Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings.Civil engineering is the second-oldest engineering discipline after military engineering, and it is defined to distinguish non-military engineering from military engineering. It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including architectural engineering, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, control engineering, structural engineering, earthquake engineering, transportation engineering, forensic engineering, municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, wastewater engineering, offshore engineering, facade engineering, coastal engineering, construction surveying, and construction engineering.Civil engineering takes place in the public sector from municipal through to national governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.
The term civil engineer was established in 1750 to contrast engineers working on civil projects with the military engineers, who worked on armaments and defenses. Over time, various sub-disciplines of civil engineering have become recognized and much of military engineering has been absorbed by civil engineering. Other engineering practices became recognized as independent engineering disciplines, including chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.In some places, a civil engineer may perform land surveying; in others, surveying is limited to construction surveying, unless an additional qualification is obtained.