WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Civil engineering is about the design and planning, construction, supervision, quality control and maintenance of physical structures, such as buildings, roads, bridges, dams, canals, sea ports, power plants and airports. Specialisations include structure, transportation, geo-technical and geo-environmental, and water resources engineering. Employers include municipal bodies, the defence forces, National Highway Authority of India, government development arms like the DDA and Noida Authority, BHEL, Larsen & Toubro, etc. The Union Public Service Commission holds the Indian Engineering Services exam for the Indian Railway Service of Engineers, Central Engineering Service, and other services
In general, a fresh civil engineer can make Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 a month. Someone with 15-20 years’ experience can earn Rs 75,000 to Rs 1 lakh a month. In the government sector, for example, the CPWD director general earns Rs 80,000 a month
. Spatial thinking – ability to visualise a design
. Quantitative skills
. Quick decision-making skills
. Physical stamina
How do i get there?
Take up science with maths at the plus-two level. After this you may go for a BE/BTech degree in civil engineering or a diploma. Admission to degree programmes is usually through a competitive test. Diploma-holders have the option of upgrading to the Bachelor’s level through the Associate Membership of the Institution of Engineers (AMIE)S
Institutes & urls
. The Indian Institutes of Technology,
. BITS Pilani
. Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra (
. National Institutes of Technology - Tiruchirapalli, Warangal, Surathkal, Calicut, Kurukshetra, Durgapur, Rourkela, Jalandhar, Hamirpur, Jamshedpur
nitt.edu, nitw.ac.in, nitk.ac.in, nitc.ac.in, nitkkr.ac.in, nitdgp.ac.in, nitrkl.ac.in, nitj.ac.in, nitham.ac.in, nitjsr.ac.in
. Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology,
. MN Institute of Technology, Jaipur,
. Maulana Azad NIT,
www.manit.ac.in (Indicative list)
Pros & Cons
. You hold a technical qualification
. Challenging job
. You might get to work on the President’s house or some other landmark
. See the physical manifestation of the fruit of your labour
. The profession is not given its due
. Relatively low compensation
. You’ll be hauled up if a structure (building, bridge, road, etc) has a problem
. Get to travel but you might have to move away from family
Q&A with O P Goel
'The climate is changing'
O P Goel, retired director general, Central Public Works Department and past president, Institution of Engineers (
What is the scope in civil engineering today?
Since pre-civilisation days, civil engineering has been the basis of all human development. Once, primitive man wanted to cross a stream. He found an uprooted tree and put it across the stream. That became the world's first bridge. In the Mughal era, huge constructions were done, such as the Taj Mahal. In
The need for civil engineering and civil engineers is paramount. In fact, we are not able to provide the number of (quality) civil engineers required by government departments, contractors and consultants.
Many companies have advertised to recruit civil engineers from other countries. This paradox has emerged because these professionals were not duly compensated. In the last 25 years, the student intake in civil engineering reduced. And after civil engineering, people migrated to other countries or moved to IT or management. Civil engineering was not glamorous because of the pay disparity and thus bright students didn't take it up. IEI is trying to improve the situation by upgrading diploma-holders and others with informal education, to become associate members of IEI (AMIE), which is equivalent to graduation.
What's the demand for civil engineers today?
Quality demand is still higher. Now, many poor quality institutes have come up. IoE and others are training these boys in practical construction management - with six- and nine-month courses in different areas like construction, design, quantity surveying, field surveying, managing labs…
Adequate number of engineers are not there, so projects are suffering in time and quality. That's why, some people retired from different government posts have been hired again in various roles in the government. People from the government (CPWD) have joined the private sector. Consultants and contractors want have asked the National Highway Authority of India to relax the upper age limit for advisers so they can hire people around 75 years.
The (industry's) climate is changing. The need is huge. The scope is huge.
What about the pay packages?
Pay packages have slightly improved. A good civil engineer can earn about Rs 20,000-Rs 25,000 a month