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The Extent of Civil Engineering Contributions to Society

The perception most people have regarding civil engineering is that it has something to do with skyscrapers and bridges and new developments. The truth is that civil engineering encompasses a broad range of services from creating the infrastructure to approving homeowner DIY projects for adding a room to the house. The oldest field among the engineering disciplines allows society to function.

The Basic Definition

A civil engineer provides services needed to create, repair, improve, and maintain infrastructure. It seems straightforward and basic, which is far from accurate. Infrastructure includes buildings, roadways, sewers, canals, dams, management of physical and natural structures, and the development of solutions to accommodate a growing global population and advances in technology.

Civil engineering services are currently and will remain, in high demand as current infrastructure needs to be repaired and new infrastructure will be required. Bridges and roadways built twenty years ago, for example, are beginning to crack and crumble from wear and tear, pollution, age, and climate changes. Planning, testing the surrounding soil for stability, and implementing ways to make repairs using the latest technology and equipment are among the services provided by civil engineers.


Clients from every sector require civil engineers. Commercial, municipal, industrial, residential, government, transportation, water, and waste-water sectors are some examples. Stormwater management, drainage, land surveying, and grading are a few services specific to water sectors.

Parking lot design, pavement management, and signage, and site selection are beneficial to commercial, municipal, and industrial sectors. Construction staking and layout, right-of-way acquisitions, and utility evaluation and design are most commonly used in development projects. There are many tasks and services that overlap sectors. Learn more about specific services by visiting www.CochranEng.com.

When Homeowners Require Civil Engineers

In addition to creating stunning buildings that appear to defy gravity, civil engineers are also needed to provide everyday functions. This is exemplified in times that homeowners need services. Whether it is a major renovation to be completed by a contractor or a do-it-yourself project, some jobs must be approved, inspected, or designed by a civil engineer.

Any projects that involve drainage, sewers, or septic improvements or additions require the approval of a civil engineer. It is essential that waste-water is directed properly to prevent groundwater contamination, erosion of the surrounding land, and interference with the strength and integrity of the structures nearby. Soil testing, blueprints of the system, inspection of the current drainage or sewer system, and approval of the project are all necessary before any work can begin.

Construction from a new house to a small shed is another area that requires homeowners to hire civil engineers. The intended site has to be able to handle the weight of the new structure to avoid sinking or collapsing, which is determined by a civil engineer.

Education Needed

Those interested in becoming civil engineers will require strong proficiencies in math, sciences, and computers. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is needed to provide services as a civil engineer. Consultants and engineers who provide services to the public are required to be licensed by the state in which they work.

Certifications, special skills, and higher degrees are advised for those wishing to advance within the field. Experience is valuable but does not equal a Master’s or PhD level of formal education. Begin working in the field before deciding on an area of expertise due to the fact that there are multiple aspects to the job.

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