reports, maps, and other data to plan and design projects
  • Consider construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors during the planning and risk-analysis stages of a project
  • Compile and submit permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations
  • Oversee and analyze the results of soil testing to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations
  • Analyze the results of tests on building materials, such as concrete, wood, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects
  • Prepare cost estimates for materials, construction equipment, or labor to determine a project’s economic feasibility
  • Use design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems, and structures in line with industry and government standards
  • Perform or oversee surveying operations to establish building locations, site layouts, reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction
  • Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure
  • This field requires strong mathematical and communication skills.

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How to become a Civil Engineer?

Civil engineering courses

To become a civil engineer, the following are the options available to study civil engineering course in India.

Civil Engineering Diploma Course

Most entry-level civil engineering positions require a bachelor’s degree. In India to peruse a career as a civil engineer one should start his career journey directly after his 10th standard (SSC) by applying for the three years diploma course in civil engineering.

There are thousands of polytechnic institutes in India offering various specialized diploma courses. Check this out to know the state-wise polytechnic institutes’ lists offering AICTE approved civil engineering diploma courses 

Most of the candidates opt for jobs after completing their diploma courses and also there’s a good demand in India to start a career in civil engineering after diploma course, as most of the companies provide them career opportunities at an entry-level position.

After gaining a good industry experience a lot of diploma engineers are also earning good salaries. All it depends on one’s choice and his/her family and financial obligations.

Most of the successful civil engineers and construction professions have started their careers by being a diploma holder and after gaining good hands-on experience and other essentials paper qualifications these people are now handling multi-million dollar projects.

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Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering 

B.E. and B.Tech course is four years of full-time degree courses, and in most of the reputed and renowned institutes, students can also get a job offer in the third or final year of their engineering course through the campus placement programs by various construction, real estate, infrastructure, projects and from even an oil and gas companies.

One can opt for a bachelor’s degree program in BE or B.Tech from anywhere in India offered by various government and private engineering colleges. You can get direct admission in Civil engineering degree course after 12th Standard (HSSC)  at various engineering colleges across India.

In India degree courses in civil engineering and allied courses are offered by almost all the prestigious IITs, NIT, Government Engineering colleges, Private Engineering colleges, and similar reputed institutes.

After completing a polytechnic diploma, which is of three years duration candidates can opt for a degree course in civil engineering, the duration of this degree program is only 3 years, which means diploma students can directly get admission in the second year of Engineering / Technology courses.

At present, there are thousands of engineering colleges and institutes offering a four-year full-time degree in various branches of Engineering and Technology in India. Check this list of the UGC and AICTE approved engineering and technology colleges offering civil engineering degree courses in BE and B.Tech in India.

Read About Civil Engineering Fresher Jobs, Various Sectors to Find Jobs in 2020?

Post-Graduate Courses in Civil Engineering

After the bachelor’s degree courses in civil engineering, one can also opt for two years of full-time postgraduate master’s degree programs in various specializations of civil engineering. The following are the major areas of specialization in civil engineering.

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geoinformatics
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Hydraulics and Water Resources Engineering
  • Infrastructure Engineering and Management
  • Structural Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Water Resources Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Remote Sensing
  • Construction Technology And Management
  • Building Technology and Construction Management (BTCM)
  • Environmental and Water Resources Engineering (EWRE)
  • Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
  • Rock Engineering and Underground Structures
  • Environmental Engineering and Management

Read More About Civil Engineering Seminar Topics List Updated 2020

Education Qualification

For Diploma Course: Minimum 10th Std. Pass (SSC)

For Degree Courses: Minimum 12th Std. pass (HSSC)

For Post Graduate Courses: One needs to study B.Tech or B.E, a fours years full-time degree in Civil engineering courses recognized by AICTE and UGC in India to become a civil engineer.

You must focus on at least 40 different subjects the more emphasis should be on;

  • Mathematics
  • Technology
  • Engineering Drawing
  • Design
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Geography

If your education is over, you may need to take some technical job oriented courses and tests. One could even do construction software to make an entry in this field. Usually, to land a job as a civil engineer a bachelor’s degree is needed. Also, consider doing these courses outside your favorite field to get versatile.


Specializations: Specializing in something in the industry helps you to work in an area of your interest. Make sure you know all of your options and choose wisely.


Get an Internship: While in education, you might take the chance of earning an internship, so research the type of company you’d like to work for and apply. Such experiences will help, and your resume will get some boost.

Examinations: To get an entry into this field, and become a civil engineer you must take some examinations. You must qualify for engineering entrance exams at the national level or state levels.

Join a Professional Organisation: Once qualified as a civil engineer, you must join a professional organization in your place. This will keep you updated with news in the industry, and give you an opportunity to network.

Read About How To Face Civil Engineering Interview In 2020

List of the subjects (Syllabus)

To become a civil engineer one needs to study at least 40 subjects in four years of duration of the course, the main civil engineering subjects included in the civil engineering syllabus are;

  • Structural Mechanics
  • Building Construction Materials
  • Surveying
  • Building and Town Planning
  • Concrete Technology
  • Economics for Engineers
  • Geology and Geotechnical Engineering
  • Building Construction
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Design of Structures
  • Water Resources and Irrigation
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Advanced Construction
  • Foundation Engineering
  • Law for Engineers
  • Construction and Project Management

Those looking for supervisory or research positions can continue their education at a graduate program. A master’s degree in civil engineering can help students develop the techno-management skills needed to oversee interdisciplinary projects.

Read more about Civil Engineering Complete Syllabus for BE | B.Tech Course

What is the future of a Civil Engineering graduate?

Civil Engineers Market demand

Civil engineering has historically been and looks set to continue to be, one of the most in-demand engineering posts around the world. They literally build the very infrastructure around us, and this is unlikely to change in the future.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, civil engineering jobs are set to increase by 10% by 2026. and also RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) predicts a demand-supply gap of 44 million crore civil engineering professionals in India by 2020.

Download: Effective Job Search Strategies for Engineers

Civil engineering is something of an umbrella term and is unlikely to become saturated in the near future. Subcategories of civil engineering include things like structural engineering, environmental engineering, road/highway engineering, and transportation engineering.

A plethora of opportunities awaits skilled professionals from civil engineering in the future and the scope of civil engineering is huge.

With the booming population and increased demands of sustainable infrastructure in the form of high-end road and railway networks, better water supply arrangements and, concept buildings, the right skill set can take you to new highs in your civil engineering career.

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In addition, this fast-growing potential is why this job is called ‘evergreen’. Students enrolling for admission in Civil Engineering in 2020 can prepare and train themselves with the right skill set to be instantly employed into high-end national and international projects.

A person after the required qualification can also go abroad to work in multinational companies such as MNCs in the USA, Singapore, UAE where they can find technologically advanced learning and experience. The salary expectations after degree vary from institutes to job locations and also depends on the skills of the individual.

In India, Civil engineers are employed in all the major construction projects carried out by the state or central government like the public works departments (PWD), In Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), the railways and military, and other various government engineering departments. Civil Engineers are mostly required in private construction and real estate companies for various job profiles.

You can also find various construction jobs posted on our Job board for civil engineers, kindly register yourself and start applying for the civil engineering jobs.

Download Civil Engineering Interview Questions and Answers PDF eBOOK



Various Job profiles 

Civil engineers can choose to focus on several specific types of projects. For example, you could work on construction projects, help write building codes, or serve as a project leader.

A civil engineering degree prepares you for work in the construction industry as well as in the business, management, and financial sectors. Civil Engineers can find opportunities in any of the following Job categories of Job profiles.

The following are the types of civil engineer jobs that are out there. Jobs where your CE degree would be useful include;

  • Billing Engineer
  • Building control surveyor
  • Building services engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Engineer
  • Cost & Estimation Engineer
  • Engineering geologist
  • Environmental engineers
  • Estimation/costing Engineer
  • Geo-technical engineers
  • Planning Engineer
  • project engineer
  • QA/QC
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Sales Engineer
  • Site engineer
  • Specification engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Transportation engineers
  • Water engineer

Read More About What are the various types of Construction Companies?

Civil Engineer Salary

In civil engineering career salary offered for a Civil Engineer graduate an average salary of $66, 409 per year in the USA.

In India, fresh Civil Engineer graduates could earn an average salary of Rs 3, 11, 017 per year, and rise to around 12-18 lakhs per year. ( Source: Payscale)

As you earn experience, you will earn more. Experience strongly influences pay for this job, the figures are only a guideline to help you.

The highest paying skills associated with this job are Microsoft Project, Project Management, Engineering Design, and Project control.

The employment of civil engineers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2015 to 2022, which is also much faster than the average for all occupations. As infrastructure ages, civil engineers will be needed to manage projects to rebuild bridges, repair roads, and upgrade levees and dams.

Read More About Pathways to Property: Starting Your Career in Real Estate

Skills Needed for a Job as a Civil Engineer

Following are the civil engineering requirements;

  • Management Skills.
  • Analytical Thinking.Technical Skill
  • Communication Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Leadership Skills
  • Creative Mind
  • Being Able to Negotiate.
  • Attention to Detail
  • Good Time Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Being able to Visualize
  • Team-Player
  • Passion for Learning
  • Enthusiasm and Commitment

While soft skills like leadership and communication are critical to CE, civil engineers also require hard skills, particularly technical skills. They must be skilled in math and physics, as well as map reading, design techniques, and computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Read About Civil Engineering Basics Skill To Become A Successful Civil Engineer

Transferable skills gained in a civil engineering course include;

  • Creative approach to problem-solving
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ability to interpret data
  • Numeracy, IT and communication skills
  • Analytical and decision-making abilities
  • An awareness of ethical issues.

Civil engineers also must present their findings to the public on topics such as bid proposals, environmental impact statements, or property descriptions.



Important Qualities for Civil Engineers

Decision-making skills. Civil engineers often balance multiple and frequently conflicting objectives, such as determining the feasibility of plans with regard to financial costs and safety concerns. Urban and regional planners often look to civil engineers for advice on these issues. Civil engineers must be able to make good decisions based on best practices, their own technical knowledge, and their own experience.

Leadership skills. Civil engineers take ultimate responsibility for the projects that they manage or research that they perform. Therefore, they must be able to lead planners, surveyors, construction managers, civil engineering technicians, civil engineering technologists, and others in implementing their project plan.

Math skills. Civil engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Organizational skills. Only licensed civil engineers can sign design documents for infrastructure projects. This requirement makes it imperative that civil engineers be able to monitor and evaluate the work at the job site as a project progresses. That way, they can ensure compliance with the design documents. Civil engineers also often manage several projects at the same time, and thus must be able to balance time needs and to effectively allocate resources.

Problem-solving skills. Civil engineers work at the highest level of the planning, design, construction, and operation of multifaceted projects or research. The many variables involved require that they possess the ability to identify and evaluate complex problems. They must be able to then use their skill and training to develop cost-effective, safe, and efficient solutions.

Speaking skills. Civil engineers must present reports and plans to audiences of people with a wide range of backgrounds and technical knowledge. This requires the ability to speak clearly and to converse with people in various settings and to translate engineering and scientific information into easy-to-understand concepts.

Writing skills. Civil engineers must be able to communicate with others, such as architects, landscape architects, urban and regional planners. They also must be able to explain projects to elected officials and citizens. Civil engineers must be able to write reports that are clear, concise, and understandable to those with little or no technical or scientific background.

Other skills also include;

If you think you have the above-mentioned skills, then you need to get trained to be a civil engineer.

Read About How To Face Civil Engineering Interview In 2020

The brief job description of some of the job profiles

Construction engineers manage construction projects, ensuring that they are scheduled and built in accordance with plans and specifications. These engineers typically are responsible for the design and safety of temporary structures used during construction. They may also oversee the budgetary, time-management, and communications aspects of a project.

Geotechnical engineers work to make sure that foundations for built objects ranging from streets and buildings to runways and dams are solid. They focus on how structures built by civil engineers, such as buildings and tunnels, interact with the earth (including soil and rock). In addition, Geotech engineers design and plan for slopes, retaining walls, and tunnels.

Structural engineers design and assess major projects, such as buildings, bridges, or dams, to ensure their strength and durability.

Transportation engineers plan, design, operate and maintain everyday systems, such as streets and highways, but they also plan larger projects, such as airports, ship ports, mass transit systems, and harbors.

Civil engineers work in a variety of locations and conditions. When working on designs, civil engineers may spend most of their time indoors in offices. However, construction engineers may spend much of their time outdoors at construction sites monitoring operations or solving onsite problems. Some jobs may require frequent relocation to different areas and offices in job site trailers.

Civil engineers who function as project managers may work from cars or trucks as they move from site to site. Many civil engineers work for government agencies in government office buildings or facilities. Occasionally, civil engineers travel abroad to work on large engineering projects in other countries.

Download: Ultimate Guide To Job Interview Answers For Engineers

Final Words

After reading this in-depth article you can easily make the decision whether civil engineering would be a better career option for you or not? We recommend for the entrants’ career aspirant to go for the civil engineering career, as there is and will always be the demand for skilled civil engineers and construction professionals forever.faq

In summary, Civil Engineering would be a good career choice. So start with a training program and get on your way to become a successful civil engineer. This basic engineering field is good for your civil engineering career at all times. Specifically, It also has the advantage of getting government jobs in almost every sector.

What is Civil Engineering (CE)?

Civil engineering is concerned with bridges, dams, roads, buildings, Metro rails, etc. This is actually the type of engineering that takes place at almost all levels; from the private sectors to national governments.

Types of civil engineering Projects

1. Structural Engineering
2. Geotechnical Engineering
3. Water Resources Engineering
4. Water Resources Engineering
5. Construction Engineering
6. Transportation Engineering

Civil Engineer Salary

The average salary for a fresh civil engineer is $66, 409 per year in the USA. In India, it is Rs 3,11,017 per year,

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