Architectural Engineering Degree Programs

Architectural engineers examine building designs to make sure that the planned structures would be safe and have functional systems, like heating and cooling. Read on to learn about available education programs, earnings and job duties of an architectural engineer. Schools offering Civil Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Architectural Engineering Degrees are Available?

Bachelor's and master's degrees prepare you for varying levels of work as an architectural engineer. A bachelor's program takes 4-5 years of study. You can often tailor your curriculum to include a specific system, such as electrical, mechanical or structural, or concentrate your coursework in such areas as environmental systems or construction management.

Master's degree programs in architectural engineering often require completion of a graduate thesis. Graduate programs sometimes allow you to specialize in acoustical, electrical, lighting, mechanical or structural systems. Additionally, some schools offer combined bachelor's and master's degree programs, allowing you to earn both degrees simultaneously in roughly five years. All states regulate public engineering and architectural fields, so you'll want to make sure the degree program you choose meets state licensure requirements.

Degree Levels Bachelor's and master's degrees
Key Topics Discussed Energy conservation, sustainability, structural design, automation theory, construction analysis
Key Career Skills Clear communication, critical thinking, analytical ability, multi-tasking
Median Salary (2015)* $83,590 (for all mechanical engineers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

Bachelor's programs start with foundational courses in mechanical controls, structural design and construction analysis. You'll learn how to identify and when to use different building materials for energy efficiency, low environmental impacts and sustainability.

Master's studies build on the basics you learned in your undergraduate program, teaching you advanced design methods, energy conservation techniques and automation theory. You'll be expected to participate in several individual and group projects. Your final year of graduate school is usually dedicated to research and your thesis.

What Does an Architectural Engineer Do?

Architectural engineering is considered a sub-specialty of civil engineering. An architectural engineer works in collaboration with an architect to ensure the structural integrity of the architect's plans. An architectural engineer is often concerned with ensuring that the various operations in a building, such as heating and electrical systems, work properly.

How Much Can I Earn?

Architectural engineering may also be referred to as electrical, mechanical or structural engineering, though the terms aren't always interchangeable. Earning your degree and licensure typically qualifies you to work in any of these engineering disciplines. According to 2016 data supplied by workers in the field to PayScale.com, electrical engineers with up to five years' experience earned between $49,136-$84,822 per year. Those with 5-10 years' experience reported increased wages to $60,152-$104,083 a year. The salary site also listed entry-level structural engineer salaries in the same year were paid $47,321-$77,235 during the same period.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that there were 278,340 individuals employed as mechanical engineers in the United States in 2015. According to the BLS, the median salary was $83,590 per year. BLS data showed industry and location affected wages for this profession. The highest paid work in oil and gas extraction, information services, and electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance. The states with the highest paid mechanical engineers are Alaska, New Mexico, Texas, and Delaware.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools