How to Become an Architectural Engineer

Architectural engineers (AEs) are different from the normal architects. They are specialists in the science of designing important components, facilities or the structure for any construction task. They engineer various systems in a building, namely: electrical, communication, lighting, ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems, etc. Architectural engineering is a discipline of science which persists in the study of planning, design, construction and the functioning of various engineered systems coinciding with commercial, residential, industrial and institutional buildings.

To become an AE, you should graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering. This bachelors degree has the accreditation of the Accrediting Board of Engineering & Technology (ABET) since 1978. Many career opportunities are available in the construction industry, in architectural engineering firms, government agencies or in any organization needing engineering solutions, cognition and talent.

Educational Requirements and the Necessary Skills

  • Your school education should include subjects like English, physics, geometry, science, calculus and drafting. Graduating with an Architectural engineering degree is the preferred and best method to begin working in this field. It is usually a 4 or 5 year program. Confer with an engineering guidance counselor.
  • Browse through the various ABET accredited institutions offering Architectural Engineering Curriculum. Narrow down your research to the institutes of your choice and seek the program and school most suitable for you.
  • Become thoroughly acquainted with the Auto CAD, Auto Plan or other strategic and crucial engineering and designing software. These are drafting software suites and it is vital that you become comfortable using them. Your engineering program will surely incorporate this in your training and classes.
  • Hone your soft skills, like leadership qualities, team building and communication skills because it will help you while working with a team of architects and engineers.

Choosing an Appropriate Field 

Pinpoint one of the distinguishing domains of architectural engineering. Some of the choices are structural, electrical, or environmental systems. Not every engineering program is exactly like another so you should discuss this with your engineering guidance counselor. This decision will reveal a new landscape and will certainly have career repercussions.

Obtaining a License

To become a licensed Architectural Engineer, the Architectural engineers should apply to their respective state licensing board and then pass the examination. These examinations are conducted by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering & Technology (NCEES).

To qualify for the licensing program the applicant should be a graduate from an ABET accredited institution. The applicant should have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering examination in their senior year in college, completed four years of apprenticeship under the guidance of an able and licensed design engineer in their special discipline and ultimately pass the Principals and Practices of Engineering examination.

Career Enhancement Tips

  • Formulate your field experience by attending summer internships in reputable architectural firms.
  • Become a member in associations such as the American Institute of Architects, these associations are beneficial since they offer different contacts for aspiring AEs.
  • Obtain the proper licensing to be able to practice architecture, most states require a passing score on the Architect Registration Examination.