Architecture Vs Civil Engineering

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Architecture and Civil engineering-These two professions are generally similar. Yet, there are clear differences between both.
While architectural engineers and civil engineers share some of the same tasks like planning, designing, etc., both engineering streams have well-defined roles that make them distinguishable from each other. Both professions have critical functions that are crucial in any construction project, and they rely on one another to accomplish and deliver a project on time.
To help students make a clear career choice. Here I’ve summarized how architecture and civil engineering are diverse in their way

What is Architectural Engineering?

Architectural Engineering is a branch of engineering discipline that focuses on the technological aspects of planning, design, construction, and building structures. Anyone who is imaginative and has skills in planning, production and operation of a building may find a successful career in architectural engineering.
An architectural engineer should be innovative in designing and planning structures, keeping in mind the local laws and building codes governing the region. Architectural engineers are responsible for overseeing the blueprints, plane tc before the execution of the project. The primary responsibility is to understand the client’s requirement and translate the ideas into a functional and aesthetically pleasing design.

What is Civil Engineering?

On the other hand, civil engineering is that stream of Engineering that deals with the construction of structures. Whatever physical structures you see when you look around where you live shows the miracle touches of a civil engineer.
Civil Engineers work on a variety of different construction projects like roads, buildings, bridges etc. Civil Engineers. The major job responsibilities of a Civil engineer includes but is not limited to
Planning and designing of structures, Performing surveys, site analysis, soil testing etc., Performing risk analysis, costing and budgeting for the project, Testing building materials, Getting approvals from concerned government authorities for the execution of the project., Execution and Handing over of the project.

Difference between Architectural and civil Engineering

Scope of work

Architecture deals with the design of building structures with a prime focus on aesthetics and functionality. In simpler language, they deal with the functionality of designs while taking care of the ‘look’ of the structure.
On the other hand, Civil Engineer inspects, plans and executes the architectural designs for a structure. Civil engineering focuses mainly on the structural elements of the design, making sure that the structure endures extreme conditions.

Field of work:

Architects and engineers work in tandem, and hence some times their works overlap. However, when it comes to work, Civil Engineers have a wider spectrum of work. While architects mainly deal with the creative presentation of a construction project, civil engineers undertake structural aesthetics. Scope of Civil engineering may include constructing public works like roads, buildings, railway tracks, ports etc. Generally, such projects do not require any considerations concerning the ‘look’ of it and are purely designed for practical and functional considerations.

Academic differences:

Academically, architecture and civil engineering programmes are closely related. However, as discussed earlier, despite all similarities, the focus on concepts are different. While architecture devotes more time to aesthetics and creativity, civil engineering focuses more on the technical sides of the construction.
In India, the duration of an undergraduate academic course for Architectural Engineers is five years, while for Civil ENGINEERS, it is four years.

Eligibility criteria for Undergraduate course

Admission for Architecture engineering is generally made through a common entrance exam conducted under the Council of Architecture.B.Arch aspirants should clear the class 12 board exams, with Physics, Chemistry and Maths as main subjects. Post-graduation programmes are also available for B.Arch.
For Civil Engineering Undergraduate Degree program, admission is granted based on the candidate’s performance in the Common Entrance Test. Aspirants seeking to be a Civil Engineer should clear the class 12 board exam with Physics, Chemistry and Maths as main subjects.
For a Civil Engineering diploma, a candidate should have passed class 10 board exams. The diploma course is of 3-year duration. An Undergraduate degree is valued more than a diploma and is a clear winner in job markets. Many institutes that offer diploma courses also offer a migration channel wherein a candidate who has completed two years of diploma course can seek Civil ENgineering first year in Engineering college.

Which is better, Architecture vs Civil Engineering

While only a select few colleges offer a B.Arch degree, civil engineering is a common programme offered by many reputed engineering colleges. So when it comes to choosing between civil engineering and architecture, everything boils down to your personal inters in the subject. Suppose you are someone with a flair for imagination and innovation, B.Arch might be th course for you, but if you are someone with a clear technical standpoint, then Civil Engineering would be a better option.

Who earns more Architect or Civil Engineer?

One of the key reasons for choosing professional academic streams like civil engineering and architecture is to reap the benefits of excellent career growth backed by a sizable salary. Therefore, this becomes the bone of contention for all aspirants who are
confused while choosing between the two.
In terms of salary and social reputation, both the programmes command similar remuneration and respect. Along with private sectors, architects are also hired by Government agencies like the Public Works Department, National Building, Organization, NATional Institute of Urban Affairs, Town and Municipal Planning authorities tx.
In terms of remuneration, architects can expect starting salary of INR 25000, to INR 30000 per month. However, with experience and depending on skill sets, an architect can earn upto INR 1,00,000 per month. Architects can charge hefty sums per projects if they have established a clear name and career portfolio in your private practice field.
Civil Engineers, on the other hand, have a wider scope of work as compared to architects. Both private and Government bodies hire fresh civil engineers from reputed colleges for different roles. Civil Engineers are even recruited for jobs in the Indian Army as well. In addition to working in private/public sectors, civil engineers can set up their engineering consultancy firms. Those Engineers with a flair for writing can take up technical writing in the same field as well. There is also a demand for teachers in the Civil Engineering professions.
Civil engineers draw a starting salary of INR 35,000/- INR 50,000 per month, which appreciates their experience and skillset in remuneration.

Can a Civil Engineer work as an architect:

Both Yes and No.
Yes, in the case of a Senior Civil Engineer whose experience helps him understand the structure holistically, which would bring in a synergy between aesthetics and structural functionalities.
No, in the case of a fresh graduate just out of college, with no real practical experience. He would face some difficulty understanding the aesthetics and elevational drawings.
Both Civil Engineering and Architecture are involved in the planning and designing of structures. However, architecture focuses more on the spatial functionality of the development and is more connected with artistry, while Civil engineering concentrates more on the structure itself.
Even though civil engineers are involved in designing and any structure, the architect takes the lead in designing. The architect will initiate the design, shape, colour etc., while civil engineers analyze it to find if the design is feasible. The civil engineer is entrusted with finding the right construction materials, suggesting modifications transforming the architect’s vision into reality.


While both civil engineering and architecture are very competitive professions, each of them has its own merits. Architects visualize and design a project while a civil engineer analyzes and implements the design to bring the project to reality. Though both these Engineering streams overlap each other work, one cannot replace the other. A good professional relationship between the two professions will be an asset for any project management team and make the construction job successful.