3 answers

I am having a hard time deciding between architectural engineering and civil engineering.

Asked Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Can you say some pros and cons of each? #civil-engineering #architecture #architectural-engineering

3 answers

Myron’s Answer

Updated California, California

If you would be comfortable to spend most of your working life in an office calculating the necessary stress and strains required for buildings - then go for the Architectural Engineering.

If you would rather have a variety in design projects then go for Civil Engineering. The employment for Civil Engineers does not seem to be too dependent on the economy since facilities must be built, modified or repaired. However do get a varied general education in all of the facets of Civil Engineering. This includes some in mechanical, electrical and geology. If you have time then a MS helps, but I did not find it a handicap not having one.

What ever you do, obtain your registration as a Professional Engineer in the State you will be working.

Ravi’s Answer


Although architects and civil engineers work to construct the similar structures, their duties, skills, and approaches to any project differ in various ways. It is important for aspiring students to understand these key differences, so they can best match their strengths and interests to a relevant educational program. Architects and engineers must work together to complete a project. This complementary relationship provides the client with a stable, safe, and aesthetically pleasing product. Each personality brings a different perspective to a project and balance is achieved through this interaction. Both act as project managers and liaisons among the various individuals involved. Ultimately, it is their job to create a structure for their clients and provide the plans to a design team for implementation.

Architecture Architects typically use a more creative approach to designing buildings and other structures. They are the artist, visionary, and theoretical designer. Their concern is for the aesthetics: form, atmosphere, and character. While they need to adhere to the principles of mathematics and scientific methodologies within their drawings, it is the engineer that translates an architect’s vision into practical application.

Editorial Focus

Architectural styles and history Building restoration and preservation Physics and calculus (along with other science and math courses) Design techniques Model building Blueprint drawing Research and writing Acquire the relevant certifications in the field of architecture Pass the Architectural Registration Examination

Areas of Expertise

Design and development of both public and private structures: Urban, landscape, graphic, and interior designs City planning Aesthetic principles of design Civil Engineering Engineers use a more scientific, practical, and systematic approach to structural design. They are mathematic and scientific experts in their respective field. Typically, they use an architect’s blueprints as the basis of their work. Their job is to make the vision happen, using sound scientific and mathematical principles. When an architect is given a job, he or she will work within their budget constraints to develop a design; an engineer considers this budget, but their objective is to create a safe structure—one that will turn the vision into reality.

Educational Focus

Intense scientific and mathematical study (specifically for engineering application) Chemistry Physics Linear algebra Calculus Fluid mechanics and hydraulics Electricity, magnetism, and fluids Waves, optics, and thermodynamics Engineering courses Transportation Civil Water resource Environmental Materials Structural design and ethics Business policies and government standards Acquire the relevant certifications in the field of civil engineering (i.e. Professional Engineer’s License) Areas of Expertise

Design and development of both public or private structures, with a focus on public structures: hydroelectric dams, canals, roadways, or other structures with useful functions in society Mechanical Electrical Environmental Industrial Structural Both professions offer invaluable services to society. Without the visions and creative abilities of the architect, individuals would not have a way to formulate various types of structures. Without the practical expertise of the engineer, an architect’s designs would be nothing but drawings on paper. It is the architect who plans and creates, and it is the engineer who turns those plans and creations into safe realties.

While both use mathematics, science, and the principles of design in their work, they each provide a unique skill-set to the consumer. It is essential that students interested in structural design understand the fundamental differences between the two, so they can acquire the appropriate educational credentials. Coursework is only similar in field, as the two occupations vary widely in perspective, inherent talents, and responsibilities. The two occupations need each other to complete a project, and it would be difficult to implement such plans without one or the other.

DAVID’s Answer

Updated Saint Petersburg, Florida

go for civil engineer, a greater chance of employment at many levels, if possible get a MS and work for a PE professional engineer license, of great value