What is Civil Engineering? Everything You Ever Need to Know

What is Civil Engineering? Everything You Ever Need to Know

If you have ever wondered about the magic behind the marvelous structures of the world, you should ask yourself, “What is civil engineering?” first.

While we try to answer this age-old question, we have to unravel the intriguing world of civil engineering. Whether it is your neighborhood road or environmental marvels that keep our world green, civil engineering is the heartbeat of our modern civilization.

In this post, we are going to learn everything about civil engineering. We will also explain why civil engineering training in Bangladesh is needed for different civil engineering fields.

So let’s dive into the arts and sciences that shape the world around us.

If you have ever wondered about the magic behind the marvelous structures of the world, you should ask yourself, “What is civil engineering?” first.

While we try to answer this age-old question, we have to unravel the intriguing world of civil engineering. Whether it is your neighborhood road or environmental marvels that keep our world green, civil engineering is the heartbeat of our modern civilization.

In this post, we are going to learn everything about civil engineering. We will also explain why civil engineering training in Bangladesh is needed for different civil engineering fields.

So let’s dive into the arts and sciences that shape the world around us.

What Is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is a dynamic and essential discipline that revolves around the world. It is the practice of designing and constructing infrastructure that forms the backbone of our modern society. It is the ingenious application of mathematics, planning skills, and engineering principles. Through this study, individuals organize, build, and maintain a wide range of structures that serve both public and private purposes. These structures encompass an extensive spectrum.

Civil Engineers in Action

Imagine a bustling metropolis with well-structured roads that smoothly transport commuters to their destinations, towering skyscrapers that house businesses and residences, and intricate bridges that connect communities. Behind the scenes, civil engineers are the masterminds. They ensure these systems not only exist but also function seamlessly.

For example, when planning a new road network, a civil engineer steps in to design the layout. They consider factors like traffic flow, safety, and sustainability. They meticulously calculate the specifications for road materials. While doing so, they take load-bearing capacities and environmental impacts into account. Plus, they strategize drainage systems to prevent flooding during heavy rains. All these enhance the longevity of the infrastructure.

Civil engineers are indispensable in the construction of airports. They oversee runway and terminal designs, ensuring efficient operations and passenger safety. On top of that, they play a vital role in the development of bridges. They guarantee safe passage over challenging terrain.

Bridging the Path to Civil Engineering

Typically, your journey will begin with a high school diploma if you aspire to become a civil engineer. While still in high school, consider taking courses that apply to civil engineering. In addition, attend challenging mathematics and computer software classes. These will help you build a solid foundation for your future studies and career.

To gain deeper insights into the field, you can consider requesting a job shadow opportunity (like a paid or unpaid internship). This will give you the chance to observe civil engineers’ daily tasks. You can get a firsthand understanding of their responsibilities. Ultimately, you can decide if this profession aligns with your interests and aspirations.

Maintaining a high GPA in high school is essential, as it paves the way for college admissions. Once you enter college, you can pursue a degree in civil engineering. There, you will receive comprehensive training in various aspects of the field. Moreover, you can always explore opportunities for further education, such as online civil engineering courses or specialized civil engineering short courses in BD. Apart from enhancing your skills, you should stay updated on industry developments.

What Do Civil Engineers Do?

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the common duties that civil engineers undertake:

  • Technical and Feasibility Studies: Civil engineers deal with the technical intricacies of a project. They analyze an array of reports, surveys, maps, and plans. Their studies provide the foundation upon which the project’s success is built.
  • Cost Determination: Every project has financial considerations, and civil engineers are the financial architects. They assess costs meticulously, ensuring that projects are not only feasible but also delivered within budget constraints.
  • Safety and Regulations: Health and safety are paramount in the world of civil engineering. Engineers must navigate a library of building codes and engineering regulations. With their effort, every facet of a project will comply with the highest standards.
  • Environmental Assessment: As stewards of the environment, civil engineers evaluate the environmental impacts of their projects. They assess potential risks that may affect project delivery. Plus, they seek sustainable solutions accordingly.
  • Plan Creation: Plans and blueprints are the roadmap to any successful project. Civil engineers meticulously create these guides. They turn abstract concepts into concrete designs.

Collaboration and Communication: Civil engineering is a collaborative effort. Engineers work hand in hand with other professionals to bring a project to fruition. This includes architects, surveyors, and contractors.

Civil Engineering History

Civil engineering has always played an integral role in human civilization. Expertise in this field can be traced back to a time between 4000 and 2000 BC. It was during this era that our ancestors began transitioning from nomadic lifestyles to settled communities. This transition marked the inception of civil engineering as we know it today.

Across the globe, remarkable feats of ancient civil engineering sprung to life. The fertile Nile Valley in ancient Egypt witnessed the construction of iconic pyramids. In the cradle of the Indus Valley Civilization, spanning parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, emerged civil engineering projects. Mesopotamia, along the Tigris-Euphrates river system in modern-day Iraq, saw the birth of hydraulic engineering to manage water resources.

As civilizations flourished, so did their need for efficient transportation. The development of sailing and the wheel became vital in enhancing trade and connectivity. Ancient Greece’s Parthenon, the Great Wall of China, and various civil works throughout the Roman Empire were built during this period.

It is worth noting that during this period, the term ‘engineer’ was often used interchangeably with ‘architect.’ The true distinction of civil engineering as a separate profession emerged much later, during the 18th century. The profession took its first steps towards recognition when John Smeaton, an English engineer, established the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers in 1771.

However, this was more of a social gathering, and the engineering community soon witnessed the founding of the Institution of Civil Engineers in London in 1818. In 1828, this institution received a Royal Charter, formally establishing civil engineering as a recognized profession.

Types Of Civil Engineering Degrees

Depending on your goals and interests, you can pursue different levels of civil engineering degrees (even an online civil engineering degree). Here are the main types of civil engineering degrees:

Associate Degree

  • Duration: Up to two years.
  • Overview: An associate degree in civil engineering is the foundational step for those interested in becoming civil engineers. This degree equips you with fundamental knowledge and practical skills. After completing this degree, you can work under the guidance of experienced civil engineers. Typical coursework may include:
    • Project layout.
    • Material and soil testing.
    • Cost estimation.
    • Heavy machinery inspection.
    • Surveying principles.
    • Basics of hydrology.
  • Career Opportunities: Graduates with an associate degree can find employment with material testing firms, general contractors, consulting agencies, and governmental bodies.

Bachelor’s Degree

  • Duration: Typically four years.
  • Overview: A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering offers a more in-depth curriculum and technical expertise. Graduates are prepared for entry-level civil engineering positions. Common subjects of study include:
    • Geomatics.
    • Physics.
    • Mechanics.
    • Structural analysis.
    • Statistics.
    • Technical communications.
    • Civil structure software.
  • Career Opportunities: Bachelor’s degree holders can work as civil engineers in various fields. They can work in construction, design, project management, and infrastructure development.

Master’s Degree

  • Duration: Varies depending on program type (typically 1 to 2 years).
  • Overview: Master’s degree programs in civil engineering can be either professional or research-focused. Professional programs enhance existing skills and prepare graduates for specialized roles. Research programs are ideal for those considering a Ph.D. and involved in deep research. Coursework may include advanced topics in various specialties, such as:
    • Transportation engineering.
    • Mechanical engineering.
    • Hydrology and hydrodynamics.
    • Geotechnical engineering.
    • Environmental engineering.
    • Sustainable engineering.
  • Career Opportunities: Often, master’s degree holders pursue careers in advanced civil engineering roles, project management, research, and academia.

Ph.D. In Engineering

  • Duration: Varies, but typically several years.
  • Overview: The Ph.D. in civil engineering represents the pinnacle of academic achievement in the field. Ph.D. candidates engage in rigorous research, coursework, and dissertation projects. Graduates are highly qualified to work on complex projects, lead engineering teams, and teach at higher education institutions. Ph.D. programs offer opportunities for specialization in various areas of civil engineering.

Career Opportunities: Ph.D. holders in civil engineering can explore diverse career paths. The fields of aerospace engineering, telecommunications, research engineering, industrial engineering, hydrology engineering, and academia usually employ Ph.D. holders in civil engineering.

Types Of Civil Engineering Training


While pursuing your civil engineering degree, participating in internships can be invaluable. These hands-on experiences provide you with the opportunity to work alongside seasoned professionals.

You can gain practical insights and understand the day-to-day tasks of a civil engineer. Plus, internships allow you to refine your engineering skills and become proficient in using common engineering tools and software.

Internships not only build your technical skills but also help you establish connections within the industry. This can play a major role in securing future job opportunities.


To practice as a professional engineer in the field, obtaining licensure is often a mandatory requirement. Licensure ensures that you have met the necessary standards. So, you should be able to perform engineering tasks competently and safely.

In many cases, licensure involves passing two key engineering examinations: The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination and the Principles and Practices of Engineering (PE) examination. These exams assess your understanding of engineering regulations and procedures.

Most of the time, licensure validates your expertise. At the same time, it can boost your credibility and employability as a civil engineer.


Earning certifications is an excellent way for civil engineers to refine their skills. They can stay current with industry standards and enhance their resumes by earning a prominent certificate. Certifications demonstrate your commitment to professional development. Hence, you will become a more valuable asset in the workforce.

Certifications not only enhance your technical abilities but also broaden your career options and potential for advancement within the field. Some common certifications that civil engineers may pursue include:

  • OSHA Safety Certificate: Demonstrates expertise in occupational safety and health standards.
  • Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Certification: Provides recognition of your engineering knowledge and skills.
  • Building Design Certification: Focuses on proficiency in structural and architectural design.
  • Certified ASC Coder: Validates expertise in construction cost estimation and coding.

Erosion and Sediment Control Certification: Demonstrates competence in managing environmental aspects of civil engineering projects.

What Is The Best Kind Of Civil Engineering?

In civil engineering, there are many fields. You have to specialize in a field that aligns with your passions and career aspirations. Selecting the right specialization early on can be instrumental in shaping your civil engineering career. That is why you need the best civil engineering training in Bangladesh to master any specific field.

Transportation Engineering

The creation of airports, railroads, and highways is all part of this type of engineering. It is a field divided into two distinct areas:

  • Transportation Planning: If you possess a knack for strategic thinking and envisioning the future of transportation systems, transportation planning might be your calling. This subfield focuses on crafting comprehensive plans that shape the development and expansion of transportation networks.
  • Transportation Engineering: For those who enjoy the nitty-gritty of construction and infrastructure development, transportation engineering offers an exciting path. In this subsection, you will work hands-on to bring transportation projects to life.

Construction Engineering

As the name suggests, this section immerses civil engineers in the design and implementation phases of construction projects. However, the role extends far beyond blueprints and concepts. If you relish the role of a hands-on leader, construction engineering may be your niche. You will operate machinery and direct construction tools. Mostly, you will spend considerable time supervising the workforce that drives the construction process forward.

Environmental Engineering

This area of civil engineering focuses on addressing critical issues related to waste management, water supplies, and pollution. This specialization involves close interaction with policymakers and stakeholders. So, it often requires communication skills. Environmental engineers are the problem solvers of the civil engineering world. They tackle challenges related to environmental sustainability.

Structural Engineering

It is a discipline rooted in solid mechanics. Structural engineers preserve the structural integrity of buildings and infrastructure. They play a pivotal role in constructing new projects with rock-solid foundations. Furthermore, they strengthen existing structures to withstand environmental forces, such as those generated by natural disasters.

Geotechnical Engineering

Often, this type of engineering involves excavation and drilling activities. This field places a strong emphasis on investigating and analyzing soil and rock samples. Sometimes, geotechnical engineers have to work on coastal projects. So, they contribute to the construction of marinas, jetties, and other shoreline infrastructure.

Hopefully, you have found an answer to the question, “What is civil engineering?” Civil engineering is not just about bricks, beams, and blueprints; it is about forging a better world. Civil engineering can turn dreams of grand structures into tangible, functional masterpieces. It is a field that continuously evolves with new technologies, sustainability principles, and cutting-edge solutions. This is how it addresses the ever-changing needs of our world.

Whether you are seeking civil engineering training institute in Bangladesh or exploring civil engineering online courses, remember that there are boundless possibilities in the civil engineering industry.

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