Engineering is one of the most sought after career options of majority of the students in India and in many countries across the globe.
There are many engineering branches you can choose like computer science, mechanical, chemical, electrical, aeronautical, civil engineering.
And if you are interested in selecting civil engineering or wondering if civil engineering is a good career option in future.
You don’t need to worry about it anymore because, in this article let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of civil engineering as a career option and then look at the future of civil engineering to decide if it is the right career option for you.
All of the information I share in this article is backed by statistics and trusted data and the information is not my opinion about civil engineering branch so you can definitely rely on my information in this article in deciding your career.
So let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Benefits and drawbacks of civil engineering career.
The benefits of civil engineering career
1. Decent money making potential
One of the main benefits of civil engineering as a profession is, you can make a decent amount of money from this career.
According to bureau of labour statistics the median salary of a civil engineer is 88950 US dollars per annum which means $42 per hour.
And according to pay scale the average salary of civil engineer in India is between 3 to 3.5 lakh rupees per annum.
Obviously the salary will depend upon various factors like your experience and expertise in the subject and from which college you have graduated for example if you took your engineering from IIT or top universities like Harvard, you can expect higher salary packages compared to other colleges.
2. Respect of professionals
Civil engineers are also one of the most respected professionals in the society.
The reason being is very simple that they play a huge role in the development and betterment of the society.
As we all know civil engineering is a profession which deals with designing and developing infrastructure projects. This can be on a huge scale, such as the development of nationwide transport systems or water supply networks, or on a smaller scale, such as the development of individual roads or buildings.
Without proper infrastructure and buildings and roads there will not be any development and growth in the country and economy.
Because of this reason civil engineers are one of the highly respected professionals in the society because of their massive contribution.
3. Demand of the job
Another important reason why civil engineering can be a good profession is that the demand is always going to be there.
With the ever growing population in the world, people still want to expand and grow so they will definitely need buildings to live, roads for transportation, water supply, etc.
There are few other engineering branches like mechanical engineering which are slowly getting replaced by artificial intelligence and robots because robots are much more efficient and cheaper but it is not the same when it comes to civil engineering.
You can consider civil engineering as an evergreen profession which continuously going to have a demand in the society because the four basic needs of a human being are,
- Food & water
and civil engineers will help us with the fourth need which is developing shelter and infrastructure.
4. Work in foreign countries
Other most big reason why civil engineering can be a good career option especially in countries like India is because,
As a civil engineer you can get an opportunity to work in foreign countries especially in gulf countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc.
Since you will be getting employment there, you can also earn good amount of money, save it and send it back to your nation for your family members and it can also grow the economy of the nation.
5. Exciting career
Unlike other branches of engineering like computer science where you will have to sit in front of a computer for more than 10 hours a day working on completion of tasks, when it comes to civil engineering it is not the same.
As a civil engineer you will get a chance to work and meet new people every single day when you are on the construction site and if you are an extrovert and social person it can be a good one.
This career can be quite exciting because you will have to work both indoors and outdoors all the time.
It is no longer of you just getting stuck on your computer all day long.
In the majority of time, you will need to visit the construction place and handle the operations smoothly almost every day.
At the same time with every new construction project whether it is building a dam or road or building or any other bridge or project will bring up new challenges with it and if you like challenges alot then this is a good career option.
At the same time there is a team involved in the process so it is no longer a single man work but the entire team has to put in the effort to achieve some goal which can also be exciting.
6. Chance to work with government
If you get civil engineering from countries like India then you can also get a chance to work with government on various projects like,
- Building roads, highways
- Building new hospitals and educational institutions
- Building bridges and dams
- Building water lines
- Building airports
Whatever the project it is, you can get a chance to work with the government like NHAI, municipal corporations, Indian railways, Indian defence forces, housing boards, and much more.
In order to get government contracts you need to participate in the tenders and win the bid.
7. Networking opportunities
Another good benefit of civil engineering is that you can have lots of networking opportunities.
As a civil engineer your job is not just to design the project but also communicate about the project and ideas with architects and contractors and your company members and all the team members properly.
As I said earlier, designing and constructing any project is not a single man task but of a team effort and during this process you can find lots of interesting people and build relationships with them because building any huge construction site like dam or any big roads and highways can take good amount of time and you can easily build and grow relationships with influencers like politicians and business men.
And there is a popular quote which goes like your net worth depends upon your network because your network can help you get lots of opportunities to grow and succeed in your career.
8. It is creative career
Another good reason to start civil engineering career is because it is a career option which requires a lot of creativity and problem solving skills.
You need to think and go out of the box in order to design a construction site like building a bridge, etc because every construction site is going to be different from each other.
Because of this reason civil engineering is very exciting as I already said earlier and you can always learn new things everyday and face new challenges With every new project you take and you will not have any boring and routine life.
If you like new challenges and any creative career which requires problem solving and critical thinking skills then civil engineering can be a good profession.
9. Meaningful career with good Job satisfaction
Another most important reason is,
Civil engineering is actually very meaningful career because you are positively impacting and adding value to the life of people and society by building roads and dams which directly influence the life of common people and make the life more easier and comfortable.
This gives immense satisfaction when you realise that your work can impact millions of people today and in the upcoming generations as well.
At the same time you can also contribute to the environment by building environment friendly sewage lines and you can also contribute a lot regarding saving water, electricity and reducing the water pollution, by taking the proper measures while constructing the site etc.
It might sound very simple but it is huge when you think about it because according to a survey more than 60% of employees are not happy with their profession and 80% of them are looking to switch their job because
They do not find any meaning and satisfaction in what they do irrespective of how much money they earn because at the end of the day money cannot buy you happiness and solve all of your problems completely and if you find that meaning and satisfaction in your work there is no better career than that.
These are the benefits of civil engineering career option.
The drawbacks of civil engineering career
1. Huge responsibility & pressure with no room for errors
The main disadvantage of civil engineering as a profession is that it gives a lot of responsibility on you as engineer because,
- First of all in order to construct a building or any other project there is a great deal of investment of money and workforce takes place
- After constructing a site for example an educational institution if you find any error in the planning and designing the project then it can risk the lives of thousands of people who study in that educational institution in future.
because of this reason and as civil engineer contribute with the fourth need of human beings which is a shelter.
And there is a popular quote in English,
With great power comes great responsibility and it applies to civil engineer as well.
As a civil engineer you cannot afford to make mistakes because your single mistake and error in planning and designing or constructing the site can lead to huge losses of money or life directly.
You cannot afford this mistakes because it can permanently damage your company’s reputation in the public and reduce the credibility and confidence on your skill.
Because of this there can be a huge pressure to deliver on the right expectations from the investors and the public on your profession as well.
2. High risk of work accidents
Because as a civil engineer you will be working the majority of the time on a construction site you can face lots of accidents in your career.
For example according to some statistics, Nearly 48,000 workers die in India due to occupational accidents, of which the construction sector contributes 24.20 percent of the fatalities and when it comes to America more than 20% of the occupational accidents are contributed from the construction sites.
The reason is very simple because there will be huge materials like steel, stones and other materials used during the construction of a site.
And due to various hazards like electric shock, short circuit, fire, sharp objects, slipping on floors, fall of stones from tall heights of buildings, etc are some reasons for majority of the deaths in the construction sites.
So, you should know for a fact that it can also be a risky career option if proper safety measures are not practiced.
3. Lot of work
Just like other engineering branches, even in civil engineering there is alot of work involved.
The average civil engineer works around 8 to 10 hours a day and majority of the civil engineers spend between 40 to 50 hours working in a week because they need to complete the project before the deadline.
The majority of the time of a civil engineer works are at construction site communicating the messages with team and looking after the construction process.
Apart from that you should also update the construction process with your managers and Boss and investors properly time to time.
Along with that majority of the construction sites will be built away from your home in remote locations so moving from your home to construction place can also take alot of time.
So if you are thinking that after you become a civil engineer you can have less work then you are in disbelief my friend.
4. Competition is huge
This is a common disadvantage not just with civil engineering but almost every engineering branch you can consider whether it is mechanical computer science and electrical engineering.
You should know for a fact that every industry has competition, there might be a difference in percentage like some industries might have less competition and others have more but if you really want to succeed in that industry you really need to be competitive as well.
You need to keep your skills updated and have good technical knowledge and communication skills in order to succeed in every engineering branch including civil engineering.
5. Other small problems
You can find many other small and big problems for example if you work on government funded projects like building dams or educational institutions and hospitals and roads.
You can face lot of public scrutiny and also political interference like corruption and delay of projects due to lack of funding from the government.
You can also face disputes with locals while constructing the site for example building dams requires a lot of deforestation of trees and removal of villages.
Apart from that you can also face disputes with labours for better work environment or Hike in the salaries and you can also face disputes of legal matters and legal issues with local government like municipality while constructing the site and you can also face vandalism.
These are all the advantages and disadvantages or better said benefits and drawbacks of civil engineering as a career option.
Future & scope of civil engineering
Let’s see what will be the future scope of civil engineering.
- First of all there is a lot of hype around artificial intelligence and robots, as a matter of fact, According to a report by 2055 half of the works we humans do manually might get automated, BUT, civil engineering profession cannot get replaced by artificial intelligence because this profession requires creativity and problem solving skills which AI lacks.
- Another important reason why the future of civil engineering is good is because it deals and solves the fourth important need of human being which is shelter and because of growing population there will be constant growth in constructing the sites like buildings, hospitals, colleges and dams and roads for trade & growth.
- The global heavy and civil engineering construction market is expected to grow from $1528.13 billion in 2020 to $1623.35 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2%.
If you want you can learn more about the future of civil engineering career in India here..
Because of these reasons future and the scope of civil engineering is very good And according to bureau of labour statistics the average growth of civil engineering jobs is 8%.
This should resolve your doubt regarding whether civil engineering is going to still remain in demand in future in your mind.
Is doing civil engineering a good career option in future?
After reading all the benefits and drawbacks of civil engineering as a career and looking at the future.
I believe that civil engineering is definitely a good career option for some students just like how computer science engineering is only suitable for students who like coding and have problem solving skills.
Just because cricket is a popular sport in countries like India does not mean that you can become a cricketer and you will become popular in it as it requires a lot of skill and hard work and you also need to have some qualities to become a good cricketer..
At the same time you should consider civil engineering as your profession if,
- You are a social person and extrovert
- You have creativity and problem solving skills
- You have good leadership skills
- You like to work abroad in foreign countries
- You want to directly add value and bring change to the society from your work
In such case civil engineering can be a good career option for you.
With that said let’s conclude the blog post.
These are all the things you need to know about whether civil engineering is a good career option or not in future.
Do let me know your thoughts about civil engineering as a career option in the comment section below.
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