I say both (Architects and Civil Engineers) are EQUALLY important for crucial projects.
If there’s any civil engineer who’s ready for a discussion regarding this, do let me know.
Now coming to the question,
Difference between Civil Engineer and an architect.
There are some good and direct answers here.
So, I’ll put it differently.
Let us say you went out with your close ones to have lunch in a good hotel.
- You ask the server to get some WATER.
- He gets WATER.
- He didn’t get any glass/container.
- He is ready to offer you WATER (which you have ordered) like this.
Would you accept it?
This is exactly what happens with civil engineers and architects.
In this scenario, water is a civil engineer, and the glass/container is architect.
The difference lies in the nature of their roles. Based on the scope of their jobs-
An architect is basically a professional who is concerned with the facial beauty of the structure. That includes designing the facade of the building, the interior decoration, the landscaping, the gargoyles, and pediments, etc. put on a building. In the case of bridges, how the bridge would look falls under the role of an architect.
Civil Engineers, on the other hand, have a more vivid role. A Civil Engineer can work in the capacity of a Consultant/ Structural Engineer, designing the whole structure so that it stays in the air, not failing and eventually falling. That requires them to be very good in engineering calculations. They can work as Site Engineers, which would require them to oversee the whole work going on the site. They can work as Planners/Schedulers. That typically requires you to have a working knowledge of Primavera P6 or Microsoft Project along with an ability to perform basic mathematics to calculate the quantity take-off of excavation, back-filling, brickwork, etc. You would also learn about tender creation. A yet another job lies in the Billing department. You can work as a Surveyor, which would involve you calculating the area of the land or the level of land wrt Mean Sea Level or other benchmarks set up by PWD or you yourself at the end of the day. There’s work in the Quality Control that checks the strength of Concrete, the consistency of cement, fineness of Sands, etc. Depending upon the department, You would be taking different works in Civil Engineering.
Also, they learn and know different curricula-
A Civil Engineer’s core syllabus would include Basic Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Strength of Material, Limit State Design, Steel Structures, Building Construction, Highway Design, Railway, and Airport Design, Hydraulic Structures, Irrigation Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Estimation-Costing, Planning and a bunch of software like AutoCAD, STAAD, etc.
An Architect studies Building Construction, Architectural History, Computer Graphics, Mechanics of Structure, Building Modeling, Climatology, Art Appreciation, Rendering Techniques, Methods of Construction, Acoustics, Sociology in Architecture, Surveying, Estimation, Urban Planning, Interior Design, Energy Efficiency in Designing, Disaster Resistance among a bunch of other architectural software.
However, both of them usually work in collaboration, each one assisting the other at the required step. And, that is how they achieve feats of excellence like the Burj Khalifa, the Atlantis or the Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge, to name a few.