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What Exactly Does a Civil Engineer Do?

In the present day, we affiliate civil engineering to some of the most famous and recognized structures like Burj Khalifa, the Empire State Building, Sydney Opera House, and more. Apart from these jaw-dropping infrastructures, civil engineers have played a vital role in the past by coming up with ingenious solutions in the face of crisis by building dams, roads, sewers, bridges, and more.

What is a Civil Engineer?

Civil engineers work on maintaining and adapting infrastructure we depend on in our everyday life, like waste networks, water and energy supply, flood defenses, bridges, and railways. It is the responsibility of the civil engineers to ensure the existing infrastructure is functioning and operating effectively and efficiently at all times.

When faced with climate change, population growth, and natural disasters, civil engineers work on innovative solutions and carry out modifications and adaptations to the infrastructure. Simply put, it is the job of civil engineers to solve vast and complex problems and look for practical solutions. Without civil engineers, the world we live in today won’t exist because they play a significant role in shaping it.

The Role of Civil Engineers in History

If you didn’t know, then let us enlighten you on the fact that civil engineering is one of the prehistoric branches in the field of engineering. It goes far back to the time in history when the human race began to live in more permanent settlements and started to modify their living environment according to their needs. 

A few of the prominent ancient infrastructures are the Great Wall of China, Mayan Ruins at Copan, the roads of the Roman Empire, the Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, and more. Unfortunately, the civil engineers who were responsible for designing these pre-industrial wonders remain unknown.

What Exactly Does a Civil Engineer Do?

By now, you must have a fair idea that civil engineering is a very vast field. There are countless opportunities any civil engineer can pursue solely dependent on their interest. Now we will be exploring in-depth on “what exactly does a civil engineer do?” Since it’s a field that is extremely far-reaching. Therefore, the tasks and role of a civil engineer depend on the sub-discipline they choose to work in.

Let’s review some of the significant sub-fields that civil engineers work in and those students will become a good civil engineer who decides the sub-discipline according to their interest and skills in each individual, Let’s get into it:


Architectural engineering involves the designing of structures and buildings with the main focus on aesthetics. 

The theory of art and design to construct sustainable structures falls in the domain of architectural engineers. It’s rather a broader discipline and usually varies from place to place because different laws and regulations must be followed.


Civil engineers working in the construction sector are responsible for managing and delivering all the construction and residential projects. They effectively plan construction-related activities, supervising all the structural elements involved, and follow up with building inspections on completed projects they are involved in.


Ecological engineering involves and requires maintaining the ecosystem of the earth. Ecological engineers are working in a more specialized domain of environmental engineering and look for various solutions to preserve the natural ecosystem while also constructing artificial ecosystems.


The sub-disciple environmental engineering involves maintaining the water, land, and air quality by initiating and implementing sustainable methods and practices. It falls under the domain of the environmental engineers to design plans that help protect and improve all the natural resources.


Geotechnical engineering is a sub-discipline that involves applying geology, which consists of understanding the physical antiquity of the earth like minerals, rocks, and elements. Geotechnical engineers thoroughly investigate the land for construction and decipher the suitable foundational materials need for massive construction projects.


Mining engineering is a field that falls under the geotechnical sub-division. It exclusively deals with the extraction and processing of coal, mineral, and mineral-bearing rocks. Most mining engineers are diversely skilled and based on geological reports, and the analysis of data creates plans, designs, and execution strategies for mining sites.


Transportation engineering has two other domains. Transportation engineers play a role in managing the already existing transportation networks and improve them through research and the incorporation of advanced technology. They tend to plan all the aspects of transportation while ensuring the recurring challenges and needs of the existing and future societies are fulfilled.

One thing more which I want to mention here that is asked all the time from fresh graduates of civil engineering such as “Do i need a laptop to study civil engineering” The answer to it is straightforward and it is YES! You do need a laptop to be a successful civil engineer!


Civil engineering is a diverse field with numerous sub-disciplines any civil engineer can pursue a career. During their professional experience, civil engineers work on learning and developing a broad skill set, including project management, problem-solving, and decision making. They are required to use their advanced mathematical knowledge and skills to work on major infrastructure.

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