Mechanical, Civil, or Nuclear Engineering?

In summary, based on the information given, I believe that Mechanical Engineering is a good option for someone interested in a career in Engineering. It is broad, has a foundation in solving problems, and is not as narrow in focus as Civil or Nuclear Engineering.
  • #1
TheDarkNite
1
0
Hey everyone, I need some help choosing what Engineering program I should pursue. I'm in grade 12 right now and conflicted which engineering is the best in terms of job market, salary, and overall. The Engineering programs I'm considering are; Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Nuclear Engineering. I've heard equally great things about Mechanical and Civil but can't decide which would be better for my situation. I live in Ontario, Canada, by the way, so please let me know which program has the better job market. I need to know ASAP. Thank you.
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Are you only basing your opinion on the job market? All three of them are likely good (though I bet--only guessing here--nuclear would be highly country-dependent and may not be as robust of a career as mechanical and civil). That is, I'd say it is extremely improbable that you'd end up poor with anyone of those degrees. Which one seems most interesting to you and why?
 
  • #3
axmls said:
Are you only basing your opinion on the job market? All three of them are likely good (though I bet--only guessing here--nuclear would be highly country-dependent and may not be as robust of a career as mechanical and civil). That is, I'd say it is extremely improbable that you'd end up poor with anyone of those degrees. Which one seems most interesting to you and why?

No, not only for the job market. Like I said; salary, and the overall quality of the job (i.e not sitting behind a desk all day). I can't decide; that's why I need help from people with personal experience in these fields to guide me.
 
  • #4
TheDarkNite said:
overall quality of the job (i.e not sitting behind a desk all day)

That will probably vary by job even within the three degrees you mentioned, and so can the salaries. Thus, while those factors are things you should look at (and others can probably help you there), it's ultimately important that you actually find the field you choose interesting.
 
  • Like
Likes billy_joule
  • #5
If you go for mechanical engineering at some stage you're going to get covered in hot dirty oil, civil you'll be out in all weathers but will only remember wet and windy, nuclear make a bad mistake and your name will go down in history in a bad way.
 
  • Like
Likes PAllen
  • #6
Nuclear might be a good option in 10 years, but, the field is pretty much dead right now save for some niche jobs with military contractors. Mechanical engineers are always in demand and the market remains decent. Just don't expect to need a lot of pricey suits for work, you will get dirty. Civil is a bit down because jobs tend towards public works projects.
 
  • #7
Chronos said:
the field is pretty much dead right now save for some niche jobs with military contractors

Huh? None of the nuclear engineers I know work for military contractors. I would say most NEs work for reactor vendors or electric power companies.
 
  • #8
Repeating advice given to me more than 30 years ago: "If you want to go into Engineering, but don't know which one, then go into Mechanical."

Reasons:
  • ME is the broadest of all Engineering fields. With an ME degree, you can branch out into other fields because you have the fundamental skills that an Engineering curriculum teaches you: "how to solve problems."
  • The first two years of most Engineering curricula is essentially the same. Two years is plenty of time to ask, learn, experiment, and then determine which direction your boat is pointed.
"Sitting at a desk all day." that depends on what job you have. I know people who do that, pushing stacks of paper, and are seemingly at peace with the world. The thought of doing that makes me want to blow my head off. I went into the lesser-paid field of Manufacturing Engineering and have as much fun running around factories, getting dirty, doing cool stuff, as anybody. I also worked at a desk for extended periods of time. It all depends on the circumstances. But later in life, with kids at home and other life issues in full swing, I longed to simply sit at a desk sometimes.

"...salary..." I've never recommended going into Engineering if you thought it was a path to riches. A path to a comfortable, above-average life, but not riches. Unless you become an entrepreneur, CEO, or some such. Then you use your problem-solving skills to solve other kinds of problems and you hire Engineers to solve Engineering problems.

It is not realistic to expect a "job" to be joyful and pleasant and fun all the time. I teach at a University now and there seems to be cultural belief in the younger generation that believes a happy life is due them because they exist. I assure you that is simply not the case. There will be times when you are bored out of your mind, feeling threatened and fearful with job loss and loss of livelihood, and frustrated and angry to the point of considering homicide. But then will be are plenty of episodes when you go home with a sense of accomplishment and pride that proves that all is right in God's world.

"Mechanical / Civil / Nuclear" A last thought, closing with an old industry joke: "ME's build weapons, CE's build targets." I worked in the nuke industry building power plants long ago. Some of it was interesting, most of it boring & paper-pushing to meet regulations to ensure we didn't create another Three Mile Island (and later, Chernobyl). Specific skills, limited opportunities, highly paid. The US Navy would love love love to talk to you if you get a BSNE.
 
  • Like
Likes billy_joule

Related to Mechanical, Civil, or Nuclear Engineering?

1. What is the difference between mechanical, civil, and nuclear engineering?

Mechanical engineering involves the design, analysis, and production of mechanical systems such as machines, engines, and tools. Civil engineering focuses on the design and construction of infrastructure and buildings. Nuclear engineering deals with the research, design, and development of nuclear energy and its applications.

2. What skills are required to be successful in mechanical, civil, or nuclear engineering?

Some key skills for success in all three fields include strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, and excellent math and science skills. Mechanical engineers also need a good understanding of materials and mechanics. Civil engineers should have knowledge of construction techniques and materials. Nuclear engineers require a strong understanding of nuclear physics and radiation.

3. What type of work environment can I expect as a mechanical, civil, or nuclear engineer?

Mechanical engineers typically work in offices, research and development labs, or manufacturing facilities. Civil engineers may split their time between office work and construction sites. Nuclear engineers often work in power plants or at nuclear research facilities. All three fields involve working as part of a team and may require travel to project sites.

4. How do I become a licensed mechanical, civil, or nuclear engineer?

In order to become licensed, engineers must typically complete a four-year bachelor's degree in engineering from an accredited program, gain relevant work experience, and pass a licensing exam. Some states may also require continuing education to maintain a license.

5. What are some current challenges and advancements in the field of mechanical, civil, or nuclear engineering?

Some current challenges and advancements in mechanical engineering include designing more efficient and sustainable energy systems, developing autonomous and robotic technology, and integrating advanced materials into designs. Civil engineers are facing challenges related to aging infrastructure and the need for more resilient and sustainable building designs. In nuclear engineering, advancements are being made in the development of new reactor designs and technologies for nuclear waste management and disposal.

Similar threads

  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
7
Views
3K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
793
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
12
Views
5K
  • STEM Career Guidance
Replies
5
Views
1K
Back
Top