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Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering

thinkinblue613thinkinblue613 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
edited March 2011 in Engineering Majors
Hey guys, I would like to get into a field where I work with the environment. I've read that CE's and ME's can be hired as Environmental Engineers.

Currently, I am going to a CC in Las Vegas and will be going to UNLV in two years. They have a Civil and Environmental Department, as well as a Mechanical. I'm unsure about which one to major in regarding the environment. Obviously, Environmental Engineering would be the way to go but I would like to keep more flexibility in my choices when I graduate.

I hope I don't bother irritate some of you, as some may have seen these threads countless amounts of times.. But I really would appreciate some input as I'd like a plan going there.

Why these fields?
Civil - be able to make structures that can help the environment
Environmental - manage/design waste and treatment plants
Mechanical - create products or machines that produce alternative energy sources

I also read that engineers are required to have 3 years of work experience before being hired.. If it is so, what kind of work experience?

Majoring in Engineering is hard enough but would Double/Dual Majoring make a big difference in getting hired?

Right now, I'm looking towards this setup for my college goals:

Major - Civil/Environmental/Mechanical Engineering
Minor - Environmental Studies or Solar and Renewable Energy

P.S. Environmental Studies is also offered as a Major on its own

Thank you for your time.
Post edited by thinkinblue613 on

Replies to: Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering

  • FromRussia90FromRussia90 Posts: 135Registered User Junior Member
    great question anyone wanna answer this or do people just hate community college students in general? because we spend less the first 2 years and may have a GED?
  • thinkinblue613thinkinblue613 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    Holy crap.. I just came back today to read on some threads and this one was bumped a few weeks ago.

    I can't believe no one posted advice for me.
  • ken285ken285 Posts: 3,883Registered User Senior Member
    Engineers are not required to have 3 years of work experience before being hired. Where did you read that? Perhaps you're thinking of licensing? Of course it would significantly help if you have internships within the field.

    I would not recommend double majoring. It will likely delay your graduation and has little added benefits.
  • ElevateMeLaterElevateMeLater Posts: 186Registered User Junior Member
    You should major in something you enjoy. You can major in pretty much any engineering field and end up working at a job where you are focusing on helping the environment in some way. CivE's can design mass transit systems, ChemE's can design a process that reduces a plant's CO2 emissions, MechE's can design wind turbines or household appliances with increased thermal efficiency, EE's can design fuel cells and solar panels, etc. Just know that by the nature of capitalism, being environmentally friendly in industry isn't necessarily profitable. So, as an engineer you will most likely find jobs where your goal is to increase the bottom line rather than decrease the environmental impact of a process. So, I feel that PhD's who are actually researching this stuff are the one's who will have the most influence in the field. Environmental Engineers, by nature, focus on reducing human's environmental footprint. However, coming back to my main point, if you don't enjoy the actual course material and career prospects then don't waste your time.
  • lowendnewbielowendnewbie Posts: 264Registered User Junior Member
    i'm a recent environmental engineering graduate working in consulting. We had a civil & environmental department as well. It seems that a good 75% of my class is doing work related to cleaning up spills in the soil and groundwater. One in wastewater, one is urban planning.

    One of my supervisors is an environmental engineer but when he got his degree environmental wasn't as big. Now i think it might be a bit harder to get environmental jobs with a civil degree. However, it is still very possible, especially on the water side. I'd imagine its harder to get an air pollution control job as a civil engineer because they don't take any of those classes.

    Between civil and environmental, if you want to keep your options open, i'd go with civil. Civils can take environmental jobs but environmentals can't take civil jobs.
  • thinkinblue613thinkinblue613 Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    Thanks for the advice, guys! I really appreciate it.

    I've talked to some engineers and some of them haven't even heard of Environmental Engineering.. I wasn't sure if they were joking but is this true? Is the field for these guys so small its not respected?

    With the help from posters here, I'm still going to pursue my degree and career in engineering.
  • ken285ken285 Posts: 3,883Registered User Senior Member
    It's well known.
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