Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design and construction of the physical and natural built environment, including works such as bridges, roads, canals, dams and buildings.
It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including municipal engineering, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, coastal engineering, surveying, urban planning, and construction engineering.
Civil engineers typically possess an academic degree with a major in civil engineering. The length of study for such a degree is usually four or five years and the completed degree is usually designated as a Bachelor of Science, though some universities designate the degree as a Bachelor of Engineering. The degree generally includes units covering physics, mathematics, project management, design and specific topics in civil engineering. Initially such topics cover most, if not all, of the sub-disciplines of civil engineering. Students then choose to specialize in one or more sub-disciplines towards the end of the degree.
The advantages of certification vary depending upon location. For example, in the United States and Canada only a licensed engineer may prepare, sign and seal, and submit engineering plans and drawings to a public authority for approval, or seal engineering work for public and private clients.