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Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings. Civil engineering is the second-oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it is defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering. It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including architectural engineering, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, control engineering, structural engineering etc. Civil engineering takes place in the public sector from the municipal sector through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.


Civil engineering is the application of physical and scientific principles for solving the problems of society, and its history is intricately linked to advances in understanding of physics and mathematics throughout history. Because civil engineering is a wide ranging profession, including several separate specialized sub-disciplines, its history is linked to knowledge of structures, materials science, geography, geology, soils, hydrology, environment, mechanics and other fields.

Throughout ancient and medieval history most architectural design and construction was carried out by artisans, such as stonemasons and carpenters, rising to the role of master builder. Knowledge was retained in guilds and seldom supplanted by advances. Structures, roads, and infrastructure that existed were repetitive, and increases in scale were incremental.

One of the earliest examples of a scientific approach to physical and mathematical problems applicable to civil engineering is the work of Archimedes in the 3rd century BC, including Archimedes’ Principle, which underpins our understanding of buoyancy, and practical solutions such as Archimedes’ screw. Brahmagupta, an Indian mathematician, used arithmetic in the 7th century AD, based on Hindu-Arabic numerals, for excavation (volume) computations.

How to be a Civil Engineer?

To be a civil engineer you have to complete a degree or diploma course from a reputed university or institution, after which you earn a B.E./B.Tech. or a diploma degree. While B.E./B.Tech. will take four years of education, diploma will take three years. If you wish, you can also pursue higher education and complete a master’s course with a specialization.

Top institutes

The top institutes carrying the baton for civil engineering in India are as follows:

Name Contact Official Website
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) 022 2572 2545, jeeiitb[at]
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) 011 2659 7135 , director[at]
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur) 0512 259 0151 , [email protected]
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT KGP) 03222 255 221 , registrar @
Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) 044 2257 8280 , [email protected]
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT Roorkee) +91-1332-285311, [email protected]
Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS-Pilani) 01596-515395, [email protected]
Indian Institute of Technology – Banaras Hindu University (IIT-BHU) 0542 236 8106 , [email protected]
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Guwahati) 0361 258 3000 , director [AT]

Course & Duration

You can opt for Civil Engineering once you have completed your secondary or senior secondary examination. The academic criterion of civil engineering is divided in three courses/programmes as follows:

  1. Diploma courses leading to the polytechnic diploma of 3 years duration.
  2. UG courses leading to the B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology) degree of 4 years duration.
  3. PG courses leading to the M.Tech (Master of Technology) degree of 2 years duration.

Beside these, it is one of the broad research fields leading to the PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree. After the completion of 10th standard, you are only eligible to enter the diploma courses. Once you have passed the 12th standard, you are fully eligible to choose the undergraduate (B.Tech) programme. For entering in Civil Engineering, either in diploma or UG, mathematics and physics are the compulsory subjects which have to be in the qualifying examination, whereas for entering in PG (M.Tech) programme, B.Tech in civil engineering is must.

In most countries, you will have to be certified by the professional body after completion of your degree in civil engineering. For this certification process, you will have to comply a range of conditions including mandatory exam and work experience before being certified. Then you will be designated as the Professional Engineer (USA, Canada & SA), a Chartered Engineer (Commonwealth Countries), and European Engineers (European Countries).

Job Scenario

Once done with their graduation, students can be a part of building developers, town developer, canal works, city planners, road & rail transport developer, dam & bridge developer and any workplace wherein the building/construction/physical creativity or natural resourcing creativity is involved. After the completion of degree in civil engineering one can go for the public/private sector or government sector as well. The salary of civil engineers in India ranges from 5 lakhs per annum to 20+ lakhs per annum depending on the calibre of the student.

That’s all for now. All the best!

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