What are the 12 Branches of Civil Engineering?

The civil engineering profession is one of the most diverse and rapidly growing fields of engineering. The field is characterized by the application of engineering principles to meet society’s needs in a variety of settings. This article will discuss civil engineering and its 12 branches.

What are the 12 Branches of Civil Engineering?

The following are the 12 branches of Civil Engineering:

  • Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Water Resource Engineering
  • Surveying
  • Construction Engineering
  • Municipal Engineering
  • Coastal Engineering
  • Tunnel Engineering
  • Earthquake Engineering
  • Material Engineering

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the physical and natural infrastructure of society. It encompasses the design and construction of bridges, buildings, dams, canals, highways, railroads, ports, and airports. 

Civil engineers are responsible for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of public works. Civil engineers are responsible for the planning and management of water resources development projects including flood control projects and irrigation projects.

In addition to the design and construction of public works, they are also responsible for maintaining the condition of existing structures and for designing and planning our transportation systems.

Below are the 12 branches of civil engineering and their definitions.

Structural Engineering

Structural engineering is the practice of designing and building structures to resist forces and movements in response to the application of load. 

It is a combination of structural design, materials selection, and construction techniques. Structural engineers design and analyze structures to ensure they will not fail under the applied loads and stresses. 

Structural engineers use different types of materials in the design of structures, including metals, wood, concrete, etc. They also take into account factors such as wind, earthquakes, snow loads, and other environmental factors. 

Structural engineers use their knowledge of materials to design the structure in a way that will be strong enough to resist the applied loads.

Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering is the application of science and engineering to protect and improve the environment. Engineers are often the first to notice environmental problems and design solutions to help protect the natural world. 

Environmental engineers study how to create healthy habitats for plants, animals, and humans. Some environmental engineers work in fields such as water quality, air quality, and waste management.

Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical engineering is the application of the principles of geology, engineering, and the earth sciences to the design and construction of structures and the natural environment. 

Geotechnical engineers design and construct structures that are able to withstand the earth’s forces such as soil, water, and wind. They are responsible for building the infrastructure in our cities and towns. Geotechnical engineers are also responsible for designing dams, bridges, tunnels, highways, and airports.

Transportation Engineering

Transportation engineering is the application of engineering principles to transportation systems, including all modes of transportation, such as highways, roads, railroads, airports, and waterways. 

The field often deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructures such as highways, bridges, and tunnels. Transportation engineers are also responsible for ensuring that traffic flows efficiently.

Water Resource Engineering

Water Resource Engineering is the process of managing, protecting, and restoring water resources. The goal of this process is to provide a reliable and sustainable supply of water for people, ecosystems, and society. 

There are many different types of water resource engineering projects, including dams, reservoirs, groundwater management, and surface water management.


Surveying is the technique for determining the shape and size of an area of land. It is a profession that involves the measurement and mapping of the Earth’s surface by using a combination of techniques and equipment. 

Surveying involves the use of tools such as theodolites, total stations, and laser rangefinders. It can also be done by satellite or aircraft. Civil engineers rely on surveying to determine the volume, shape, and elevation of land areas.

Construction Engineering

Construction engineering is a branch of engineering that involves the design, construction, and management of building projects. Construction engineers work in both the private and public sectors.

Construction engineers typically use computer-aided design software to create three-dimensional computer models of buildings and work with construction managers to schedule building work.

They are responsible for planning, designing, building, operating, maintaining, and renovating buildings and infrastructure. They also work with architects to design buildings.

Municipal Engineering

Municipal engineering is the profession of designing, planning, and managing the physical infrastructure of a municipality. Municipal engineers are responsible for the planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operation of public works. 

The practice includes planning the use of land and water resources and the development of transportation networks. Municipal engineers also work to ensure that public services are delivered in a cost-effective manner.

Coastal Engineering

Coastal engineering is the application of engineering principles to construct, maintain, and improve the use of coastal areas and coastal structures such as bridges, jetties, breakwaters, and seawalls. 

Coastal engineering is an interdisciplinary field that uses physical science, civil engineering, economics, and social science to design and build structures, manage resources, and develop sustainable communities in coastal areas. 

Coastal engineering is an important part of engineering in general, but it is also important in understanding how to protect coastal areas from erosion and flooding.

Tunnel Engineering

Tunnel engineering is the process of designing, building, and operating tunnels for transportation. A tunnel is a passageway, usually underground, which is typically used for the movement of people or goods. 

Tunnels are built using either cut-and-cover construction or bored through-tunnel construction. Tunnels are classified by their cross-sectional shape as a round tunnel, square tunnel, or rectangular tunnel. 

It is a complex engineering discipline that involves the application of engineering principles to the design, construction, and operation of tunnels for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods. Tunnel engineering is a field of civil engineering that is focused on the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of tunnels. 

Earthquake Engineering

Earthquakes are natural disasters that can cause a lot of damage. In order to prevent these disasters, engineers design buildings to be resistant to earthquakes. 

The field includes topics such as seismology, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, and disaster prevention. Earthquake engineering is the design of structures that resist shaking, vibrations, and other motions in response to seismic activity. 

Engineers use a variety of methods to make buildings more earthquake-resistant, including increasing the number of supporting columns, using seismic bracing, and isolating the building from sources of ground motion.

Earthquakes are a natural occurrence that occurs in many parts of the world. The magnitude of an earthquake is measured by the Richter scale. 

The goal of earthquake engineering is to reduce damage from earthquakes by designing structures that can survive the shaking. Earthquake engineering has been around for centuries, but it is only in recent years that earthquake engineering has taken off as a major research field.

Material Engineering

Material engineering is the science of designing, manufacturing, and testing the materials of a product. There are many different types of materials that are used in engineering and each material has its own strengths and weaknesses. 

Some materials are stronger than others and they also have different qualities such as flexibility, strength, and durability. Material engineers need to know the properties of these materials so that they can design a product that will work best for the intended use.

Material engineering is the use of engineering principles and materials to create functional, aesthetic, and durable products. This is a broad field that includes the design and manufacturing of materials that are found in everyday objects such as cars, furniture, clothing, buildings, and even food. 

The goal of material engineering is to make the best use of natural resources and to produce clean, safe, reliable, and inexpensive materials while keeping it aesthetically pleasing. It is a diverse field that includes mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, and others.


The field of civil engineering is one of the most important fields in society. Engineers are behind the development of many inventions that we use on a daily basis. From the bridges we cross to the buildings we live in, engineers have made a significant impact on our lives. Engineers are also responsible for the design and construction of new buildings and roads.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What are the 12 Branches of Civil Engineering?

Are civil engineers paid well?

Civil engineers are in high demand and as a result, they tend to earn a high salary. The average salary for a civil engineer is $92,000 per year.

Is civil engineering hard to study?

Studying civil engineering is hard. It’s a very difficult field to enter and it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and time to get into.

How many years does it take to study civil engineering? 

Civil engineering is a four-year degree program. This means that it takes four years to complete the program. In order to graduate from the program, you must have a certain number of credits.


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12 Types of Civil Engineering Branches. Retrieved from https://civilengineersforum.com/civil-engineering-types-branches/

Top 12 Civil Engineering Branches – The Civil Experiences. https://www.civilexperiences.com/top-12-civil-engineering-branches/