Many students are stuck between choosing aerospace or civil engineering, so in this article, we’re going to :
explain what are the differences between aerospace engineering and civil engineering?
Also, mention the hardest subjects that you will study in aerospace engineering and civil engineering.
in the last step, we’re going to know which is the major that has a big demand in the market aerospace engineering or civil engineering?
Aerospace engineering vs civil engineering which harder?
aerospace engineering is much harder in terms of math intensity than civil engineering, that is to say, aerospace engineers use more advanced and intensive math than civil engineers.
But, this is not enough to completely and easily judge between aerospace and civil engineering.
For this reason, we picked the 10 hardest subjects of each major to compare and finally to find what are the core differences between aerospace engineering and civil engineering.
Because math is not the only thing that is harder in a major, so we have to take a major from all its sides and determine, on which sides aerospace is harder than civil engineering or vice versa.
5 hardest subject in aerospace engineering
if you study aerospace engineering you need to overcome or surpass 5 these hardest subjects in a major that are:
1 – statics or physics of systems
in statics or physics of systems, you will study the physic that relates between any object static which means bridges, buildings, and any given object.
the hardest part of this module it requires a lot of physics, you will study what are:
- forces and their behavior
- newton theorems
- using a lot of math, especially differential equations
2 – dynamics
In this model, you will go to the next step which is dynamic. That is to say, you will study dynamic physics which relates to any moment objects in a space, it gets after statics of physics.
In other words, you will study :
- what is the speed of an objects
- what is the acceleration
- how the force change
- the relation between force and speed
- the relation between speed and acceleration of an object
So you will study the movement of any object and its reaction, this requires having basic solid in calculus. So if you have problems in calculus you might struggle in this subject.
3 – Fluid mechanics
the other hard module that aerospace engineers study is fluid mechanics. Wich is a subject that relates to fluids characteristics like water and oil.
In this module, you will need also calculus and a lot of physics including studying:
- pressure and volumes of liquids
- the relation between pressure and force
- how to transform hydraulic energy to mechanical energy
So it is a merge between physic and math which require having solid knowledge in this area.
4 – aerodynamics
aerodynamics is an interesting module that aerospace engineers study and focus a lot on.
what makes aerodynamics hard is its a combination between math and physics, in other words, you will study:
- physics of fluids
- engineering aspect like drag and left
- studying hydrodynamics systems
5 – Propulsion
The hardest other phase or module that you will study in aerospace engineering is propulsion. In other words, yoiu will learn:
- the physic comportments of gazes and liquids
- the pressure and energy exchange
- so there is a lot of thermodynamics that you will need to learn about.
So in general aerospace engineering require form student to have an interest in 2 fields:
- mathematics and physics.
if you have weak basics or struggle in mathematics you have to think twice before going into this field.
5 hardest subjects in civil engineering
In civil engineering, things are different a little bit, especially in terms of math concentration. In other words, civil engineers don’t focus too much on math as same as aerospace engineers.
But we’re going to list the 5 hardest subjects that civil engineers study in their full course.
1 – Statics or physics of systems
Civil engineers have common subjects with aerospace engineers they share, the statics or physic of system is one example. So you will study in this module a lot of physics and math like:
- statics relations physics like newton theroems
- know or understand what is a force in physics
the difference between aerospace engineers and civil engineers is dynamic, civil engineering students don’t focus on dynamics as much as aerospace engineers.
2 – Structure dynamics
in this module, civil engineers study the dynamics of static objects, which means the ability or how static objects react to movements like how bridges or buildings can move or resist the vibrations and stay safe.
For instance how centimeters can a bridge move without being damaged. So this module requires a lot of calculus and especially differential equations.
3 – mechanics of materials
the hardest part of the mechanics of the materials module is the amount of information that you should absorb in a short period of time. This module is not math heavily but requires a big capacity for memorization.
in the mechanics of material module you will study:
- the consistent of materials like metal or cement
- how the material behaves in different methodology conditions
- how to make the calculation of dilatation and compression of materials
this model is close to chemistry so it requires a lot of memorization
4 – Soil Mechanics
in solid mechanics, you will study and be close to geology and natural resources like:
in other words, you will study everything that we put on the ground where to keep things like buildings or bridges from falling or sinking. So you will learn:
- the different types of soils
- what is the resistance of each soil
- how can different soil types resist a weight
This domain is not heavy in math, but it has an interesting volume that requires memorizing a lot of things
5 – Hydraulics and Hydrology
the model of hydraulics and hydrology is responsible for teaching you how to manage human resources like:
- water treatment facilities
So you will study everything that relates to water utilization and how infected the environments are. For instance, building a bridge in a humid solid will differentiate it from dried soils.
So you have to figure out the difference between these types and how can affect the project.
aerospace engineering vs civil engineering job opportunities?
The median salary of an aerospace engineer is $118,610 while a civil engineer gets $88,000 according to BLS. But when we compare aerospace engineering and civil engineering we find that :
- Aerospace engineering employers are 61,400 and create yearly new 5100 occupations.
- Civil engineering employers number is 300,000 and create yearly new 24,000 occupations.
So as we can see there is a big difference between these 2 domains, civil engineering has a lot of potential and demand than aerospace engineering by 4 times. Which makes us ask a lot of questions.
It is right that the salary of aerospace engineers is higher than civil engineers. But the job opportunities are very rare compared to civil engineering.
In civil engineering you will have a lot of opportunities of getting a job than aerospace engineering, with a civil engineering degree you can become:
- structural engineer
- geotechnical engineer and so on
Aerospace engineering is a narrow field that doesn’t have high potential. Many aerospace engineers struggle to find a job, in addition in some cases get laid out or their contract end, so it is not a stable career.
Many aerospace engineers end up with other specialties out of the field, we’ve seen a lot of cases of aerospace engineers working in schools or universities like teachers or professors.
when we compare aerospace to civil engineering we find that aerospace engineering is much harder than civil engineering, because of these 2 reasons:
Aerospace engineers dig deeper in math and physics which civil engineers don’t. So if you find yourself not enough good in math and physics civil engineers will be good.
But for people who love physics and math is better to look for mechanical or electrical engineering because they are similar to aerospace engineering in addition they have big job opportunities in the market.
you could read this article: Is electrical engineering harder than physics? (solved)