iPhones, Computers, the Eiffel Tower, Internet, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Ferrari Enzo, and the Autobahn. What do all of these have in common? Engineers made them possible.
You’re thinking of a new job or career. Maybe the field of Engineering attracts you. You want to build gigantic skyscrapers, fast cars, grand bridges, sleek smartphones, or even the next spaceship to land on the moon, but you don't know where to start.
Just like in exploring any new career, you must first know what a specific job entails, how it differs from others, and what skills are needed to ensure your excellence in that field.
Here we will be discussing the related Civil and Structural Engineering disciplines.
Engineering in General
Engineering is an immense industry that encompasses a seemingly endless number of disciplines. Almost everything around you has felt the touch of an engineer. According to Henry Petroski, a professor of Civil Engineering at Duke University, “Science is about knowing, engineering is about doing.” If you want to be part of something that paves the way for the future and builds the world of tomorrow, then engineering is the way to go.
As again, given the tremendous reach of engineering, it may be hard to figure out where to invest your talents, skills, and precious time. Here is a resource to help you get on that track.
Civil and Structural Engineering
Two of the most popular fields of Engineering in the Philippines are Civil Engineering and Structural Engineering. They both deal with the construction of buildings, bridges, and roads. In fact, they are so similar that they can be confused with one another. However, each is a field of expertise on their own.
In a nutshell, Civil Engineers focus on the construction and maintenance of facilities, transportation frameworks, and buildings such as airports, roads, bridges, office towers, shopping malls, power plants, etc. They are “jacks of all trades” and play a managerial role in overseeing the construction of these structures.
Structural Engineers also deal with the same products, but they specialize in ensuring the safety of the structure and its ability to withstand wear and tear, earthquakes, other natural disasters, and exposure to the elements. They are specialists under the Civil Engineering umbrella.
Between the two, the Civil Engineer focuses on the general project while the Structural Engineer has a more distinct area of expertise.
Civil Engineers have the heavy responsibility of overseeing the entire process of construction. They aid in design, selection of materials, budgeting, hiring outsourced services, ensuring compliance with civil regulations, manage day-to-day operations of the construction site, and ensure the quality and integrity of the building.
Structural Engineers have the specialized responsibility of calculating, analyzing, and proposing plans to ensure the strength and integrity of a concrete project. They study the nitty-gritty of the plans and every stage of execution in order to ensure that every part of the project is well done and structurally intact.
The required skills for both fields are also similar in scope. To practice in the Philippines, you must be a graduate of BS Civil Engineering and take the Civil Engineering Licensure Examination. You must have skills in people management, costing, and resource management. Just like any Engineering field, you must possess high proficiency in mathematics and physics. Sometimes, due to the specialized skills needed, firms require an additional degree beyond a Civil Engineering in order to be a Structural Engineer.
The average monthly salary for a civil or structural engineer in the Philippines with 0-5 years of experience ranges from Php 10,000 - 70,000.
Of course, these numbers are only rough estimates and multiple additional factors come into play such as previous experience, company that you work for, bonuses, benefits, etc.
So, which one do you pick?
Ultimately, the choice between the two disciplines is up to you, your style of work, and what career goals you have. Both build the same structures, deal with the same materials, and have the same base requirements. If you get a rush multi-tasking several processes, thinking of things on a macro scale, and having your hands in different places, then Civil Engineering is probably your cup of tea.
However, if you'd rather have a specialized type of work that is just as important in the development of a structure, probably the most important since it ensures the integrity of the whole, requires careful attention, study, and analysis, and doesn't have too many things to divert your attention, then Structural Engineering might be up your alley.
For more information about Engineering and other careers, visit the Recruitday Career Guide for more details as well as the job search resource for listings in engineering and other fields. Also, if you know of anyone who would be interested in a job for these or any other field, you can refer them to Recruitday as a scout and earn money for every person hired.