Difference Between Civil Engineering and Architecture

A person who holds a great power of imagination is good at drawing and has the ability to visualize things is often bewildered whether to choose civil engineering or an architecture programme. Although both of these fields seem ostensibly related, there are indeed lots of differences between the two.

Civil Engineering:

It is a wide term that incorporates designing, constructing, and maintaining physical and naturally built environment, including works like bridges, roads, canals, dams, and buildings. In other words, civil engineers deal with the different architectural components of buildings in terms of practicality, deciding the materials to be used, load resisting capacity of the structure and longtime subsistence.


Architecture word is derived from the word “arkhitekton” which interprets to ‘chief-builder’.  While, the word origin itself indicates that architects are builders, but when it comes to real-world definition, the thought to architecture is more to with placing art into buildings. It is an imaginative field that deals with the art and science of designing and assembling buildings and other structure for human use and shelter.

Key Differences between a Civil Engineer and an Architecture

Civil Engineering


Duration of the course is 4 years

Duration of Architecture course is 5 years

Civil engineering mainly deals with the mathematical and scientific aspect of a building

Architecture deals with the artistic and look aspects of designing a building  

A civil engineer supervises the construction of roads, underpasses

and  flyovers

An architect designs buildings, monuments, and bridges

Civil engineering accords more with the power of the structure

Architecture accords more with the aesthetics  of the building

They basically deal with the material used in a building and what are the aspects of designing a building so that it supports its own weight

Architecture deals with executing the floor plans of a structure and designing the shape of the building

Provided with a B.Tech in civil engineering, one can apply for jobs, directly

To practice as an architect, one needs to register with the Council of Architecture.

The Scope of Civil Engineering and Architecture

Civil engineers are distressed with the introductory surveys, structural detailing of steel, measurements, structural design making, quantity surveying, execution of projects at the sites, supervision, planning site activities, procurement of materials, billing, construction safety, etc. Civil engineers run under the posts of a surveyor,  estimator, billing engineer, procurement manager, quantity surveyor, structural designer, planning engineer, site engineer, quality engineer, etc. Once they get raised on the basis of experience or qualification, they can lead the teams under the manager post. Project manager, assistant project manager, deputy project manager,  etc. posts.

Architects are concerned with architectural designing, structural drawing, utilization of space,  architectural drawing, planning, plotting, aesthetics of environment, principles of the science of human settlements, application of building bye-laws, interior design, pleasant appearance, etc. They work as an architect (designation) and an architect may have specific roles depending upon the post at which they are hired. An architect with a postgraduation degree working in industrial design is an architect (industrial design). Architect with an MBA or PGDM or managerial knowledge can be assigned as an architectural manager. An architect operating in the landscape architecture definitely can be entitled with the designation of landscape architect and in this way other designations are also built.

Job responsibilities of a civil engineer include:
  • Test building materials
  • Consider government regulations and possible hazards
  • Perform surveying operations
  • Supervise maintenance of roads and structures
  • Design sewage treatment systems
  • Construct dams, tunnels, and bridges
  • Conduct risk analysis
Job responsibilities of an architectural engineer include:
  • Organize structure specifications
  • Estimate costs
  • Draft drawings and plans
  • Inspect and testing building support systems
  • Design acoustic systems
  • Plan plumbing and electrical systems
  • Consider fire protection requirements

The salary for both civil engineer and architect depends on expert proficiency, in-depth knowledge of the subject, graduating institute, company, and need of the hour. Furthermore, civil engineers are furnished with more proficiency than architects in terms of intricate analysis, mathematics, and structural design, therefore, they are paid more than architects. But it all depends on skills and innovativeness that can make you perfect. A mediocre fresher architect in India gets a salary around Rs. 20,000. An ordinary civil engineer fresher in India gets a salary around Rs. 30,000.

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Date: 27 Feb 2019

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