Just as civil engineering is an arm of engineering that deals solely with the creation of physical structures, it is comprised of a lot of sub-disciplines. So, to make a good career out of it, you must acquaint yourself with the different types, easiest sub-disciplines, and highest-paying jobs; you can get involved with a civil engineering degree.
Civil engineers are unarguably at the lead of innovation in our contemporary. So, their roles can’t be overemphasized.
See the table of contents below to have an overview of the topics discussed in this article.
What Is Civil Engineering?
According to Wikipedia, civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewerage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways.
Going down the list of how positive the impact of civil engineers has been, is just endless. Therefore, you have to agree with me that civil engineering is an indispensable arm of the engineering field.
Who Is A Civil Engineer?
A civil engineer is one who plans and designs infrastructure objects such as bridges, roads, and canals. The process of erecting a structure fall under the jurisdiction of a civil engineer. He does all the ideation, budgeting, construction management, and follow-up.
The civil engineer is more responsible for getting durable materials to uphold structural integrity.
There are different sub-divisions where a civil engineering student can find solace and make it enviable. Let’s see the next topic for the different types of civil engineering.
Duties Of A Civil Engineer
The primary roles that civil engineers are known for are the designing, supervision, operation, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure projects in both private and public sectors.
Infrastructure objects include roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage treatment systems. However, below are some of the duties civil engineers perform.
- They carry out analysis on long-range plans, survey reports, maps, and other data to plan and design projects.
- Consideration of construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors during the planning and risk-analysis stages of a project
- Compilation and submission of permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations
- Interpret the results of tests on building materials, such as concrete, wood, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects.
- Preparation of cost estimates for materials, equipment, or labor to determine a project’s economic expediency
- Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure.
- 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 altitudes to guide construction.
What Are The Different Types Of Civil Engineering?
Basically, civil engineering is broad, and in an attempt to make things a lot easier for its students, there are other types or concentrations of civil engineering. They are as follows.
- Transportation Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Construction Engineering
- Water Resources Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering
This arm of civil engineering focuses more on planning, designing, operating, and maintaining safe and adequate transportation systems. Transportation engineering ensures there are comfortable and convenient means of transportation.
The categories related to transportation engineering include railways, waterways, roadways, aerospace, coastal, and ocean transportation.
Also, one interesting fact about transportation engineering is that it spurs the interest of transportation engineers toward not just the infrastructure, but also the people who use these structures.
Therefore, the demand for these sets of civil engineers will continually grow because of future automobile and transportation advancements. However, there are some other branches of transportation engineering, such as traffic, highway, and railway systems engineering.
Have you ever wondered how tall buildings are able to stand natural disasters and not shake a bit? This is due to the application of structural engineering.
This type of civil engineering comprises of the structural analysis and design of structures. Here, the structural engineer does the analysis that satisfies the project specifications and meets all safety regulations.
So, the bedrock of structural engineering theory is the utilization of physical laws and experimental data of the structural representation of different materials and geometrics.
Furthermore, branches of structural engineering include architectural, wind, earthquake, and ocean engineering.
This focuses on the planning and carrying out of designs from site development. Construction engineers are the ones who ensure that designs made by other types of engineers are carried out according to specifications.
Majorly, the construction engineers do the supervision work from scratch to finish and also handle any exigencies that may come up at the time the project is ongoing.
Water Resources Engineering
Practicing engineers in this type of civil engineering deal majorly with designing and constructing hydraulic structures. These structures include water distribution systems, canals, and dams.
Also, they are responsible for implementing precautionary measures that must be strictly followed when dealing with hydraulic structures. The sub-divisions under this field are river, coastal, groundwater, and hydraulic engineering.
In geotechnical engineering, the engineer studies soil, foundations, and bearing capacities. This is to know how these earth materials affect s structure yet to be erected.
Geotechnical engineers have a broad knowledge of soil science, and material science as well as the mechanics and hydraulics involved in safely creating a variety of structures and buildings.
Also, they access pre-existing structures that manifest problematic signs either with the soil topography or with nearby materials. Mining and foundation engineering are the branches of geotechnical engineering.
How To Become A Civil Engineer
As an intending civil engineer, you can start off your career by enrolling in chemistry, physics, and advanced mathematics courses. Some of the core requirements may include classes on computer-aided design (CAD).
Also, you may need to take engineering statistics courses to develop your computation skill.
Basically, a bachelor’s degree is what you need to become a civil engineer. Up to the peak of your engineering career, you may need a graduate degree and a license to scale to higher positions.
How Much Does A Civil Engineer Earn?
The much a civil engineer earns is dependent on the area of specialization in the profession, although the effect isn’t as much as you might think it would.
Below is a rundown of the different earnings for the different types of civil engineering. This will further sharpen your mindset on being specific on which area to get into.
According to PayScale, the average salary for transportation engineers is $66,632, structural engineers make an average salary of $66,337, construction engineers earn $66,632, water resources engineers earn $63,653 on average, while geotechnical engineers make an average salary of $65,362.
In the actual sense, places where these civil engineers work, tend to have more effect on their potential earnings than their areas of specialization.
So, from the data represented above, the highest-paying job for civil engineering is structural engineering.
Job Outlook For Civil Engineers
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that civil engineering jobs will increase by 11% between 2018 and 2028, which is average fast for all occupations.
With the growth of advanced technology, civil engineers will be required to manage structures and make them comfortable for public usage.
Furthermore, there will be more job creations for civil engineers because existing waterways will need some maintenance to reduce leaks, just as they will also be needed for renewable energy projects.
Which Type Of Civil Engineering Is The Best?
The different types of civil engineering discussed in this article all have their merits and demerits. However, the following factors are the factors you may wish to consider before arriving at which arm of civil engineering is the best for you.
- Your area of interest
- The kind of money you propose to earn in the long run
- The career opportunities open to each arm of civil engineering.
- Additional career intensifications.
Frequently Asked Questions
The types of civil engineering are Transportation Engineering, structural engineering, construction engineering, water resources engineering, and geotechnical engineering.
All civil engineering fields have their merits and demerits as what appears to be best to one student may differ from another.
However, there are some factors you may wish to consider for you to arrive at which field of civil engineering is the best.
They are: your area of interest, your proposed earning, career opportunities, and further career advancements open in any of the types of civil engineering.
Because of recent developments and more to come, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected civil engineering jobs to grow by 11% between 2018 and 2028.
Civil engineering is a very rewarding career, and I hope this piece of information helps you find out your area of interest and make a career out of it.