The difference between civil engineering and structural engineering

Civil and structural engineering are two engineering disciplines. The engineering disciplines deal with designing, evaluation, preservation and construction of elements. The difference between civil engineering and structural engineering is tricky. This is because the task of discerning the two disciplines would be difficult before understanding the concepts behind each of the careers.

Civil engineering

This is one of the oldest engineering disciplines. Its history dates back to the ancient times when people began building shelters for themselves. The engineering discipline is offered in the universities and the field of specialization includes: roads, water treatment, canals and dams.

Civil engineering is offered in the university has a four year full time course. After graduation, civil engineers join subdisciplines of civil engineering.Therefore, it is very rare to find a course referred to as masters in civil engineering. The disciplines of civil engineering includes: Geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, structural engineering and environmental engineering.

Structural engineering

Structural engineering deals with the designing, Analysis, building and maintenance of resisting or load bearing structures. Examples of those structures are: bridges, skyscrapers and dams. This is an engineering field which is offered in the universities as a subject under civil engineering and as a specialization which results in master’s degree or PhD.

What is the difference between civil engineering and structural engineering?

Even though both engineering disciplines belong to the same field, they vary in several aspects. One of the differences is that civil engineering focuses on design elements while structural engineering is more concern on inspecting the materials used for construction. The structural engineers are the one who are supposed to ensure that the materials used for construction can support the design of the structure.

Another difference between the two engineering courses is that civil engineering is offered as the first degree while structural engineering is offered as the 2nd or 3rd degree in engineering. A civil engineer is expected to perform the duties of a structural engineer. However, the vise versa is not true. In fact, structural engineering is a subject which is under civil engineering and it is also offered as masters or doctorate degree.

In conclusion, the two degree courses are very crucial when it comes to design and construction jobs. As a result, the engineering firms provide both civil and structural engineering services to its clients. Therefore, both engineering courses are significant in any of the construction or development projects.If you need to pursue any of the careers, it is important that you understand the differences mentioned above.


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