What is Civil Engineering? Explanation, Advantages, and Average Salaries

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Civil engineering is one of the oldest and may be the oldest engineering branch among others. Before civil engineers, the job of civil engineers is carried out by architects. But in the history and emergence of very complex structures, civil engineering emerged to make the required engineering calculations to keep the complex buildings up. Here, we will explain civil engineering from the widest viewpoint. You can find this information about civil engineering here; 

  • Civil engineering job description,
  • Short story of civil engineering,
  • Areas where civil engineers can work, 
  • Advantages of civil engineering among other engineering fields, 
  • Civil engineering education,
  • Average salaries of civil engineers in the world,

Check: Best Laptops for Engineers!

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering includes lots of kinds of branches inside it. But in the most general viewpoint, civil engineering is an engineering field that deals with the design and erection of highways, water channels, dams, buildings, bridges, railways, and other constructional things that are very important for our CIVILization. In most sources, civil engineering is also referred to as structural engineering but structural engineers can also deal with machinery which is also a working field of mechanical engineers. 

There are lots of similar sub-disciplines between civil engineering and mechanical engineering. Solid mechanics are used in both engineering fields. So, general topics of solid mechanics such as statics, dynamics, and strength of structures are common disciplines that the fundamentals of civil and mechanical engineering are dependent upon. 

Short Story of Civil Engineering

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Civil engineering has emerged from architecture in modern structural technology. Architects are the designers and builders of all structures such as bridges, buildings, etc. in history. But, historical structures may be very durable and epic thanks to intelligent historical architects but they are generally funded by the rich people of that time, maybe queens and kings. So in general, there are no financial considerations in the erection of these historical structures. For most of them, the sources are nearly infinite. 

The buildings or houses of normal people at this time in history are made by the people themselves. So, there is no architectural work for the house of the poor and middle-class people. They make their houses by themselves. Architecture was the selective thing in history. 

Civil engineering emerges in the modern building and structural technologies from architecture. In today’s modern world, nearly there is no building that civil engineers did not take apart. 

The biggest responsibility of engineers in every field, obtaining the optimized things both in quality and financially. So, civil engineers are doing the same thing. They are designing and calculating the most durable structures with the lowest price. For example, there are minimum loading and external standards that a building must withstand for safety such as a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. Civil engineers make the required calculations to build the structure ensuring these standards with minimum expenses. So, the minimum amount of resources is expensed to obtain the most durable and solid structures. 

Also, civil engineers are making buildings and houses for the low and middle classes. Even the smallest houses have minimum durableness standards, and civil engineers make calculations to obtain the cheapest houses that comply with these standards. 

So, in modern structures, there is an engineering approach and optimization which is not in old structures. All the people are living in the cheapest and safest houses and buildings thanks to the modern-day civil engineering approach. 

Which Areas and Fields That Civil Engineers Can Work?

The fields that the civil engineers can work is very wide. There are different fields that civil engineers can work in; 

  • Structural Engineering: In most sources, structural engineering is referred to as civil engineering. But it is not like this. Structural engineering deals with the calculation and design of the strength of structures such as buildings. They know how to obtain an optimal structure with optimal strength. 
  • Earthquake Engineering: Earthquakes are one of the most dangerous things that structures are subjected to. In the strength calculations of structures, possible earthquakes are considered and calculated. Structures are designed by earthquake engineers to withstand the possible biggest earthquakes that can occur in that region. 
  • Environmental Engineering: There are lots of kinds of structures, buildings, bridges, roads, and other artificial things that are made. Other civil engineering fields are considered human life and finance. But environmental engineers consider nature while a project has emerged. They are making designs and innovations to save nature from these artificial effects. There are lots of negative effects of artificially made structures on nature, and environmental engineers are working for eliminating these negative effects. 
  • Railway Engineering: Railways are one of the most important aspects of human civilization. For transportation, railways are very important. Railways are very big structures and they must be durable in different conditions for long years. Railway engineering is a special field in civil engineering to design these durable railways. 
Railway map of Europe(Image Source: Wikipedia).
  • Urban Planning: Crowded residential areas must be designed to be suitable for human life. Urban sprawl must be avoided. If very good urban planning is made before building a residential area, urban sprawl is avoided and very beautiful cities are obtained. Urban planners are doing this stuff and creating maximum and minimum criteria to obtain buildings and structures. 
  • Offshore Engineering: Offshore engineering is a special civil engineering field that deals with the structures built in the ocean or sea. These structures are generally oil and natural gas extraction stations. All the effects of ocean or sea must be calculated in the design of offshore stations. In general, offshore engineers are working in the energy sector.
  • Hydraulics Engineering: Hydraulic engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering that deals with the transportation of liquids in long ranges. Hydraulic engineers generally take part in dam projects, oil and natural gas transmission lines projects, and water network projects in cities. 
  • Geotechnics: Geotechnics is a very important area of civil engineering which deals with the estimations of geology where buildings and structures will make on it. The design of structures will be affected by the type of ground. According to the type of ground, the building foundation is designed. 
  • Bridge Engineering: Bridges are very important and fascinating artificial structures. They are one of the most important parts of shore logistics. Bridge engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering which deals with the design and operation of the bridges. 

The working fields of civil engineers can be enhanced but these fields are the most studied civil engineering fields civil engineers take part in. 

Advantages of Civil Engineering around Other Engineering Disciplines

All the engineering fields have advantages because they are dealing with real problems and they are challenging nature with the laws of nature itself. But civil engineering has very good advantages compared with other job fields. 

  • Civil engineering will never end. Civil engineering will never end. Because people need structures to live and maintain their civilization and lives. So every time, human civilization needs civil engineers to design houses, buildings, and other structures. 
  • Civil engineers can work in every country. The fundamentals of civil engineering are the same in every country. Structures made in Japan and the US are made with the same engineering fundamentals. So, you can find a job in every country in the world if you are a good engineer.
  • Civil engineers earn higher. In all the countries, civil engineer salaries are high compared with other jobs. Because their responsibilities are very high and they are responsible for the safety of the structures. 
  • Civil engineering is a highly respected job. Because engineering is a very hard field and the education of civil engineering is very hard. Only people with special abilities can study and mak civil engineering. Because of this reason, people show respect for civil engineers. 
  • Civil engineers have a freelance working advantage. Civil engineers can have projects and create building projects and sign these projects. Engineering companies or building companies can give freelance projects to civil engineers and civil engineers get paid because of these projects. Civil engineers can set their engineering companies to give civil engineering services like this. 

How is the Civil Engineering Education?

Civil engineering education is very hard. You need to work hard to finish civil engineering. For companies that are hiring civil engineers, finishing the civil engineering on time and with a success such as a high GPA are very important factors. 

In general, civil engineering education is 4 years in most engineering colleges. Maybe an additional 1 year can be added as a preparation class. In preparation class, language education is given generally. Language education is given to learning the terms of civil engineering in different languages. The real civil engineering education starts after the preparation class. 

The first year of civil engineering education comprises the first and second semesters. In the first and second semester of the civil engineering education, fundamentals of mathematics, calculus, general topics about civil engineering, fundamentals of physics, and fundamentals of chemistry is given. 

In the second year of civil engineering education, the third and fourth semesters are taken. In the third and fourth semester, fundamentals of structural engineering lessons are taken such as Statics, Dynamics, and Strength of Materials. And also, advanced mathematic lessons are taken such as Differential Equations. Lessons about engineering materials and engineering mechanics are also in the third and fourth semesters of the civil engineering education. 

The third year of the civil engineering education includes the most important civil engineering lessons and the hardest civil engineering lessons are taken this year. At the end of this year, you will take nearly all the essential lessons of civil engineering education. You will take lessons like Soil Mechanics, Traffic and Transportation Engineering, Earthquake Engineering, Hydromechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Reinforced Concrete Mechanics, Construction Engineering Fundamentals… This year, you will gain your principal civil engineering abilities. 

The fourth year of civil engineering comprises the seventh and eighth semesters. This year, you will take optional lessons about civil engineering. These lessons will be about in which field you want to develop your skills. Also, you will have a final thesis in civil engineering, it is very important to take the optional lessons in the accordance with your topic of the final thesis. Also, it will be very good to complete your final thesis in an engineering company, which will be a very important asset for your career. 

Average Civil Engineer Salaries in the World

Civil engineers are earning very good salaries around the world. In the world countries, the average salaries are; 

  • Switzerland: Switzerland is one of the most paying countries for civil engineers in the world. The average salary of civil engineers in Switzerland is $80.000 per year.
  • Denmark: In Denmark, civil engineers are earning very good. the average civil engineer salary in Denmark is around $75.000 per year.
  • Norway: In countries like Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, working conditions for civil engineers are very good. The average salary of a civil engineer in Norway is around $65.000 per year. 
  • The United States: Nearly all the engineers around the world are willing to work in the US in their careers. In the US, the average civil engineer salary is around $62.000. 
  • Canada and Australia: These two countries may be the biggest importer of civil engineers. And the average salaries in Canada and Australia are very high. Salaries of civil engineers in Canada and Australia are around $50.000 per year. 
  • The EU Countries: The EU countries such as Germany, France, and the Netherlands pay civil engineers a very good amount of salaries. The average salary of civil engineering in the EU countries is around $45.000 per year.
  • The UK: The United Kingdom is another country where civil engineers are earning very good. Civil engineers can earn up to $45.000 per year. 

But salaries are changing with the changing experience in civil engineering. If you are a highly experienced civil engineer in a specific area, you will be able to earn up to $150.000 per year in every country.

Conclusion About Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is a very interesting area. The principles of civil engineering depend on classical mechanics and physics in general. Because they are designing physical things for the people. 

These are the general things about civil engineering. We tried to give the most general information about civil engineering in this article. 

Do not forget to leave your comments and questions below about civil engineering, the advantages of civil engineering, and civil engineering salaries and job in the world. If you are a civil engineer or a civil engineering student, your precious feedback and your occupational experiences will be very useful for us! 

FAQs About Civil Engineering

  • Does civil engineering the hardest engineering branch?

Every engineering branch has different difficulties. People from different engineering branches will claim that their branch is the hardest one. But it is hard to say this engineering branch is the hardest one. But engineering in general, is the hardest topic 🙂 

  • Is civil engineering and construction engineering the same thing?

Civil engineering is the most general term that comprises all the sub-disciplines of civil engineering. Construction engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering but these two terms are often used instead of each other. 

  • Mechanical engineering vs. civil engineering, which one is better? 

Mechanical engineering and civil engineering fuındamentals are generally the same. Civil engineers are dealing with big and static structures and mechanical engineers are dealing with small and dynamic structures. The design of these structures depends on nearly the same physical phenomenon. It is your decision which one is better 🙂 

  • Are there any benefits to learning programming languages for civil engineers?

We are living in the world of programming languages and software. As a civil engineer, if you şearn object-oriented programming languages such as Matlab, you can develop much more useful solutions to engineering problems. Also, smart homes are becoming more and more common. You can be a civil engineer who is designing smart homes by learning proper programming languages. 

  • Which schools are the best for studying civil engineering? 

As a center of earthquakes, Japan is one of the most developed countries in construction engineering. They are designing different kinds of structures to withstand deadly earthquakes. So, engineering schools in Japan can be the best option to study civil engineering. 


One response to “What is Civil Engineering? Explanation, Advantages, and Average Salaries”

  1. Luke Smith Avatar
    Luke Smith

    It’s great that you pointed out how the fundamentals of civil engineering are the same in every country. I was watching a talk show earlier and one of the guests was a civil engineer. It seems there are plenty of engineering services being offered nowadays, which is really nice.

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