Civil Engineering vs Architecture: What Are the Differences?

We all know some of the famous names in civil engineering and architecture. Like Joseph Strauss, the engineer behind the Golden Gate Bridge. Strauss also developed the bascule and vertical-lift bridges.

And in architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s best-known architect. His iconic prairie-style homes represent just one facet of his legendary career.

Civil engineering vs. architecture. They both play roles in designing and building structures ranging from houses to skyscrapers, bridges to canals. But what separates the two professions? Read on to learn the differences – and similarities – with this civil engineering and architecture guide.

Differences Between Civil Engineering and Architecture

In broad terms, civil engineers manage a wider range of projects than architects. While they may work on buildings, civil engineers also work on transportation infrastructure and water projects. An architect’s work is primarily focused on interior and exterior building design.

Another major difference is that architects’ work is primarily pre-construction. Civil engineers are directly involved in all phases of the project’s construction, from design to completion.

For that reason, architects spend the bulk of their time in the office. Civil engineers, on the other hand, split their time between the office and the job site.

Civil engineers often oversee the work of architects and construction managers. Mechanical, structural and electrical engineers involved in the same project often report to the civil engineer.

Civil Engineering and Architecture: Similarities

Both professions require strong mathematical skills and the ability to learn and master today’s highly technical design and engineering software.

Analytical and organizational skills are also a prerequisite in each profession. Because civil engineers and architects often work on large, complex projects, management and leadership skills are essential.

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineers analyze project sites and materials. Using advanced software, they plan systems and structures. And they calculate the risks, the regulations, and the costs related to the project.

During construction, they monitor the process, assuring the safety of the structure. If problems arise, they are on-site to provide solutions. To learn more, click here.

What Skills Do Civil Engineers Need?

  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • The ability to design and implement plans
  • Overall project management skills
  • Mathematical and technical skills
  • Communication and leadership skills

What is Architecture?

Architects’ primary job is to create detailed interior and exterior building plans using highly technical design software. Job proposals and feasibility studies are another aspect of their work. On most projects the architect works closely with the engineers to assure safety and construction processes are met.

What Skills Do Architects Need?

  • Design and artistic skills
  • Exceptional mathematical and computer skills
  • Knowledge of building codes
  • Strong communication skills
  • Business management training

Civil Engineering vs. Architecture

In the exploration of civil engineering vs. architecture, you’ve seen that they share many of the same skills. The major difference between the two professions is that civil engineers are involved in a project from design to final construction. The scope of civil engineering projects is also broader. Both offer challenging and rewarding careers!

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