What Is the Average Earnings of an Architectural Engineer?

The average salaries of architectural engineers can vary by experience, industry and location. Keep reading to find out about the earning potential of these professionals. Schools offering Civil Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Salary Overview and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), civil engineers - a group including architectural engineers - averaged $87,130 annually in May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Earnings were $52,570 or below for the bottom 10% of workers and $128,110 or higher for the top 10% of workers. Over the 2014-2024 decade, the BLS expects civil engineer employment to increase at a faster-than-average rate of 8%.

Important Facts About Architectural Engineer

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Strong mathematical background, decision making, critical thinking, leadership, clear written and verbal communication
Work Environment In office or on work sites
Similar Occupations Architects, landscape architects, mechanical engineers, surveyors, urban and regional planning, environmental engineers, construction managers

Starting Salaries

Common areas of professional practice for architectural engineers include building energy and environments, construction engineering, project management, construction materials and structural engineering. Penn State's College of Engineering reported that their 2014-2015 graduates earned an average starting salary of $58,900 as architectural engineers (www.psu.edu). In December 2014, Milwaukee School of Engineering reported that their architectural engineering graduates earned an average starting salary of $52,531 (www.msoe.edu).

Salaries by Employer

As of May 2014, the BLS reported that most civil engineers worked for architectural, engineering and related services and earned an average wage of $87,130. State government and local government also employed significant numbers of these workers, and average earnings were $80,040 and $86,540, respectively. The oil and gas extraction industry offered the highest average pay of $126,830 in May 2014.

Salaries by Location

According to May 2014 BLS salary figures, many civil engineers were employed in California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York. Salaries in these states ranged from $82,460-$100,330. Some states that offered the highest average earnings included Alaska ($107,600) and Texas ($100,330). The lowest average earnings ranged from $57,120-$75,030 and were found in states that included Missouri, West Virginia and Alabama.

Career Overview

As a highly specialized discipline, architectural engineering focuses on the construction and improvement of buildings. Depending on the project, you may focus on the structural integrity of a building, its energy conservation systems, the lighting design or the efficiency of plumbing, ventilation or electrical systems. You will often work closely with architects and other engineers.

Degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are offered at a handful of colleges and universities located throughout the country. According to the University of Nebraska, there is a high demand for graduates with an architectural engineering degree, since there are fewer than 20 programs offered in the United States.

Architectural Engineers vs. Architects

While the two disciplines may share some commonalities, architectural engineers should not be confused with architects. Architects focus mainly on the design, art and aesthetics of buildings, whereas architectural engineers focus on their construction and systems, such as electrical, heating, plumbing and other aspects. They use the principals of physics, math and engineering science in their jobs. As an architectural engineer, you may commonly be referred to or find job opportunities as a structural engineer.

Professional Licensure

Most states require engineers planning to provide services to the public to obtain a Professional Engineer (P.E.) license. Although specific requirements may vary by state, one common requirement is a passing score on a professional knowledge exam, such as the Architectural Engineering Principles and Practice of Engineering exam, provided by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

During this exam, you will be tested on structural, electrical and mechanical engineering principles as they pertain to building design and construction. Specific topics include building systems integration, electrical systems and construction administration. Architectural engineers who have not obtained their P.E. licenses are often required to work under the supervision of a licensed architectural engineer.

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