Civil Engineer Career Path by Abdullah Ali Abbasi

Updated: Mar 25

by Abdullah Ali Abbasi


Civil engineering is all about the construction and rehabilitation of structures. It is one of the oldest known branches of engineering. There are several types of construction. It defines the types of construction based on their nature, environment, and methodology.


Large scale structures may include dams, airports, highways, canals, rivers, railways, bridges, abutments, apartments, high-rise buildings, banks, bridges, and military safe-haven, etc. Let’s talk in detail


What Does a Civil Engineer Do?

  • Construction of Dams and rivers that store rain and natural stream water are Civil Engineers’ work.

  • Flyovers, Round-About, Freeways, Highways, and other road and infrastructure works are also works that civil engineers do.

  • Irrigation systems for prosperous agricultural growth are also works that Civil Engineers do.

  • Designing and constructing of High rise buildings, public buildings, and housing facilities are other works that civil engineers perform.

  • Have you ever took a flight to move from one city to another or one country to another? You must have used a runway for take-off, a facility to board in, and recreation areas for waiting and leisure. Civil Engineers build these massive structures.

  • I am a Civil Engineer, and I love travelling by railway. I was recently checking videos of Amtrak, and they were fascinating. Do you know who designed and laid the railway lines and all the small and gigantic railway stations? Yes, you guessed it right, Civil Engineers are behind these massive structures. Please read here the Top 5 malls in Islamabad and concerns on the Eighteen Islamabad Project.

  • Cleaner Energy is what we need to save our future generations from the destruction of climatic changes. Clean electricity production on dam turbines is the works of civil engineering professionals. The energy created using water-powered turbines is cleaner in production and also lays off the burden of oil usage.

  • The construction of gardens and other recreational areas is possible due to what civil engineers do.


The duties of a Civil Engineer vary as per the major they select in their final year of bachelor’s studies. Masters in Civil Engineering also defines the field an Engineer is ready to practice at a higher level of autonomy and understanding.


How hard is Civil Engineering?


Civil Engineering is a mildly difficult subject. It requires a lot of numerical works, mathematics, logical interpretations. Students are expected to develop analytical skills to analyze and derive results from various challenges. Students are expected to spend months if not years practising these subjects. Students are expected to learn material properties and the impact of weather on civil works. The numerical solutions that may involve torque, bending forces, shear forces, air pressures, soil profiles, physical phenomenon, geological factors and other areas of science are an important part of learning.


Leadership and Problem Solving: Every Engineer is a leader.


You are expected to lead several people, and this needs you to hold a cleverer personality. The profession of Civil Engineering expects you to find problems and solve them at a higher rate with great precision. Therefore, you need to develop meditation, patience, fortitude and strategy.


Mathematics and Calculations:

Mathematics is a branch distant from science. It has more or less a relationship with physics, logic, and abstract ideas. Mathematics is the mother of the Engineering profession, and all the majors of civil engineering contain the influence of mathematics in one way or another. Anyone looking to pursue a career in Civil Engineering is expected to keep a strong knowledge of Trigonometry, Differential Equations, Algebra, Calculus, and Probability.


Efficient Learner:

A student admitted in Civil Engineering technology is expected to learn a variety of ideas efficiently. There are more than six subjects per semester, each having a minimum of four assignments and four quizzes. Then there comes extracurricular activities and routine life engagements. Every student is expected to grasp the ideas delivered or tutored during a lengthy 1-hour lecture, much time to lose attention and patience.


There is no way to escape boredom.


Benefits of Effective Communication: I am a Civil Engineer with hands-on real-time field experience. I can’t express the importance of effective communication “where necessary” in Civil Engineering. You need to hide and reveal ideas as per their strategic importance. However, when the time comes, you are required to express with full zeal and zest. We have written a detailed article on the benefits of communication that all help develop a charismatic personality.

Students get their hands on a variety of life-changing subjects.

  • Communication Skills, and Logical Reasoning.

  • Analysis and Cognitive Abilities.

  • Usage of ICT in a variety of problems and conveying ideas using good writing abilities.

  • Structural Analysis and Integrity Measurement.

  • Irrigation Engineering, and Fluid Mechanics for sustainable environment and improved fluids physics in action.

  • The integrity of Soil and pre-foundation studies for public safety and structural integrity.

  • Usage of Computer Aided Drawing and Designing is an essential outlook of the importance of technology in Civil Engineering works.

  • Civil Engineers also learn subjects like computer programming, and differential equations for their usage in the military, economy, and strategy.

  • Technology Fusion with Ancient frontiers building and construction for a prosperous and excelling lifestyle.

Construction work was first named civil works in 18 century. Before the 18th century, there was no title of a civil engineer. There was also no syllabus and teaching school for the subject. Civil Engineering is a field of challenges and stress.


Civil works are required to perform in changing and challenging circumstances. It also requires a lot of patience. Site conditions are usually not favourable for civil engineers. However, termination of construction because of the changing environment and climate conditions is possible. But these cases are rare, and work has to be carried in all weather conditions.



History of civil works.


Branches Of Civil Engineering


There are various branches of civil engineering, all dealing with different sectors.


The branches of civil engineering are differentiated based on the nature of the work. However, these branches are related to research programs after a bachelors degree in civil engineering.

  • Water Engineering is one of the desired fields. Water is life. Everyone needs water to live on. So, it is the most important branch of civil works.

  • Structural engineers design and analyze. It deals with public safety.

  • Transportation is the main sector of civil engineering works. Million of people daily use different modes of transport. Proper handling can save a lot of time. It can also help in reducing depression.

  • Management has to manage the projects. This involves techniques to handle different phases of a project.

An amazing nature shows off.


Civil engineers usually work on sites. But they have office work too, to handle. Their duties may include preparation of working schedules, assignment of duties, crew management, material procurement, human resources, conflicts management, project management, and project exploration.


To ensure the safety of structures, a civil engineer is solely responsible. However, a team of civil engineers performs different duties at a particular time for the completion of a project.

A civil engineer keeps the right of terminating a project if it isn’t safety compliant.


How to Become a Civil Engineer?


The person who wants to peruse their career in the field is called a civil engineer. Due to the complex nature of civil works, it requires proper qualification. Mostly after the completion of a bachelors degree, a person can be called a Civil Engineer. Safety is the highest priority of a civil engineer. A civil engineer also keeps the right of terminating a project if it isn’t safety compliant.


You can find the work of civil engineers all around you. When you have to visit the washroom to clean yourself, civil engineering works offer a variety of services to you. Whenever you clean your utensils with clean water, remember a civil engineer at work. If you feel safe inside your home, say thanks to the civil engineers. The roads you use to commute daily are an outcome of civil engineering works.


Civil Engineers are finely crafted by the bridges that connect you and the recreational areas that help you rejoice in your feelings of happiness. Civil engineers construct the front line of defence of nations. A civil engineer can help you win a war, as he masters in terrain selection.


We love sand. We live in the desert. Our Life is under the sun.

Civil engineering is the job of a gentleman. We expect an increase in demand for civil engineers at a pace of 6% in the future. Structures expire and we have to rebuild them otherwise we have to repair them. On the other hand, the world is building at a higher pace. Developing countries are spending billions on the construction of their infrastructure. Whereas, war-torn countries are losing their already built structures.


The population of this world is increasing. It requires an increase in all services.


These facilities include

  • Housing schemes.

  • New hospitals.

  • New schools.

  • Business centres.

  • Parking areas.

  • Community centres.


Civil Works – Engineering Practices


A typical hierarchy of civil engineering works includes a preliminary examination, designing, building, supervision, operation, construction, and maintenance of a structure.

  • A survey before working. Site instigation helps you know the site in detail. Design inquiry can help a lot.

  • Supervision means the construction under the instructions of a civil engineer and in compliance with professional practices.

  • Civil Engineers should maintain the operation of works under optimal conditions. Both in terms of nature and environmental conditions.

  • A Civil Engineer should maintain a log of material acquired.

  • Daily progress reports are also mandatory to produce. And can help in conflicts resolution.

  • Project management includes an indication of discrepancies in drawings and methodology adoption.


Civil Engineering Law (FIDIC)


In every sector of life, the law has its importance. Whenever we deal, there is a chance of struggle. The resolution of the dispute is possible by enforcing the law. There are technical difficulties in the usage of general law. However, civil engineers have made their law. There is a complete system. This system is powerful enough to resolve issues.


Law is life. It creates ease. It helps!


History of Civil Engineering


Engineering profession dates to 5000 Bc. Civil works masterpieces are visible all around the planet. During the exploration of archaeological sites, a complete system of life indicates the mastery of ancient professionals. These discoveries show the usefulness of Civil Engineering.

An amazing civil engineering structure from ancient times is in the Middle East, the Egyptian-Pyramids. The weight of the stone weighs several tons.


Top 10 Impressive Civil Engineering Structures

These projects require a lot of time and effort. In civil works, we often meet accidents. Many people have to face a life-lasting illness. For construction works, safety should be the highest priority.


Old is Gold. Gold is Real. Real is Worthy. Civil Engineering represents Nature, Civil Engineers Improving Lives


Public works departments are responsible for providing facilities. Governments allocate funds for them. They receive their pays from the government.

Civil Engineers improve living standards. The sustainability of a structure ensures the safety of any nation. Whereas, public health is also a direct beneficiary of civil works.


Pure water reaches people after covering a long distance. Researchers say that pure water can be the next global issue. Climate change is emptying the global water reserves steadily. However, water researchers are working to save water.


Better housing facilities are improving global living standards. Sustainable structures are saving millions of lives. Earthquake resistance, improved safety against rain and floods, are making us live safer.


Improved Defense of security facilities is made possible. The arguably strong structures are a blessing in today’s chaotic world. Engineering works improve living standards.


Dam construction


Importance Of Technology In Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering relies on the usage of technology. From the production of raw material to its usage, all processes are performed using technology. Various technologies include heavy machinery, surveying tools or instruments, laboratory equipment, and other safety gadgets.


Heavy machinery includes dumper, shovel, tractors, generators, concrete pumps, blowers, water pumps, cranes, vibrators, etc. Surveying tools include theodolite, total station, measuring tapes, recorders, GPS systems, and other modern devices. Laboratory equipment includes oven, heaters, sieves, mixers, material testing equipment, UTM’s, etc.


However, cutting edge technology can play a vital role. A widely discussed such technology is self-healing concrete. This concrete is to overcome the cracking problem. Soon after casting the concrete generate cracks. This concrete can recover from those cracks on its own. The bacteria start multiplying its growth. Hence, overcomes the cracking problem.


The usage of Virtual reality is next on this list. This technology is used to see the architectural view of the building on site. This helps in removing the bad appearance of the building before construction. Technology also takes the help of augmented reality.


Let’s now talk about 3d printing. With the usage of this technology, we generate 3d models. These models can be taken against virtual reality.


To ensure public safety civil engineers make use of tech. Computer software is a must to achieve the required results. On a massive scale, their importance increases. Commonly used software are as below

  • SAP 2000 is often used.

  • Sketchup helps in 3D modelling.

  • E-Tabs is also used.

  • Civil Engineering

We make use of technology for excavation. The architectural stone is used to increase the beauty of the civil works. It requires great care and a high finish. These processes include the usage of technology.


A Revenue Generating Field


The Civil Engineering field generates a lot of money. We have discussed several business opportunities. Millions of people are working in this field. Still, millions are trying to expand their circle of influence. All these working generate a lot of money. Only the Cement industry makes billions every year. Let alone the labour industry, professional services, and other production facilities. There are many ongoing construction projects like Eighteen Islamabad, Palm Jumeirah, and Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link (Denmark).


Millions are spent every year on painting civil structures around the globe. It requires several labour contractors to perform activities and get the jobs done. Several engineers supervise the civil works and ensure public safety and structural integrity. As small mistakes can ruin a project and incur everlasting damages in cases of money and life loss. Therefore, proper planning, execution and monitoring of civil works are necessary for a successful engineering project.


Careful Practices To Increase Revenue

  • Adoption of Technology Solutions.

  • Better planning can help you a lot.

  • Skilled workers are a blessing.

  • Improved safety will increase the work pace.

  • Better communication matters.

  • Rules implementation is necessary to succeed.

  • Market Analysis can save you in difficult times.

A Civil Engineer is required to maintain a record of all civil works. Keep close ties with the working crew. Respecting and solving problems and issues of workers for smoother works execution. Awarding workers bonuses for their hard work can expedite the pace of Civil Engineering works. Necessary inter-stakeholders meetings can help bolster confidence and better understanding.


Famous Types of Civil Engineering Structures:


Civil Engineers use wood as a material for Civil Engineering Works. Wood structures are still seen as a symbol of luxury and used in the majority of the united states. We often use wood as an architectural element and is affordable. Good quality wood is expensive, and we rarely use it. However, its beauty and long life make it second to none.


Stones are also used as a building material in Civil Engineering Structures. They are not very good independent structures in case of earthquakes and landslides but still are widely used to build heavy structures where cracks are breakages are tolerable, as in the case of boundary walls. Stone structures are hefty and difficult to work.


Frame Structures are the most popular Civil Engineering structures. These structures are comprised of concrete and steel. These are by far the most efficient and safe engineering structures. We lay foundations then work on columns, beams, and slabs. These structures are smart and we can use bricks, blocks, or wood partition walls for separating rooms and other areas of a building.


Scope Of Civil Engineering


The options available for working in civil engineering are vast. Several fields are linking to civil engineering. All these various fields increase the importance of the field. Whereas, these signs increase the trust of the public. This increase in trust helps in creating new jobs. So, it shows an increase in reputation.

Hence, an increase in trust increases business. Private sector firms are also investing in civil works. Land purchasing is a safe way to invest. People invest in civil projects as it's safe. Due to inflation the worth of land always increases.

  • Peace

In the United States, more than 2 million people work in this field. It produces 10 billion tons of concrete in a single year. China is a big consumer of concrete. During 2017 it alone produced more concrete than the entire world.

Here it is important to mention that the production of cement emits carbon and other gasses. These gases contribute to climate change. It is necessary to reduce the usage of concrete. Millions of people die every year due to these harmful gases. Many people especially infants have to face genetic disorders.


Societies Of Civil Engineers


There are various societies of Civil Engineers. Students and professionals interact there with each other. They publish journals to educate readers. These societies work for the welfare of civil engineers. They also provide a platform for discussing ideas. These societies include the American society of civil engineers, ICE, etc.


Many schools are teaching Civil Engineering. How can you know about the quality of a civil engineering institution? It is based on the teaching quality and research output. The first Civil Engineering student was from 18 century.


Future of Civil Engineering


The future of Civil Engineering is safe with pros and cons. There is a chance of an increase in economic activity around the globe in the field of Civil Engineering. And as the population increases, so the facilities have to.


Thus the field has the capacity of embracing expansion. One can say the future is bright by relating it to the increase in the population. The more there are people, the more are the opportunities for Civil Engineers and profession. Although the field is rough & tough in terms of working conditions and working wages in under-developed countries, expectations are great for the coming future.

  • civil works

We are entering the era of modern building materials, strategies, and techniques. The field of civil engineering is expected to grow in 2021 and beyond.


by Abdullah Ali Abbasi