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Civil engineering is a field that focuses on construction, design and ensuring that the physical and natural environment is maintained. This include construction works such as canals, buildings, bridges and roads, water or flooding control and sewer line construction. Civil engineering has advanced from reflection of the ways normal and constructed systems respond and from the growth of empirical equations that provide knowledge on new designing. It has numerous sub-disciplines that include, environmental engineering, geophysics, control engineering, structural engineering, biomechanics, transportation engineering, forensic engineering, construction engineering and water resources engineering (Gest, 2006).
Though there has been no distinction between civil engineering and architecture, the earliest Practice of civil engineering is believed to have commenced between 4000 BC and 2000 BC in Mesopotamia and in the ancient Egypt. This was as a result of man abandoning his nomadic way of living and thus he needed to construct shelter and other infrastructure like roads.
The term civil engineering was coined so as to incorporate all things, as opposed to military engineering (Gest, 2006). The first private college to teach engineering in the United States was Norwich University, which was founded in the year 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge. The first degree in United States was awarded by Renseller polytechnic institute.
Civil engineering is generally said to deal with the creation or construction and design of structures that enable environmentally responsive habitation for humans. It can also be said to be the mother of all types of engineering, disciplines and technology that stemmed and emanated in the development of modern civilization taking on all walks of life in every situation. Civil engineering can also be dubbed as engineering that describes and decides the kind of modern civilization available to mankind.
In transportation part of engineering, civil engineers involves construction of bridges, freeway interchanges, tunnels and other infrastructures involved in the transportation such as canals (Holloway, 2007). It is a flexible and extremely diverse profession where no project is the same as the other. Civil engineering also demands that anyone interested in this field to be conversant with mathematics and sciences.
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Interesting and Important Aspects of this Job
In engineering, there are fundamental facts every self-proclaimed engineer should know. As a profession, the chief engineer is individually answerable for any professional action and the professional deeds of those under his supervision. Today, one of the most rewarding jobs can be found in civil engineering. It is an occupation that involves, in-depth researching, designing, planning and executing tasks that are mostly with considerable risk (Holloway, 2007). It does thus not astonish that civil engineering salaries or remunerations have excellent starting points. In some places, the income of a civil engineer may start at seventy five thousand dollars.
It is also important to take note that during financial recession when other professions’ salaries experience a decline, the engineering profession enjoys significantly superior rises as much as 1.3 percent. Statistical information indicates that in the United States of America, civil engineering is considered to be among the top paying job.
A civil engineer holds an academic degree with a principal in civil engineering. The span of study for is typically three to five years and the accomplished degree is titled as a bachelor of engineering. A career in civil engineering will consist of design works in a variety of discipline (Holloway, 2007). It encompasses designing roads, buildings, bridges, water supply systems or any other form of infrastructure that most of the people in the society take for granted.
Another significant aspect to understand in civil engineering is that the uppermost position is determined by qualification, experience and skills. First class engineers can expect salaries and remunerations of up to $120, 000. This is both in the public and private sector of engineering though in private industry there is a chance of higher remuneration.
It is worth to note that civil engineering just like any other profession is dynamic. This is as a result of advancement in technology leading to construction and designing of sophisticated structures.
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Civil engineering is a competitive career that requires an in depth educational background. This is because civil engineers are responsible of planning, designing, maintenance and management of construction project that requires complete accuracy. Civil engineers are required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited engineering college or university (Gest, 2006). In most university, the course takes a minimum of 4 years to complete. Basically, Civil engineering requires a deep proficiency in physics and mathematics. Proficiency in mathematics is usually considered to be essential to engineers, and all students with the prospect of studying engineering should schedule all necessaries mathematic course offered in high school (Gest, 2006).
In addition, proficiency in college-level physics and mathematics is normally considered to be a prerequisite for a student to complete the upper division engineering courses. All civil engineering students are usually required to attain a minimum grade of C plain in MATH 1552, 1550 and PHYS 2101 before they are allowed to enroll in any civil engineering courses (Gest, 2006). Furthermore, other more stringent educational requirements are usually imposed by civil engineering department in different institutions. For instance, Credit for mathematics courses that are introductory to analytical geometry and calculus may actually be applied towards civil engineering degrees in the different colleges. Students are also required to achieve a 2.00 average in all civil engineering course attempted in all major department (Gest, 2006).
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In addition, all engineering student are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of residence at an engineering college. These hours are actually included in the university prerequisite that a minimum of 25 percent of the hours applied be earned while residing in the university. These residence hours must also include 15 hours of required civil engineering technical electives especially at level 3000 and 4000 (Gest, 2006). Civil engineering student are also required to gain proficiency in computer aided design as a part of core requirement. They also take courses in engineering statistics in order to sharpen their computational skills.
After completion of the core course in the university or college, civil engineer student are usually required to engage in research of advanced topics such structural analysis, thermodynamics, material and techniques, computer science, probability and statistics, hydraulics and highway engineering as well as groundwork engineering among others. These researches assess the student structural integrity of construction material. Lastly, all civil engineers who provide services to the public are required to complete a professional engineer state test before a license of practice is issued (Hollaway, 2007).
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Cost incurred in civil engineering education normally depends in are of specialization and the academic institution attended. Public colleges such as state universities normally offer civil engineering education at a considerable lower tuition fee as compared to private universities (Hollaway, 2007). Other than tuition fee, other charges include application, registration and book fees which increases the total cost of attendance. Determining the exact cost incurred before completion of civil engineering education is normally difficult because rated normally vary among the institutions and even fluctuates per semester. In high ranked public civil engineering institution such as University of California-Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana and Georgia Institute of Technology, the annual tuition fee for a full engineering student are $16,299, $22,776 and $13,636 respectively. In best private universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, the annual tuitions fees are $38,940 and $41,420 respectively (Hollaway, 2007).
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In United State of America, there are currently 262,800 civil engineers earning an average salary of $82,710 per annum. According to the last projection from the government, civil engineering profession is expected to grow at a rate higher than 19 percent over the 2010-2020 decade, which is a higher rate as compared to the average growth rate. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, it expected that by 2020, the number of civil engineers, will amount to 313,900 from 262, 800 in the year 2010. In addition, the demand for civil engineers is also expected to increase the demand for more building and other infrastructure continues to rise (Hollaway, 2007).
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