Architectural engineers work with other construction professionals including contractors, architects and engineers to problems with combining aesthetics and functionality in construction. An architectural engineer may be called in prior to building to identify problems in advance or asked to solve problems related to completed construction projects.
Architectural engineers require formal training. To meet most state standards, professional degrees must be earned from schools accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Recommended degrees for architectural engineers include:
Every state requires licensing for architectural engineers. Architectural engineers are also required to earn continuing education credits to maintain licensure.
Architectural engineers coordinate efforts with other engineers and architects to prevent difficulties in building. This coordination may begin by examining blue prints and continue as construction continues. Some architectural engineers specialize in particular system operations such as plumbing, electricity, fire safety and heating or ventilation and air conditioning. Others work with all components of the construction process.
Every architectural engineer focuses primarily on structural integrity, safety and efficiency. When architectural engineers recommend upgrades and changes, they also examine the cost effectiveness of different options. They integrate structural and systems alterations that adapt comfortably with the physical appearance and purpose of the building while keeping an eye on cost.
Architectural engineers undertake a number of different professional tasks:
Architectural engineers must understand how different construction methods work and which materials are best utilized to solve specific construction problems. They need to be proficient in using computer-aided design (CAD) software. Architectural engineers may be self-employed or work for a firm made up of architects or engineers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that in general, architectural jobs will grow faster than other professions. Architectural positions, including architectural engineers, are expected to increase by 20% through the year 2016.
The average annual salary for architectural engineers was around $67,000 in May 2008, according to Federal government reports. The annual salary range was from $40,000 to $120,000.
Architectural engineers are in high demand because it’s a specialized profession with a limited number of schools offering the necessary degree.