All About Architectural Engineer
An architectural engineer is highly capable of applying the principles or engineering to planning, designing, and constructing structures such as buildings. They usually work with a team of people that includes other architects and engineers focused on the aesthetics and functional layout of buildings.
The architectural engineering field also includes aspects of other branches of engineering such as electrical, civil, and mechanical among others. In general, an architectural engineer will be involved in the following key areas:
- the building projects’ structural integrity
- design and effectiveness of electrical, fire protection, and plumbing systems
- energy conservation aspects
- lighting and acoustic planning
- design and evaluation of air conditioning, ventilation, and heating systems
The architectural engineer graduate will work in an engineering field very similar to the fields of mechanical and civil engineering, but with the main focus being building projects. Core areas include the design of building systems, computer aided or CAD and structural designs, and addressing safety issues of hurricane, storm, or earthquake preparedness.
An Engineering bachelor’s or BS degree is necessary for an entry-level architectural engineer job position. It should be noted that aspiring architectural engineers enter programs that are accredited. These programs typically offer comprehensive studies in civil engineering courses, physics, and math.
Architectural Engineering programs generally last four to five years depending on the pace of the student. A conventional four year program will focus on courses such as engineering basics, basics sciences, math, social sciences, and humanities in the first two years of study. The last two years of study will involve more specialized engineering courses such as economics of engineering, architectural design, thermodynamics, structural analysis and design, and fluid mechanics.
Those who specialize in architectural engineering will likewise delve into structures, engineering design, construction management, and electrical and mechanical systems. They will be required to be highly proficient in general chemistry, physics (calculus based), and math, most especially in statistics, probability, and differential equations. A course in architectural design history is also included in majority of programs. Architectural engineering programs also recognize teamwork as a vital component of architectural engineering since an architectural engineer will be required to coordinate, interact, and supervise other people in the course of his or her career.
No specific license is required to be an architectural engineer although you have to have general professional engineering license. To obtain a professional engineer or PE license, you must be a graduate of an ABET or (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accredited engineering program, at least four years of required job experience, and pass two licensing examinations. The first test can be taken by architectural engineering graduates after graduating from their studies. This is called the FE or Fundamentals of Engineering test.
Those who receive a passing score on this test will be called EITs or Engineers in Training. When you’ve acquired the necessary job experience amounting to four years, you will be qualified to take the next test called the Principles and Practice of Engineering examination. Once you’re a licensed professional engineer, you should highly consider earning special certifications and taking up CE or continuing education courses in order to fulfill continuing licensing requirements and to show potential clients or employers that you are an expert in your field.
Based on a recent report by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median yearly salary of a more experienced architectural engineer is approximately $83,000. On the other hand, the starting salary can range from $40,000 to $67,000.
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