Architectural Engineering Schools Colleges & Universities

Want to know what's required to get your degree in architectural engineering and where it can take you down the road? Learn more here.

Architectural Engineering Schools: Design your Career Path: Seventeen architectural engineering schools are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Earning your Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering degree from an accredited school prepares you for a career as a professional architectural engineer. In addition, many state boards that license engineers require a degree from an accredited school.

Unaccredited architectural engineering schools lay the groundwork for further study or training in the field. Tufts University, for example, awards a BS in Engineering--Program in Architecture Studies degree. Programs like this provide a background for graduate school in architecture or design. Community colleges and vocational schools often offer associate degrees and/or certificates for skills related to architectural engineering, like computer-aided drafting.

Getting in to an Architectural Engineering School: Architectural engineering schools seek students with superior standardized test scores and who have taken upper level math and science classes. English and foreign language classes are also important, because architectural engineers have to be adept at communicating with architects, construction managers and other people they collaborate with on projects. The Missouri University of Science and Technology suggests students take the following high school course load:

  • • 4 years of English
  • • 4 years of math (algebra I or higher)
  • • 3 years of science
  • • 3 years of social studies
  • • 2 years of a single foreign language
  • • 1 year of fine art

Beyond a strong high school transcript, some schools have testing requirements besides the ACT or SAT. And some, like Pennsylvania State University, admit students first into the school of engineering, and then, based on performance, offer admission into the architectural engineering degree program.

Regardless of slight variations in admissions requirements, the profile of architectural engineering students is similar from school to school. Architectural engineering degree candidates are often detail-oriented problem-solvers who love puzzles and possess both technical savvy and an appreciation of aesthetics and design. They are also usually interested in the history of art/architecture and have some skill in graphics or visual art.

Once You Have Your Architectural Engineering Degree . . . There are many places to work as an architectural engineer, including:

  • • Architectural/construction firms (Extell, CH2M HILL, WJE Inc.)
  • • Government/civil service (Army Corps of Engineers)
  • • Colleges/universities (after earning a master's or doctorate degree in civil/architectural engineering)

The starting wage for an architectural engineer is generally between $40,000 and $50,000. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists median annual income for civil engineers at $81,800. Architectural engineers can expect to earn close to this amount after 13-16 years of experience. Throughout their careers, architectural engineers can be part of numerous professional organizations, such as:

  • • Architectural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Engineers
  • • National Society of Professional Engineers
  • • The Structural Engineering Institute

Job prospects are excellent for architectural and other civil engineers. The BLS forecasts an employment increase of 24% between 2008-2018, driven by population growth, which results in new building construction. A rising percentage of clients requesting environmentally-friendly designs should give an edge to those who can create greener building systems. And demand for architectural engineers is especially high because there are so few accredited schools awarding architectural engineering degrees.

The writer Timothy Mullaney currently teaches analytical and fiction writing at Washington University in St. Louis. He has won awards including the Salamander Magazine Prize and the Gival Press Short Story Award, and is a former Van Lier Fellow at the Asian American Writers' Workshop in New York City


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