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Born to build

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:18 IST
Hindustan Times

The lowdown

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

Clock Work
9am: Reach office and start work
10am: Vet the drawings. Make changes and send it to the site
11am: Shoot mails to the mechanical and electrical departments for their inputs
12.30pm: Go through inputs received from various departments 1.30-2pm: Lunch
2pm: Check mails
5pm: Summarise and prepare a report
6 pm: Leave for home (the average day of a site engineer would involve supervision and management)

The payoff
Those just starting out can make Rs30,000 to Rs40,000 a month. As one progresses and gains experience one can earn Rs50,000 to Rs90,000 a month Someone with 15-20 years’ experience can rake in upwards of Rs1 lakh a month

Students with a technical bent of mind who are ready to take on challenges and can work in a team should definitely look forward to a career in this field

Sachin Malik, founder, Synergy Contracts

. Spatial thinking - ability to visualise a design
. Quantitative skills
. Quick decision-making skills
. People-orientation
. Physical stamina

Getting there
A student who wishes to get into civil engineering must take up physics, chemistry and maths in Class 12. After completing Class 12, students can opt for a BE or BTech degree in civil engineering. Admission to the degree programmes is usually done through an entrance test. One can also enroll for a diploma programme. The diploma holders also have the option of upgrading to the bachelors level through the associate membership of the Institution of Engineers (AMIE)

The Indian Institutes of Technology, Delhi, Bombay, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee and Bhubaneswar
. Institute of Technology, Varanasi,
. Delhi Technological University
. BITS Pilani
. Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra (Ranchi)
. National Institutes of Technology - Tiruchirapalli, Warangal, Surathkal, Calicut, Kurukshetra, Durgapur, Rourkela, Jalandhar, Hamirpur, Jamshedpur,,,,,,,,,
. Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad,
. MN Institute of Technology, Jaipur,
. Maulana Azad NIT, Bhopal (Indicative list)

Pros and cons
You hold a technical qualification that stands you in good stead
. The work can get extremely challenging at times
. You might get to work on some Heritage building other landmark structures
. You can derive tremendous satisfaction from seeing the physical manifestation of the fruit of your labour
. The profession is not given its due
. As compared to other engineering streams the compensation is relatively low
. Involves a lot of travelling which might keep you away from your family for long stretches of time
. You are responsible for the safety and durability of the structures