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At a crossroad; Civil or Mechanical Engineering

  1. Jul 30, 2007 #1
    Well, I'm going to a big University this upcoming fall. I'm at a crossroads on what and where I want to go in terms of Engineering. I'm planning to shoot for my masters.

    Civil vs Mechanical.

    I'm a bit sad that Civil Engineers get paid crap and it takes so long to get paid well (not sure?) but it seems fulfilling and that I can get a job anywhere. Mechanical Engineers get paid pretty well, like 5,000 - 10,000 more than civil engineers. However, I am unsure how long it takes to get paid very well.

    Both seem incredibly fun to do and fulfilling, however, pay raise is what I'm aiming for and how fast I can get it. Do Mechanical Engineers get paid well very quick or does it take years before you get paid well. Same for Civil Engineering.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2007 #2


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    If you are a freshman, you have some time. Pick the first one that you think you would like and get into the classes. You will spend your first two years taking pretty much the same pre-req classes. Get a feel for both of them while you are there and if you want to make a change then do so. You do have time.
  4. Jul 30, 2007 #3


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    Fred's right. If you get into engineering at a big school, you and every other candidate are going to be the same track the freshman year, taking the same courses, and you probably won't be asked to declare a preference until at least your Sophomore year at the earliest, probably Junior year. While you're working through that, you'll learn what courses you enjoy and do well in, and that should play heavily into your choice of a major. You don't want to take a high-paying job that you hate - it will grind you into the ground. Been there.
  5. Jul 30, 2007 #4
    is this true??? do you guyz in states pick your major after 2 years and that too yourself??? man, its sooooooo kewl

    anyways my choice is mechanical
  6. Jul 30, 2007 #5
    Pay reflects your ability to work, not your major. Dont expect to get paid a lot if your GPA is low.


  7. Jul 30, 2007 #6


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    Well, don't expect to get a great job right out of college if you're GPA is low, but if your work is good and you're reliable, good pay will follow. There are some really well-paid professionals whose academic performances did not reflect their drive or their ability to deliver quality work. Your GPA is a reflection of your ability to absorb and regurgitate the course materials to the satisfaction of your teachers. It is not by any means a measure of your ability to solve problems unique to your future employment. School gives you basic tools. How you build on them after school is up to you.
  8. Jul 30, 2007 #7


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    Luckily, that's not the case in my country.
  9. Jul 31, 2007 #8
    you have time. I switched from civil to mechanical after two years and things went smoothly. you have to see for yourself what is a better fit. dont choose your major because the average pay of one is slightly higher than another
  10. Jul 31, 2007 #9
  11. Jul 31, 2007 #10


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    Yeah... Stop choosing majors based on money.

    Civil engineering can provide as much satisfaction as any of the other engineering disciplines.
  12. Jul 31, 2007 #11
    Always factor money and future job market into any decision. Also, a lot of the statistics comparing fields of engineering are mean values. You need to look in depth at what specific subfields pay. A civil engineer specializing in structural or working as a project manager salary will be drastically different than one working as a draftsman.
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