Civil engineering is the term for the work of designing and building infrastructure. It usually means large structures, like bridges, dams, buildings, roads and tunnels. It also covers complicated networks such as water, irrigation and sewerage networks, and the construction of houses and homes. Civil engineers can be involved in all stages in the life of infrastructure, from planning and construction to maintenance and demolition. Civil engineering often overlaps with architecture.
Civil engineering has many different areas or disciplines. Some important areas are geotechnical, structures, environmental, construction management, hydrology, transportation, and materials. It is important for civil engineers to have an understanding of all these disciplines as projects often involve many of them at the same time.
Civil engineers are responsible for lots of the things that are required for a society to function properly. Safe water supplies, sewage treatment, roads, railways and buildings are all part of civil engineering.
The profession of civil engineering is represented by professional bodies in various countries. In the UK the Institution of Civil Engineers promotes civil engineering as a discipline and supports engineers throughout their careers. The American Society of Civil Engineers performs a similar task in the USA.
Professional engineers often choose to become Chartered Engineers. Chartership shows employers and clients that they are both qualified and experienced in their jobs. Civil engineers usually have to write a big essay and take an interview with a panel of experienced engineers to gain chartership.