10 Differences Between Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering

People many times joke about the various branches of engineering. The best one being, “What’s the difference between a civil engineer and a mechanical engineer?” The answer: “Mechanical engineers build weapons and civil engineers build targets!” While that is not an apt description of what each of these engineers does, it gives a relative idea that there is indeed differences between civil engineering and mechanical engineering, thus there are differences between civil engineers and mechanical engineers.

Read the article onCivil Engineer vs Architect.

Civil Engineering Vs Mechanical Engineering, How Do They Stack Up?

Civil engineering and mechanical engineering both are popular branches of engineering that attracts many students to take as their career. But it is really important to understand a profession before choosing a career. Here we will discuss about the differences between civil engineering and mechanical engineering.

Civil Engineering

It is a specialized branch of engineering that deals specifically with infrastructure. This includes the design, construction and maintenance of the physical structures including roads, bridges, buildings, dams and canals. Civil engineering is the second oldest engineering category and is many times broken down into several sub-categories including, but not limited to, architectural, environmental, forensic, water resources, offshore and construction. Civil engineering occurs in the public sector and is found in municipalities as well as national governments. It is also found in the private sector where homeowners and large companies seek them out for their expertise.

civil engineer and mechanical engineer
civil engineer

 Mechanical Engineering

It is also one of the oldest forms of engineering but it is also the broadest. Mechanical engineering uses the principles of physics and materials science along with engineering to analyze, design, manufacture and maintain mechanical systems. It involves the production and usage of mechanical power to design, produce and operate machines and tools. Core concepts such as kinematics, thermodynamics, structural analysis, mechanics and electricity must be understood for a mechanical engineer to successful work within the field.

mechanical engineer and civil engineer differences
mechanical engineer

Difference Between Civil and Mechanical Engineering

While both disciplines are a form of engineering, each one requires specific things for the person to be successful. Here are 10 differences between civil engineering and mechanical engineering.

Civil Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Involves the design and construction of buildings and other structures Involves inventing and re-inventing machinery
Projects are longer in duration Projects are shorter in duration
Projects are generally on a large scale Projects are smaller and require more precision
Median salary is $79,340 Median salary is $80,580
Works with large team including construction manager, architect, and construction workers Works with mainly with other engineers
Must ensure that structures will be stable and efficient in its environment, i.e. the framework of the structure Works with the living functions of the object or structure, i.e. the mechanics of elevators and such
Is a very specific branch of engineering These engineers have an easier time branching over to other engineering fields
Many decide to continue education and then teach rather than remain in the field Many broaden their knowledge base to remain in the field
Concentrated areas of study is not as intense since it is dealing with design and framework Concentrated areas of study are heavy in science, mathematics, electrical, mechanics and thermodynamics
Can use their knowledge to build unique and aesthetically pleasing structures Can use their knowledge to create mechanical devices, including weaponry to aid people in their daily lives

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