Engineering Vs Physics, Which One Should I Study?

Considering pursuing studying either Engineering or Physics and unsure which one to study?

This article will answer some popular questions related to studying Physics or Engineering.

Should I study and Major in Engineering or Physics?

In short, you should consider studying Engineering if you are technically minded, enjoy solving complex everyday problems using math and scientific means. If you are scientifically technically inclined, you should consider studying Physics, which may lead to employment in media, law, finance, medicine, engineering, computer science, and biology.

Engineering and physics majors provide graduates with technical and professional skills that can lead to exciting and well-paying employment

The answer to this question can be found in a person’s interests in either of the two fields.

Both fields can provide a rewarding career; however, this is dependent on your ability to adapt to the domain you choose.

Perhaps the best way to identify and pursue your interests is to understand the differences between the two fields, which will provide you with a more in-depth understanding.

You can then make the best decisions for yourself by considering job prospects, salaries, and, most importantly, your own interests.

With Engineering there are numerous Engineering branches to chose from. Engineering major can take you down civil, electrical, structural or chemical engineering roles.

Or possibly Urban development and environmental sustainability. Management consulting or working in Manufacturing and construction.

There’s also Biomedical and pharmaceutical development and Research

With a Physics major you might pursue careers in research and development areas including astrophysics, quantum computing, medical physics, meteorology, mining, scientific instrumentation, or synchrotron science.

Or you could consider roles in telecommunications, government, teaching, patent law, communications, or consulting within government or private enterprise

So now we have answered the main question let’s discuss popular topics related to studying and majoring in either Engineering and Physics

Is Physics or Engineering more difficult? (Explained)

College-level Physics is much harder than high school level Physics due to having to learn complex mathematics and concepts to solve complex problems. 

Physics students typically find understanding and how to apply differential equations requiring knowledge of calculus and algebra the most difficult.

This does not mean Engineering is easy.

Engineering students will need to learn Calculus I, II and III, differential equations and statistics

Engineering students find having to use complex maths and physics study to come up with solutions to solve real-world problems

Students studying both Engineering and Physics struggle with the complex maths and workload.

If you are still at High School best to study the hardest maths subjects (particularly calculus) or even take extra study through tutoring or online courses.

By putting in this extra effort will put you in a good position for learning complex College math.

The good news is there is plenty of material online, much of it free.

For example, searching calculus or physics on YouTube comes up with many results.

Alternatively, check out the library or online courses on Udemey or Coursera.

Studying either Engineering or Physics will take hard work and commitment.

Studying course material, attending classes and taking extra effort where required to learn will put you in a strong position to get good grades at College.

Does Engineering have a lot of physics? (Solved & Explained) 

Yes, Engineering does involve a lot of Physics. The amount of Physics does depend on the branch.

Chemical, Civil and Aerospace Engineering typically involves the most physics subjects.

However, engineering disciplines rely heavily on the fundamentals of physics.

So most engineering degrees will require a minimum of 4 physics-related courses.

Engineering majors do contain a lot of problem-solving using mathematics and physics. 

Most Students enjoy studying physics, learning and understanding how the world works.

Which Engineering branch is best for students weak in Physics?

For those students who are weak in Physics the Engineering branch with the least amount of Physics is Software Engineering.

Because Physics is difficult to understand Electrical, Materials, and Chemical Engineering degrees are ranked as more difficult than Software Engineering

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Can I be an Engineer if I am bad at Physics? (Explained)

No, being bad at Physics will make becoming an Engineer difficult because Engineering majors are Physics intensive.

Not being good at Physics will make passing Engineering difficult.

If you are not strong at Physics, not to worry. Here are some tips on how to master Physics

  • Reading a lot of textbooks, such as Introduction to Electrodynamics by Griffiths
  • Watch and learn free Physics material on Youtube
  • Seek out tutoring or taking extra classes
  • Study and work each day on Physics problems

Do Physicists or Engineers make more money? (Explained) 

Physicists earn more than Engineers. Physicists median annual wage was $129,850 compared to Engineering minimum wage of around $90,000 per annum

The median annual wage for physicists was $129,850 in May 2020. The lowest 10 per cent earned less than $67,450, and the highest 10 per cent earned more than $208,000.

Wages will vary depending on location, size of the organisation, public or private, and finally the industry.

A sample of Engineering wages according to the  Labor Bureau and Statistics is a list below

Job Role Median Wage / Per Annum
Petroleum Engineer $137,330
Civil Engineer $87,060
Mechanical Engineer $88,430
Aerospace Engineer $116,500
Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers $91,410

In May 2020, the median annual wages for physicists in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Ambulatory healthcare services $183,420
Scientific research and development services $143,540
Federal government, excluding postal service $124,830
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private $83,400

Final thoughts

If you are technically oriented and appreciate tackling complicated everyday issues using math and scientific methods, you should consider studying engineering.

If you have a scientifically technical bent, you should consider pursuing a degree in physics, which could lead to work in the media, law, finance, medicine, engineering, computer science, or biology.

Studying either Engineering or Physics Majors will offer interesting, in-demand and well-respected careers that offer good wages.

You should consider studying Engineering if you won’t solve everyday complex issues working on infrastructure projects, manufacturing or mine sites.

You should study consider studying Physics if are interested in using learnt skills to solve problems in a range of industries such as government, the space agency, or the bureau of meteorology.

To study either Engineering or Physics at College you will need to be comfortable with College level mathematics and statistics.

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