Suppose you are studying to become a mechanical engineer, and realize your interests are shifting towards designing and building infrastructure.
In that case, you may wish to know if you can become a civil engineer easily.
Some mechanical engineers may even work as civil engineers with only a few certificates.
Follow along to learn more about how a mechanical engineer can work as a civil engineer below.
Yes! Fortunately, mechanical and civil engineering cover similar content, making it an easier transition than other engineering fields.
Mechanical engineers can work as civil engineers with just a few additions to their expertise.
Mechanical engineers research, design, and develop machines and mechanical systems.
Civil engineers research, design, and develop buildings and infrastructure.
Since both domains turn design ideas into real work, both types of engineers need a strong grasp of calculus, trigonometry, statistics, physics, mechanics, and dynamics.
When you transfer into civil engineering, you may need to take extra courses in structures, highways, construction, transportation, or another specialization.
Since materials, dynamics, and legal standards differ depending on which infrastructure you are building,it is important to receive education in the specific domain of interest.
Likewise, you will need to receive a license to practice civil engineering legally in your state.
Mechanical engineering and civil engineering are both excellent career choices.
They both have high salaries, plenty of job opportunities, and room for career advancement.
However, mechanical engineering allows you to venture into various industries, including civil engineering.
Therefore, if you are undecided about where your passions lie, you may like to start with mechanical engineering and specialize later in your academic career.
On the other hand, if you already know you would enjoy developing buildings or infrastructure, civil engineering allows you to specialize quickly.
Civil engineering is also well-known as a more manageable academic degree and career.
Mechanical and civil engineers make relatively the same annual salary, although mechanical engineers make slightly higher.
In the lower range, focusing on entry-level positions, mechanical engineers earn $60,750 or less, while civil engineers take home $60,550 or less.
As there is almost a $30,000 jump between entry-level engineering jobs and average salaries, earning a higher degree, further certifications, or experience in the field is best.
You need civil, structural, and electrical engineers for standard houses or buildings.
Yet, mechanical engineers are a great addition to any construction team for a custom house.
They may have provide helpful insights into sustainability, energy efficiency, 3-D printing, elevators, and air exchange systems, among other mechanical elements and processes.
Mechanical engineers can work in construction, although you typically find civil engineers and architects on construction sites.
If you work in construction as a mechanical engineer, you may be responsible for;
- Equipment maintenance and repair
- Specialized equipment design and development
- Safety verification
- Risk assessment
- Power generation
- Design and development for power generation
- HVAC integration
- 3-D printing
Learn more: Can Mechanical Engineers Work On Prosthetics?
Mechanical engineering is a more challenging academic degree than civil engineering.
In fact, most students consider mechanical engineering one of the most difficult engineering disciplines.
Since it has such a broad curriculum, you may not see the links between classes until the last two years or your graduate degree.
Additionally, you must take more mathematics classes than the average engineering degree, including civil engineering.
However, after graduation, it is optional for mechanical engineers to pursue licenses.
Civil engineers need to obtain licenses from the state to be able to work.
Since this is the case, they must take and pass additional exams, which can be tricky.
Mechanical engineers have a high rate (89%) of job satisfaction.
They may enjoy their work, job prospects, career progression, benefits packages, and flexible schedules.
In general, engineers who prepare well for their field and desired job position, and choose an employer who values their employees and work, tend to be happiest.
Learn more: Do Mechanical Engineers Have Flexible Hours?
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts demand for mechanical engineers will grow 7% by 2030.
This is an average growth rate for the industry, introducing approximately 20,000 job openings annually.
Likewise, demand for civil engineers will grow 8% before 2030, opening 25,000 positions annually.
Whether you plan to be a mechanical or civil engineer, you should try to stand out from your competition with higher degrees, specializations, licenses, or internships.
Civil engineers can become mechanical engineers, although they must take further core courses and develop an understanding of mechanics and mechanical processes.
Given the significant similarities between the two disciplines, it is relatively easy to switch between the two fields.
Unlike mechanical engineers working within civil engineering, however, civil engineers cannot work within mechanical engineering without the proper classes and degrees.
Civil engineering used to be the easiest branch of engineering.
However, it has since lost its slot to information technology engineering.
IT engineering involves designing and developing information systems.
In most cases, the work is not complex unless you work for big data corporations.
Whether you plan to pursue civil engineering, mechanical engineering, or both, you will be able to design and develop structures or machines that have lasting impacts on society and the world.
Apart from the salary, job benefits, and prospects, you will be proud to bring your ideas to life.
If you are unsure about pursuing mechanical or civil engineering, it is usually best to start with mechanical engineering and transfer to civil engineering later rather than vice versa.