What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the planning, designing, construction, and maintenance of infrastructures such as buildings, dams, canals, waterworks, waste treatment systems, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, airports etc. It is one of the oldest branches of engineering and since the ancient time has been key to the growth of civilizations and empires. Even today it forms the backbone of all economic development. The focus of civil engineers is that all they build or construct is safe, economical, endure years of use and does not damage the environment. For this purpose, they analyze the way these structures are likely to behave once they’re built, and choose the best materials and construction methods for each design. A course in civil engineering requires a strong foundation in mathematics, basic sciences and mechanics. This is the focus of the course in the beginning and later students go about learning geology, soil mechanics, hydrology, material science, surveying, structural engineering, hydraulics, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering and water resources engineering. In addition, because civil engineering requires overall planning of very large projects whose components involve many other disciplines, students are also taught project management and other management techniques. Further the course also covers advanced concepts such as computer aided design and simulation.

How to Pursue the Course?

To become a civil engineer, one has to do a B.Tech. or a BE in the field. For this purpose, an engineering entrance exam needed to be written at the end of class XII and admission to this branch is based on the rank obtained in the entrance exam. These entrance exams are either at state or national level. Some of the national level entrance exams to be taken are: JEE Mains, JEE Advanced, BITSAT, VITEEE, Manipal OET, SRMEEE, among many others. The state level exams include UPSEE in UP, MHT-CET in Maharashtra, CET and COMEDK in Karnataka, WBJEE in West Bengal, and EAMCET in AP among others. For taking the engineering entrance exams a student is required to study physics, chemistry and mathematics in class XII and pass class 12th with 50%. In many cases the pass percentage needed is 60% and may be even more.

Some Top Colleges

There are many institutes in India providing a B.Tech. or a BE in Civil Engineering. Among them are some of the IITs; most of the NITs; BITS Pilani; Jadavpur University; Delhi Technological University; BIT Mesra; Manipal Institute of Technology; SRM University; VIT and the list goes on.

Career Prospects

India is in the midst of high economic growth and rapid urbanization. To both sustain the economic growth and manage the urbanization, development of infrastructure is a must. So be it real estate or factories or roads or metro rail networks or airports or dams or water works, there is an enormous amount of construction activity going on. This has created a huge demand for civil engineers. And given the fact that in the years to come more and more infrastructural development will be needed, the employment opportunities in this field of engineering can never go down. From government to public and private sectors, there are ample jobs for Civil Engineers. They can also work as independent consultants after they have had extensive industry experience or gained a specialization.


A Civil Engineer starts as a trainee and goes on to become a project engineer or a specialist in a particular area of civil engineering. With more experience of working on projects he/she becomes a project manager. The typical starting salary is between 2.5 to 3 lakhs per annum. Salary may be higher if graduation is done from more reputed college. The increment in salaries takes place as an engineer starts demonstrating performance, gaining experience and improving his/her skills on the job.