If you are somebody who has an imaginative bent of mind, an eye for detail along with creative problem solving skills, then this field is worth exploring. Architectural Engineers work in close tandem with architects and other engineers, ensuring feasibility of an architect’s designs vis-a-vis safety ; sustainability. This sought after branch of science has tremendous scope and surging demand in the market.
Are Architectural Engineers Different from Architects?
Architecture has a history spanning thousand of years. There was a time when no clear distinction was set between the two roles. Both were used synonymously in terms of duties and area of work. But with science and technological advancements, people started to have higher expectations not only in terms of building’s aesthetic design but also how resistant it should be to natural calamities like earthquake, tornadoes etc. In anticipation of providing better quality of life and innovative facilities inside buildings, several new roles in construction and building industry were created.
An architectural engineer’s focus is on planning and designing the mechanical, electrical and structural systems of a building. On the other hand, an Architect’s primary focus is to design the buildings itself. Educational requirements are more elaborate for an architect than that of an architectural engineer. Various programs available in different colleges enable Architectural Engineers to transition into an Architect. Although in some parts of the world, (such as Italy), Architectural Engineers are still referred to as ‘Architects’ only.
Best Colleges Globally
US has a good number of universities ranked amongst the world’s top 50 for Architecture related Programs. Students aspiring for the top schools globally can consider to study at Southern California Institute of Architecture (Los Angeles), Architectural Association (London), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts), The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Copenhagen), University of Tokyo (Tokyo), Technical University Delft (Netherlands), ETH Zurich, DARCH (Switzerland), Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, IaaC (Spain), The Glasgow School of Art ( Scotland), American University of Sharjah(UAE) to name a few.
What to Expect from this Course?
This is a multi-disciplinary course including elements of civil engineering, mechanical engineering, study of spatial design, aesthetics, safety management, material management, building technology, etc., preparing one to achieve skills in the largest ; most diversified industry.
There are various colleges and universities across the globe offering certificate courses related to architectural engineering apart from graduate, undergraduate and engineering degrees. Certificate and associate degree level program generally cater to those interested in attaining entry-level jobs. Bachelor’s degree programs are offered at the pre-professional and professional levels. Some colleges have combined bachelor’s and master’s into a 5-year program that prepares graduates for licensure as an engineer. Graduate programs offer a Master of Engineering, Master of Science or Ph.D.
Who is it for?
Students are expected to have a strong aptitude in Science and Math. Which means one has to necessarily be in love with numbers and Physics. Along with good analytical skills, it would help to have strong communication and interpersonal skills. A minimum aggregate score in Maths, Physics and Chemistry at Higher Secondary Board Exam from a recognised Board is considered to get admission depending on the university one is applying for.
Scholarships to overseas colleges provide icing on the cake for students planning to study abroad. A range of scholarships are available at individual universities depending on the candidate’s academic excellence and financial needs, regardless of nationality and background. ACI is a special foundation for graduate scholarships globally to assist international students applying for engineering, architecture or material science postgraduate program. This scholarship amount is subject to available contribution by foundation members. To be eligible, the program applied for must be accredited by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology(ABET) .
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job prospects for all civil engineers, including architectural engineers, are expected to increase by 8% from 2014-2024. Experts believe this job growth equates to 23,600 new jobs, implying a considerable demand for this specialised course in US. After successful completion of the course one can be placed in roles such as Architectural Drafter/Designer, Landscape Architect, Consultant, Consulting Engineer, Technical Architects, Construction Estimator, Construction Project Manager.
Plethora of career opportunities are available ranging from employment in Government Bodies or giant private corporates, to teaching and research at institutes.
What Salary Can You Expect?
As per BLS data, the annual salary for civil engineers working in the architectural engineering industry ranges between $72,000 to $88,820. Architectural Engineering aspirants would be happy to learn that it is among the most highly paid engineering profession.
To have an enriching career it is important to consider the engineering fields with the best potential for advancement and employment opportunities. Highest potential earnings are attributed to industries where demand outruns supply.