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What does a Civil Engineer do?

By: Haseeb Jamal / On: May 10, 2017

A Civil Engineer is responsible for planning, design, construction and/or maintenance of structures. Civil Engineer can work in private constructions companies, governmental public works organizations or in universities as a research fellow or a teacher. Civil Engineer is able to do the following jobs:

  1. To survey a site.
  2. To write a technical report about the area or a project.
  3. To plot out a Design or Plan of a structure.
  4. To plot out a Design of the foundation.
  5. To estimate costs, expenses and ensure economy.
  6. To construct a structure e.g. buildings, bridges, highways, tunnels, dams.
  7. To maintain or repair a previously build structure.
  8. To devise means of communication by construction and survey of roads, rails, highways, airports, seaports, train stations or freeway interchanges so that smooth and even flow of traffic (road, sea or air traffic) is maintained as well as higher user rates are ensured.
  9. To design foundation for electrical transmission towers, radio signals etc.
  10. To teach students in a university.
  11. To run and manage a private construction firm.
  12. To construct canals and dams and plan water supply schemes, sewer pipes and preventing flooding.
  13. Processing and purifying organic materials, environmental impact studies, and the interface of civil engineering projects with the natural world.
  14. Coastal projects and management of coastal areas.

A Civil Engineer is responsible for the design of safe structures which meet standard building codes in the regions that they are being built in. These structures must be designed with maintenance, efficiency, and other economic concerns in mind as well to ensure that they will endure through years of use.

Having attained a four year bachelor's degree in civil engineering, one can work as a civil engineer, though this requirement may be more in some countries and even may be less somewhere, where only a three years diploma or a certification course may be regarded equivalent to civil engineer.

People who are interested in a career in civil engineering should plan on taking large amounts of math and science in high school, and they should pursue degrees in civil engineering in college. For advanced positions and additional knowledge, graduate school is strongly recommended.

Civil Engineering Education

Because civil engineering focuses on the study of structural systems, the core courses in a civil engineering curriculum reflect this. Most civil engineers start their learning with basic physics and calculus courses. Later courses can include geology, soil mechanics, and design of steel structures. A civil engineering curriculum is usually rounded out with advanced classes that match the student's desired specialty, which may hydrology, development of concrete structures, and highway design, among other specialties. There are many colleges and universities across the country that provide degrees in engineering, from bachelor's degrees to PhD s.

Some colleges, such as Worcester Polytechnic Institute or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute primarily cater to developing engineers and scientists. Many schools, such as state universities, have a college of engineering within them. Admission to engineering schools is highly competitive, and applicants that are chosen are often in the top of their high school class with extracurricular and leadership activities that show they are capable of the rigorous workload that awaits them when they enroll.


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