“…Penn State was a large beautiful school. It offered many different fields for students to choose to major in. There were many activities to do, organizations to join, and people to meet.” – Michelle
In the United States, architectural engineering refers to a licensed engineering professional who’s qualified to apply engineering principles and technology to building design and construction. Architectural engineering is a multidisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree, sometimes resulting in a six-year program. In contrast to architects, who focus primarily on aesthetics, architectural engineers ensure that the structure is sound, stable, and the systems are functional.
There are a number of optional specializations, including in structural and mechanical integrity, acoustics and lighting, as well as energy conservation and optimization. Often, architectural engineering programs focus on a specific system within a building, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, fire protection, electrical, lighting, architectural acoustics, or structural systems, but there’s also the option for a generalist degree at some institutions. Ideal candidates for an architectural engineering degree are drawn to technology, mathematics, and science.
When it comes to choosing an institution for architectural engineering, the most trusted programs are accredited by ABET, a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that focuses on the disciplines of applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. Post graduating, to become a licensed professional, architectural engineers must pass two exams, the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. The average entry-level salary is for architectural engineers is $61,000, while average annual pay is upwards of $93,000.
Postgraduate options include the Master of Architectural Engineering (MAE), a Master of Science (MS) in Architectural Engineering, or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Architectural Engineering. Advanced programs such as these can lead to building automation or communication systems, masonry design, or timber design.
Career options for graduates with a degree in architectural engineering include:Architectural Engineer, Architectural and Civil Drafter, Electrical Drafter, Mechanical Drafter, Engineering Technician, Construction Manager.