Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering Associate's Degree

Learn about associate's degree programs in architectural and civil engineering. Find out what classes are offered in these programs and the kinds of careers you might be prepared for. Schools offering Civil Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What's the Difference Between Architectural and Civil Engineering Associate's Degree Programs?

Architectural engineering is a type of civil engineering that applies specifically to residential and commercial buildings. Civil engineering can also encompass transportation, waterway and infrastructure design and development. You can find associate's degree programs in both civil and architectural engineering that often have some overlap in the training they provide. The main difference between the programs is the type of projects you'll learn about.

The programs aren't typically offered online, but they are widely available in a traditional college campus setting. Because many courses in these programs include mathematical components, you could prepare for this course of study by taking classes in statistics, calculus and physics.

Program Availability Associate's degrees in architectural and civil engineering technology available on campus
Common CoursesTechnical writing, computer-aided drafting, materials science, construction methods, applied mechanics
Possible CareersEngineering technician, surveyor, construction superintendent, general contractor, drafter or materials technician
Median Salary (2015)$49,260 for civil engineering technicians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Can I Learn?

In addition to general education classes, you'll also receive training in industry-standard engineering practices. You can learn about city and regional planning, the principles of architecture, project coordination, blueprint reading and management strategies. Some programs include internships or professional development courses. The following are examples of classes you might find in a civil or architectural engineering technology program:

  • Technical writing
  • Computer-aided drafting
  • Materials science
  • Construction methods
  • Applied mechanics
  • Construction environments
  • Contract estimating
  • Business systems

What Jobs Could I Get?

Graduating from one of these 2-year programs generally qualifies you to work as an engineering technician. In this position, you'd assist engineers to help resolve basic engineering problems for different types of structures. You could help with manufacturing, sales, construction, maintenance or inspection. Alternatively, you could pursue similar jobs, such as a surveyor, construction superintendent, general contractor, drafter or materials technician.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), civil engineering technicians earned a median annual salary of $49,260 as of May 2015. The top employers of these professionals were architectural and engineering firms as well as state and local government agencies. Natural gas, water, power generation and mining companies paid the highest salaries (

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:

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