AskEngineers is a forum for questions about the technologies, standards, and processes used to design & build these systems, as well as for questions about the engineering profession and its many disciplines. The work and academic experience of construction engineers lead them into construction jobs. I might make less, but I still live comfortably. But I LOVE biology and still want to study it. I'm currently making 90k a year, which is great don't get me wrong, but I just know people who have accomplished a lot less and make quite a bit more. Don't let it get to you. Your best chance would be to land internships prior to graduation and hopefully secure a job through that. If you enjoy the biological content and want to work on limiting the environmental impact side, I would recommend enviro (but I recognize my own biased!). I like work as a Civil Engineer mostly because I'm good at it, but the pay just doesn't make sense to other industry standards. Keep in mind that those fields have very limited job openings (especially air resources) due to the greater specialization. The Environmental concentration people took a few chemistry classes but it was mostly a Civil Engineering degree with some Chemical analysis and environmental protection added in. Agree on the California market. My husband and I have very little debt and our quality of life is very high, but we also know how to have non-work hobbies and how to have fun. I've worked almost every element of enviro - water treatment, wastewater treatment, land remediation, environmental assessments (not air though!). If you like the work and you're comfortable, and you don't think that the amount of work that you're putting in is acceptable relative to your paycheck, you have two choices, you can either pull back and enjoy life more or you can push through and either start your own company or continue as is. For me, the answer is no. her job searches have been painful and demoralizing. The typical curriculum for these programs is academically rigorous, and focuses on enabling you to examine the theoretical foundations of engineering and design topics. From algebra, trigonometry, geometry, calculus, probability, statistics, and even engineering economy, mathematics is central in the field of civil engineering. Application Link: Apply here. Some civil programs used to not have a separate Environmental degree and employers know that. I didn’t get into civil engineering to become a millionaire, but knew I’d live a comfortable life. While both civil and environmental engineers design plans, what they are designing varies greatly. Its more versatile plus a lot of programs have an option to specialize/focus in environmental anyway. I myself have not started an engineering firm [I'm 26] but am interested in doing so later on in my career). I've heard that structural and construction management have been hit hardest. she really wanted to do air quality but as another poster pointed out, there are very few openings and in the US youre pretty limited geographically for an enviro, whereas civils can find work anywhere. Press J to jump to the feed. Source: Environmental engineer working in water resources. I am applying to around 15 colleges in the next 48 hours. If you end up in resource (mining/oil and gas) you're working remotely. If you apply for an environmental engineering job it won't make a big difference. I too feel conflicted that our work is important to society, while getting paid less than people who studied business or finance whom mainly just gambles with other's money (sorry that's just my take on the stock market). Job Title Minimum Education Required Median Salary (2019)* Job Growth (2018-2028)* Civil Engineer : Bachelor's degree : $87,060 : 6%: Electrical Engineer There are tons of oil and gas consultants out there. Waterloo Engineering Faculty Openings Provide Website Feedback. I've spent nights for at least the first 3 years of my career just learning Civil 3D and Microstation just to be an expert at it. And I've got a team I don't hate working with. The Civil will open up all of the different doors to you, including Environmental. Degrees: Master of Engineering (MEng) … Unfortunately I don't think I can pursue a degree with such limited opportunities. You need to read up on management consulting. If you're set on targeting the environment field, go environmental engineer. With 830 students enrolled in our undergraduate degree programs for architectural, civil, environmental and geological engineering, and 180 students in our graduate programs, we attract curious, innovative and exceptional individuals from Canada and abroad who are So what drives people to stay in Civil Engineering at this point? With civil engineering, you may get too caught up with the other departments like structural, construction, transportation, and hydro. Yes, there is a rising demand for Environmental Engineers, but I have seen so many other environmental engineers saying that I should go with Civil so I'm confused. A construction engineer can work as a construction project manager, a construction manager, or … If I had it to do over again, I would do something else. People worry too much about what others are getting. My experience: I am a licensed Civil Engineer and (almost licensed as a Land Surveyor, one more 4 hour test) in CA with about 10 years part time experience and 4 years full time experience. An environmental engineering degree will seperate you from the other civil applicants. Then, maybe you could go for an MS Environmental Engineering later in your career path! To me, its just luck or inequality in one field or another.....probably hundreds of years ago our civil engineering skill set would make us important people, where as now people who can code apps or develop AI programs are the money maker. In my previous career I was working 90+ hour weeks consistently and killing myself and my social life for the job, and me and my best girlfriend went back to school at the same time. I always thought civil engineering as a whole is lower pay due to the bidding process on jobs. The other part is (based on your age and my assumption your friends you are comparing yourself with) is that you haven't had to weather a major economic recession. I believe you will only take 1 or 2 waste water classes in civil engineering which is probably the closest to environmental engineering in that curriculum. I don't want to just work with water. If you're interested in either of those fields studying EnvE might be a good choice. Curriculum-Civil engineering diploma is designed in a way that student gets both theoretical and practical knowledge about the subject in focus.Diploma courses focuses more … There is one thing that I am concerned about. I'm still a CE student but I'm in my mind 30s after serving in the military for 11 years and did quite a bit of research on pay, etc when I was deciding to make the career leap. In fact, some programs devote a significant amount of time to hands-on training in material testing, surveying, manual and computer-aided drafting, … We have plenty of disposable income to go out whenever we want and travel. So you think I should get my B.S, get employed for a few years, then go back for my Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering? I'd personally go for civil for the broader knowledge and broader job prospects (some employers may be prejudice towards non-civils, idk). I just looked on for my state (PA) and there is only one page of jobs there specifically looking for an Environmental Engineer. Could I be making more doing something else? My current plan is to keep living in this hell hole until my student loans are paid off, and either my house is paid off or I have enough savings to buy a house somewhere, then find some low/no effort municipal or state job to kill time in until I die or can collect whatever is left of social security by then. I always thought Civil dealt with bridge construction and infrastructure. Howard University Receives $570K DURIP Grant for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Thu, November 5, 2020. I am fully trained and experienced in roadway design and modeling, structural road design, traffic engineering and modeling, grading and subdivision plans including legals descriptions and sewer and water design, surveying and mapping including right-of-way engineering, topos and ALTAs, storm water prevention pollution plans and WQMP along with hydrology studies and can create full construction documents including PS and E packages and contract documents. Sometimes what people really need is a change of pace, or to try something new within the same field. PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering with a transcript designation of Atmosphere/Energy; Environmental Engineering. exam to take. Study the one that you will enjoy more. You sound like a great self starter and have a great number of skills outside of your primary job. Civil engineering is about the planning, design, construction and operation of facilities essential to modern life, ranging from bridges to transit systems. Cities? Don't get caught in the disaster/recovery boom human-trap that is Houston. You can always do a grad program in either curriculum if you find out you made the wrong choice. I'm conflicted. I am an EIT in a rural area and work for a county government, which obviously does not pay well, but has really excellent benefits. This involves finding solutions to many problems faced by society while staying within the limits of … I’ve worked on airports and bridges, used every day by thousands of people. Civil and Environmental Engineering › Research › Environmental Engineering, Sustainability, and Science Environmental Engineering, Sustainability, and Science (EESS) Sustainability addresses the ability of societies to maintain and improve quality of life while preserving both the quality and availability of its natural resources. I would elaborate more but the tablet I'm typing on sucks and I'm a bit short on time at the moment. It may take quite a while to find a job that satisfies you. Civil Engineering is primarily about construction, design, and maintenance of the civil structures, infrastructures, and buildings. Not a great career trajectory or life path. Contact the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. That being said, environmental engineering is going to give you a head start in certain fields over civil majors (mostly water and air resources/quality). Master of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Connecticut, 2003 Bachelor of Civil Engineering (graduated with highest honors), Georgia Institute of Technology, 1997 Dr. Kari Edison Watkins, P.E., is the Frederick Law Olmsted Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I would say studying civil engineering would be the safer bet. We make plenty to live a comfortable life and support our family. You're in oil and gas, so this is less so in your side of the industry but the Is has an unquenchable thirst for oil, so it will almost always recover. Environmental engineering is actually a subarea within the larger field of civil engineering, which happens to be among the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines. Yea, I know guys younger than me making more working in marketing, finance, business, etc. Currently, I'm torn between civil, environmental and mechanical. The engineer got his dream start days after leaving college, and has moved quickly up the ladder, from apprentice to worker to overseer for a variety of companies, working at airports, docks, trainlines etc. Is it really lost on us that we're making more than the average FAMILY income? It will only get harder to get out the longer you wait. Environmental only will close the door to … Were they looking for a fuck ton of experience? Someone works less and gets paid more, so what? Your degree and skills are much more hard fought and the average college grad couldn't hack getting an Engineering degree. The career paths of construction management vs. civil engineering are also different. As someone who has both an accounting degree and a civil engineering degree I’ve definitely noticed that engineers do a poor job of driving revenue and actually charging what we are worth. she tells anyone she mentors to do civil and specialize enviro or double major. I have delivered several full PS and E packages for construction in excess of 2 million dollars. But overall I am passionate about the environment not bridges and structures I couldn't care less about that. University of Waterloo. Hi i am getting ready ( ....for oct 2008 P.E exam)... and i am still undecided as to which P.E. I've worked my ass off in college and even after college. About the only good thing is they pay overtime, sometimes, if they don't come up with enough bullshit non-billable meetings to fill up my time sheet. To address some of the greatest challenges of our time, the department uses approaches that range from basic scientific principles to complex engineering design, at scales from the nano to the global. I have to make this decision very soon cause I waited to the last minute. Totally agree, start small with your current contacts in your community. With civil engineering, you may get too caught up with the other departments like structural, construction, transportation, and hydro. What about everyone else struggling on minimum wage? What's being lost on people is that it's a career that is enjoyable, rewarding, and can provide for a comfortable lifestyle. Young people look ahead and only see that they are healthy and have plenty of time. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the AskEngineers community. Civil engineering programs stress engineering fundamentals, while also teaching skills that are applicable to various careers in the field, such as graphical, written and oral communication skills. At least take pride in that. I have multiple Environmental Engineers telling me to never go Enviro and multiple multiple Environmental Engineers telling me to get the degree. Deadline: December 1. Salaries in real terms are falling as outsourcing increases. Being the new guy sucks I’m sure even more at that age (I’m 25) but it’s gotta be better than being stuck in a hell hole. Mechanical and Civil Engineering are the two oldest and most applied fields of engineering. I enjoy my work and am happy I’ve stuck with it. Cookies help us deliver our Services. Keep your head up, Engineers do valuable work that most people can't do. Civil engineering has four specialties: Environmental/water resources engineers remove contaminants from water, reduce non-hazardous solid waste volumes, eliminate pollutants from the air and develop groundwater supplies. They will make more money. California is expensive a hell. NCEES offers two different environmental exams for professional licensing: PE Civil with a Water Resources and Environmental Depth, and PE Environmental. I really want to work with pollution air control as well as hydraulic sanitation. Welcome to one of the largest and most well-respected civil and environmental engineering departments in Canada. I've worked my ass off in college and even after college. Isn't that based on competition though? I generally work 830-530 and will bill OT if I work longer. Move to a non-oil funded state and get a job with the state DOT/DEC/WR dept, the pay will be less but so will your cost of living and stress levels. I would say go with Civil. My biggest piece of advice is not to compare yourself to business majors or those types of industry personnel. I’m a PE too, started a solo consulting firm and have brought in 90k just over the last 7 months since I started. I am motivated purely by passion, but I have to consider my future still. Another friend (same age about 30) I know makes 120k+ with a business degree and slaves pretty good but doesn't need a license to perform his work or even an MBA. Website. There is no shortage of work but the demand is not evenly spread out geographically. This is what I recommend to almost everyone thinking about studying environmental engineering. If it truly interests you, I would start specializing now. 1. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. The student may wish to pursue study of an engineering field outside of but related to civil and environmental engineering. As a civil engineer, I say go environmental engineering B.S. I wouldn't fret. That said, my salary is decent too and I am content with my work as it is just like playing Sim City every day and I love it. A civil engineering salary goes much further outside of California. I would go for the Civil though it's not a huge difference. Replies to: civil vs. environmental engineering #1. ken285 3903 replies 30 threads Senior Member. Personally, I love what I do for many reasons and I have no regrets over my career choice. I’ve been out there a few times and just going out to eat costs twice as much as it does where I live, and I live in the northeast US. Civil and Environmental Engineering | John A. Reif, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering I always wanted to be an environmental engineer but I have people telling me that civil engineering is much more marketable. Id even argue that with all the new laws and standards, there is a rising demand for environmental engineers. However, your job description sounds awesome and unlike any civil engineering position I've seen. Companies like McKinsey, Boston Consultjng Group, Bain, Deloitte, Accenture, PwC, etc all hire industry folks for lots of $$. Look into your local state agency that regulates those areas for student positions. Support Waterloo Engineering. But I’m not concerned with the fact others are making more than me, I’m not in competition with my friends and family, I’m happy they’re doing well. The military is also an option. Until we demand the appropriate value for services then we will all continue to have these issues. As a civil engineer, I say go environmental engineering B.S. Students who take this course are often drained with numbers mixed with formulas and analysis to solve real world problems. I hate my job (civil/structural engineer in oil and gas), it has no challenge, no opportunities for professional development, no chance of advancement or any sense of personal pride. Just some things to keep in mind. and many smallet civil companies that really just need a generic smart person would turn her away for not having a civil. My university converted it's chem eng program into enviro eng so it was more processed than civil based. You'll be working harder but the pay will be better (so I've heard. I ended up in gov't doing environmental policy and love it (now I'm back in private doing climate policy now but I got my policy start in govt). I advise any students who ask me for advice to choose something else. The key is networking. Enviro engineer here! You can easily make mid 100s, maybe more. I’ve worked on buildings that add to the amazing NYC skyline - those things have a tremendous value to me that money can’t buy. I have fully designed projects from scratch and trained staff in all aspects of Civil engineering. They love to get Civil Engineers of any discipline. I can afford rent for a nice apartment in a fun city, I go out and have fun when I want, and am able put money into savings. As for being marketable, if you have a degree in engineering, you can pretty much apply to most positions. Take a look at the following websites for descriptions of the two fields: It’s not for everyone, and you do need a network, but you sound like a good candidate. I would seriously appreciate your insight on this. That’s like asking what’s the difference between aeronautical engineering and mechanical engineering; they’re related and part of each other. I love biology and the environment but I have been told that a Biology degree is essentially useless in my situations. If you are interested in environmental engineering and want to become professionally licensed, you may be wondering which PE exam to take. Press J to jump to the feed. Engineers apply the knowledge of math & science to design and manufacture maintainable systems used to solve specific problems. If my post gets some traction I'll discuss more. As long as I can do that, I’m fine. My question to you is....what's it worth. For example, I know someone (same age about 30) with no degree and works as a recruiter and makes 100k+ and works normal 40 hour weeks. Overview. wife did environmental but has never had an environmental job. I think what I am seeing is a very uneven distribution of employment in the United States. Purely anecdotal, but one of my brothers got a Civil Engineering qualification, and my other brother got an Environmental Science degree. You can qualify as an experienced professional/technical professional. I understand not switching careers at 40... but why not jobs? It will make a difference in your coursework, though. Civil engineering: Building and maintaining infrastructure. Civil and Environmental Engineering. Middle management required useless paperwork genersucks any remaining enjoyment that might have been possible out of work. Jerome F. Hajjar, PhD, PE CDM Smith Professor and Chair. Environmental Engineering Rather like transportation, environmental engineering is another core consideration when it comes to the planning and construction of human settlements. I also take great pride in my work, I love knowing that my work truly matters to society and directly affects it. Why take huge liability / risk with signing plans to just get paid less than jobs that require no degree? I am an Environmental Engineer with a Civil & Environmental Engineering degree. Terms of Enrollment: Fall Term (September) Summer Term (June) for LGO students. she manages a testing team for mechanical/chemical type work in natural gas power plants. But it's not long (~10-15 years) until they realize that those are two things you can't really get with money. Did these jobs want a civil engineer and you applied anyhow? My wife complains that we don’t make more but that’s her problem as she is mostly unhappy with her career. I served in Honduras 15 years ago in water systems and there were plenty of people that majored in structural engineering there with me (i took more environmental egr for my civil egr degree). Unfortunately, as I'm nearing 40, it's too late to switch careers at this point. Only you can know which of those will make you happy. Is there a way you can code a program to automate those designs? Dr. Nguyen joined the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in November 2006 where she teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in environmental engineering, with an emphasis on physico-chemical processes for water and wastewater treatments. Also, if you have a passion for it.. it's more about how you market/sell yourself to companies than it is about your degree so you've got that going for you regardless of your choice :). The housing market there is just outrageous for salaries that are pretty close to the same just outside of that state. Came here to say this. I started in civil but am now a junior environmental engineering major. A lot of civil industry is somewhat protected from this boom-bust cycle because the ultimate customer is the government. As a result, civil and environmental engineers must be creative problem solvers to meet the challenges of the 21st century. 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