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Civil Engineering/Power Engineering combination question

  1. Sep 2, 2009 #1
    I've decided that im going to change my major from EE to Civil Engineering and will continue to take my EE classes that only and i repeat only lead up to Power Engineering classes.

    In addition to the Civil Eng. degree i will have coursework in Electrical System Design, both commercial, residential and industrial areas(wiring design etc.) and ilumination engineering design experience.

    I am fascinated with anything related to infrastructure and seeing how in a couple of years, every building design or green building design and i think this coursework experience will help me alot.

    What do you guys think about this??

    Also, if i get my license as a civil engineer, can i still do electrical work if i know how to do it?? Wiring design etc?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2009 #2


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    I would stick with EE unless you just really love CE because you will on average make more money as an EE.

    I believe you'll need a PE stamp to actually approve electrical system designs and since PE's are discipline defined you'll probably need to take the EE PE exam which means you'll need an ABET accredited BSEE or TAC accredited BSET degree. All of this will of course depend on where you live so check with your local PE board.

  4. Sep 2, 2009 #3
    can i do an electrical system design and have a EE PE sign it?

    I thought this could be real useful in the new "Green building" designs.
  5. Sep 3, 2009 #4
    no more input?
  6. Sep 3, 2009 #5
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  7. Sep 3, 2009 #6
    What's wrong with my combination though?

    It's not like im going to have two degrees. Just overall infrastructure experience.
  8. Sep 3, 2009 #7
    Sounds like you've made up your mind. I didn't even make an argument. I just pointed out the fact that in the US the electrical engineering degree, off the bat, is worth over 10% more than the civil degree.

    Typically, electrical engineers design infrastructure technology while civil engineers install it.
  9. Sep 3, 2009 #8
    i know a civil engineer who designs transmission lines and has an EE sign the plans.
  10. Sep 3, 2009 #9
    If an EE is signing them then the civil engineer is doing electrical engineering and would be better off with an electrical degree. I'm not trying to argue with you. There's nothing wrong with the civil degree. Just know that you are giving up some money to do a different type of work.

    The master's degree starting salaries are probably more representative of people who graduate with a particular degree and stay in that specific field. EEs make $18k/yr more than civil engineers out of grad school (yes this is skewed by demographics, but it's still telling).

    Some people love civil, and there are always a range of salaries in any field.
  11. Sep 3, 2009 #10
    Yea i understand, don't worry i know ur not arguing hehehe.

    THe thing i wanna know is that in terms of hands on work and practice. How useful can electrical knowledge be to a Civil Engineer with the upcoming "Green Construction"

    At least at my college, they allow Civil/Mechanical engineering students to take Electrical System Design and Ilumination Design courses that lie under Power Engineering.
  12. Sep 4, 2009 #11


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    Yes as long as a EE PE approves it. He'll be on the hook for it and not you.

  13. Sep 6, 2009 #12
    Most civil people design beams, columns, and slabs. If you like that kind of work, then choose CE.
  14. Sep 6, 2009 #13
    I don't think anyone here knows exactly what im trying to do? lol
  15. Sep 6, 2009 #14
    Regarding future career, you won't know for sure what's going to happen. So just study the field of your interest and do well.
  16. Sep 6, 2009 #15
    Agreed. But seeing how the Civil Engineering market is right now, alot of designs will be related to energetic concerns.
  17. Sep 6, 2009 #16
    I can only tell you much of it is hype. Real energy research is mostly done by people who are really well versed in physics and chemistry. To be honest, most civil engineering people lack training in such areas. There are exceptions of course (perhaps people who are doing environmental engineering, whose background are strong in chemistry). My background is civil engineering and I am trying to branch off into other areas. You better stick with your EE in your undergraduate and learn some real physics.
  18. Sep 6, 2009 #17
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  19. Sep 6, 2009 #18
    All I'm saying is join a program that will provide you with the real skills and knowledge to tackle problems. Don't follow any hype or job market conditions because they change quickly.
  20. Sep 6, 2009 #19
    i've always had the problem deciding, i love infrastructure but then again i've always liked technology. It seems that the bridge between those two is Mechanical Engineering.
  21. Sep 15, 2009 #20

    Why are you trying to branch off into other areas ?
    Is not environmental engineering close to civil ?
    When it comes to energy related to issue, does biomechanic provide any good background ?
  22. Sep 22, 2009 #21
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