If you're interested in the aesthetic and technical elements of building construction, a career in architectural engineering may be a good fit for you. Read on to learn more education, employment and licensing for architectural engineers.
An architectural engineer must understand and master the principles of the mechanical, functional, structural and aesthetic elements of building design. If you pursue a degree in this field, you need to be able to solve problems mathematically and design complex systems that meet health, safety, environmental and economic standards.
As an architectural engineer, you could work in firms that design heating, cooling, structural and electrical systems for industrial, commercial and public facilities. Some architectural engineers work in specialty firms that focus on the design of a single building system. You could also become a facilities manager, construction manager or consultant.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report employment and wage information specific to architectural engineers. However, according to the BLS, employment of civil engineers was expected to grow by 20%, or faster than average, from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). As reported by PayScale.com in June 2014, the median annual salary for an architectural engineer was $57,455.
To become an architectural engineer, you'll need to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering. These rigorous courses of study include topics in geometry, calculus, chemistry and building construction. You might also study lighting system design and statistics. Graduate programs are also available and can lead to a master's degree in architectural engineering or doctoral degree in engineering.
According to the BLS, all engineers who work directly with the public must be licensed by the state. Requirements include approximately four years of post-college work experience. Licensing exams are administered and scored by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (www.ncees.org).