What is Civil Engineering and How to become a Civil Engineer
What is Civil engineer?
A civil engineer is a trained and qualified person in the area of civil engineering. Civil engineering involves planning, design and maintenance of infrastructures such as roads, canals, bridges, airports, dams and buildings as well as protecting the environment and public health. To become a civil engineer, you need to be a registered member of a relevant civil engineers board. The general requirement is a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering for entry level. However, to be registered as a qualified engineer, some experience as a practicing civil engineer is necessary.
An overview of civil engineering areas of study
To understand more what civil engineer is, you need to have a general knowledge of the areas of study involved. The area:
- Engineering mechanics: includes static and dynamics, study of Newton’s laws of motion, resolution of forces and concepts of momentum.
- Engineering mathematics: includes algebra, calculus, differential equations, partial differential equations and numerical methods both pure and applied.
- Engineering Drawing and Design: includes orthographic projections, generation of isometric views, building and construction design, use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and analysis of designs.
- Solids and structural mechanics: involves stress and strain analysis, theory of torsion, forces on loaded beams, deflections, thermal stresses and experimental stress analysis.
- Geology, soil mechanics, Planning and architecture: involves the study of rocks and soils, town planning and leaning of various architectural principles.
- Thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and hydraulics: study of basic laws of thermodynamics, fluid flows in open tunnels and pipes and hydraulic power principles.
- Other areas include basic mechanical and electrical engineering principles, computer programming, surveying, engineering economics and communication skills.
How to be a civil engineer
You need to begin by understanding the responsibilities of a civil engineer in the engineering profession and the society of which have been mentioned above. On top of that, a civil engineer has the responsibility to produce accurate, safe and high standard civil engineering outcomes. The job of a civil engineer is highly rewarding and involving due to the high level of expertise and skills required. A civil engineer can work as a consultant, contractor or as a public servant. However, due to limitations of capital, many civil engineers work with established firms in the mentioned areas. On the other hand, there are requirements to become a registered engineer; you need to check this in your country and remember in many countries, you cannot be a consultant without first being registered as a professional engineer with the relevant organization.
Secondly, you need to assess your immediate skills and qualification; because, this will help you to choose a study program. You need to be good in mathematics, sciences, abstract thinking and design. In addition, you need to be someone who is responsible and capable of working in a team. It is also important that you have good skills of presenting your ideas mostly in drawings and verbally at times. If you are still in school, perfect the relevant subjects and skills as a form of preparation for your career. You may also contact some of the universities offering civil engineering degree and inquire about specific requirements. If your qualifications are below, you may consider starting from a diploma level and later proceed to the degree level.
After securing a place in a university, start researching on the areas of specialization and choose the path that best fits your desires and abilities. The areas of specialization may include structural engineering, highway engineering, transportation and traffic engineering, coastal engineering, soil and water engineering and environmental engineering. Note that the first part of the program will involve general study of civil engineering and related science principles, while specialization may begin for the last two years of your degree program. During the training, you will also be required to undertake some industrial or field attachments to enhance your practical skills; in addition, a number of field trips may come your way. You may also consider having an internship during any available free holiday or after completing your studies awaiting graduation.
After acquiring your civil engineering degree, research on the relevant engineering bodies that deal with registration of engineers and join them. In some countries, you will be registered as a graduate engineer as soon as you graduate if your program is accredited by the body. The body also sets a minimum number of years of experience and education level to be registered a qualified engineer. If you are in USA, you will have to take some relevant exams including Engineering In Training or EIT exam that is taken in the final year of study and PE exam taken after studies. In the United Kingdom, you can be registered as an engineering technician, incorporated engineer or Chattered engineer.
Finally, gather experience, build your CV, be at a position to offer quality services and earn more. You may also decide to further your studies if you find it necessary. This will depend on the field experience and whether any inadequacies have been experienced in the course of work. For instance, it will not be necessary for you to go for a PhD when a masters or a bachelors degree in adequate as this will introduce some redundancy. However, many would go for it due to the need at hand and passion. This would lead to complete utilization of the gained knowledge and thus no redundancy.
It can be concluded that, civil engineering is one of the best professions offering a variety of areas of specialization. Also, with such a wide area of application, a smart civil engineer can easily locate and secure a good job either in the public service or with consulting and contracting firms. Finally, it is worth noting that, the fact that civil engineering is a technical field does not rule out other skills such as communication skills. It is good to balance all these for a civil engineer to be successful, to win the confidence of an employer during an interview and to be a fruitful representative of the firm he/she is working with. It is also advisable to prepare your work portfolio and keep updating it so that you can have something to show in your next job interview or to clients who may be willing to hire your services.
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This content is posted by a guest author from India .