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Building dreams

education Updated: Aug 21, 2012 19:10 IST

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The lowdown
Civil engineering is about planning, design, construction, supervision, quality control and maintenance of physical structures, such as buildings, roads, bridges, dams, canals, seaports, power plants and airports. Specialisations include structure, transportation, geo-technical, 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. “Maintaining high standards at work is a challenge for civil engineering design professionals. They also require a postgraduate degree in structural design and other qualifications. The design engineer has to visualise the structure and he is primarily responsible for the safety and serviceability of the structure,” says Pramod Kumar Singh, head, department of civil engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University.

10am: Start work. Vet the drawings. Make changes and send it to the site
11am: Send mails to the mechanical and electrical departments for inputs
Noon: Go through inputs received from various departments
5pm: Summarise/prepare a report
6pm: Leave for home (the average day of a site engineer would involve supervision and management)

The payoff
Those just starting out can make Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 a month. As one progresses and gains experience, one can earn Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 90,000 a month. Someone with 15-20 years’ experience can rake in upwards of Rs. 1 lakh a month

* Spatial thinking — ability to visualise a design
* Quantitative skills
* Quick decision-making skills

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 through an entrance test. One can also enroll for a diploma programme. The diploma holders have the option of upgrading to the bachelor’s level through the associate membership of the Institution of Engineers (AMIE)

Institutes and URLs
* The Indian Institutes of Technology in Delhi, Bombay, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee and Bhubaneswar, Gandhinagar, Ropar, Patna, Hyderabad, Rajasthan, Varanasi
* The National Institutes of Technology
* Regional engineering colleges
* Delhi Technological University
* BITS Pilani

Pros and cons
* You may get to work on a heritage building or landmark structures
* The work can be very challengingBOX

Due to complicated structures being constructed these days, the career is thrilling as well as highly rewarding - Pramod Kumar Singh, HoD, department of civil engineering, IIT Banaras Hindu University