You may be interested in following a career in Building Engineering or Architectural Engineering, but you are not quite sure what the subject covers. The first thing to realize is that architectural engineers are not architects. While an architect may be most interested in the appearance of a building, the architectural engineer will concentrate on the engineering within that building: This includes best practices and principles which he has learned from his schooling and experience in design and construction. If you wish to follow this type of engineering career than an architectural engineering degree is an excellent qualification to achieve.
What is the difference between an architect and an architectural engineer?
An architect is a professional who designs a building. A structural engineer is a professional who applies his knowledge of engineering techniques and technologies to ensure that the building is safe and functional.
A degree level course in architectural engineering will start to educate the new engineer in the techniques applicable to buildings. Electrical, mechanical, structural and civil engineering branches will all be studied. Students will also learn about CAD (Computer Aided Design) techniques and tools.
Structural engineering is the study of materials and structures. Students learn about the properties of building materials such as wood, concrete, steel, etc., and they learn how to analyze the performance of structures made from those materials. The performance of a structure includes the cost of materials, the ease of building the structure, and the ability to withstand the required environmental stresses. Analysis techniques will be learned to ensure that the structure can withstand hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. With proper safety margins.
As well as ensuring the security of the building the architectural engineer will have the task of designing the various services which the building needs. All buildings require services such as heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), as well as lighting, plumbing, electrics such as elevators and security systems, etc. The student architectural engineer will learn the engineering basics which enable him to design these building systems. For example knowledge of thermodynamics, fluids and electrical engineering will all be vital for the designer of HVAC systems.
School students who are planning to study architectural engineering are advised to concentrate on mathematics and science courses. High mathematical standards is a must for students of all branches of engineering.
During your course, you will probably find that your college or university arranges co-op and intern programs to help students gain real-world experience. Taking part in an intern program will give you a lot of good experience, and will undoubtedly be an excellent addition to your resume. Experience will certainly help you get a better job when you finish your course.
An architectural engineering degree course will require a lot of hard work over its four-year duration. If you can pass the course, you will have many well paid and exciting career possibilities ahead of you.
To find out about the salary in this field, see the below video, or check out the Bureau of Labor and Statistics here.