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Engineering Civil engineering or mechanical engineering

  1. Dec 4, 2009 #1

    Right now I am studying forest engineering at University of British Columbia but I am starting to regret choosing forestry since the industry is doing so bad. So I've decided to go into engineering since I am interested in it and it has good pay and good job outlook. But it is hard to decide whether to study civil or mechanical. I was interested in civil because I like buildings and structures but the downside is that I may have to relocate to find jobs, can only work in the construction industry, and the pay is not as good as mechanical. Mechanical on the other hand has more opportunities in various industries including manufacturing, car, airplane, etc, and there are more interesting projects to work on, and the pay is slightly higher. I am quite interested in mechatronics and I am wondering if mechanical would be a good choice in the long run.

    Also, what is the working conditions like for civil or mechanical? Do I have to go to construction sites and get my hands dirty or go to machine shops and fix stuff?

    Given the current economic downturn, it seems that it will better choice to go for mechanical than civil.

    Would be happy to know what are your thoughts.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2009 #2
    Hi timshu. Have you seen this thread further down the page: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=345515? There isn't one right choice for everyone. Civil is probably more restricting in terms of what you can do with it compared to mechanical, but both do a variety of things.

    Most mechanical engineers will probably be doing more work with drawings etc than fixing machines. Manufacturing engineers usually deal with equipment on the floor, although mechanical engineers can often become manufacturing engineers if they choose to.

    You might want to take a look at the BLS page on engineering: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm. Industrial production management is another option for mechanical engineers (and others): http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos016.htm. Civil engineers (and others) work as construction managers too: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos005.htm. There are a variety of other careers that one can have with an engineering degree, including jobs in finance, sales, consulting, etc.

    We can probably be more helpful responding to more specific questions. I recommend you take a look at more of the posts in this forum and the academic guidance forum.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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