Civil engineers plan and work on projects including creating buildings, roads and other infrastructure. Environmental engineers focus on solving challenges specifically related to the environment and sustainability.
Civil engineers are involved in drafting project specifications, working on site plans and addressing challenges throughout the project. Structural engineering, which generally requires a master degree, is a subset of civil engineering focused on the application and implementation of a civil engineer’s design. Environmental engineers work on projects developing practices to reduce environmental impact and/or improve quality of natural resources.
Both types of engineering are focused on sustainability, but in different ways. While an environmental engineer is more likely to concentrate on the resources (e.g., water and air) themselves, a civil engineer considers sustainability from the perspective of how the project they are working on is designed, which materials are used and how green space can be incorporated.
Most professionals in these fields work for engineering firms, local, state and federal government, and consulting engineering firms, which are organizations contracted to provide expertise and assistance on complex projects. It is not unusual for people interested in these fields to pursue internships and jobs related to sustainability and architecture.
- Civil engineer
- Project engineer
- Environmental engineer
- Structural engineer
- Project analyst
- Transportation engineer
- Construction engineer
- Quality control engineer
Professional organizations and associations are membership-based groups comprised of people working in a similar field. They can be helpful resources for students to learn more about a field, develop connections and discover related opportunities. You can search for related organizations and associations using a database provided by the Princeton University Library.