Those interested in architectural engineering technology programs may pursue them at the associate's and bachelor's levels, often through online or hybrid programs. Graduates of architectural engineering technology programs are typically prepared for employment in the construction, engineering and design industries. Specifically, they might qualify to fill positions such as cost estimator, architectural assistant or drafting technician.
Associate Degree in Architectural Engineering Technology
An associate degree in architectural engineering technology commonly is earned through an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science program. Students become skilled in producing documents and presentations for architectural building systems, analyzing data, performing calculations and using computer systems. During an associate degree program, students might take various fieldwork- and laboratory-based tests. Students also explore communication skills, ethics and professional conduct, as it relates to architectural engineering. To enroll in a 2-year associate degree program in architectural engineering technology, a minimum of a high school diploma or the equivalent is required.
Community colleges, technical schools and 4-year colleges and universities offer associate degree programs in architectural engineering technology. Commonly-addressed topics in these programs include drafting, design, methods of construction, sketching and surveying. Training typically includes classroom lectures, hands-on exercises and individual assignments. Students can expect to receive training in some of the following areas:
- Architectural design techniques
- Computer-aided design (CAD)
- Construction concepts
- Estimating costs and contract preparation
- Architectural graphics
Bachelor's Degree in Architectural Engineering Technology
A 4-year Bachelor of Science program examines building design systems, technical operations and project planning. Students learn to analyze and evaluate all aspects of architectural engineering projects. They also should gain a thorough understanding of bidding, costs and material selection. Candidates entering a baccalaureate program must possess a minimum of a high school diploma and meet SAT and ACT score requirements. They also must submit any school transcripts and meet minimum grade point average requirements.
In addition to general education courses, bachelor's degree students usually take laboratory classes, where they learn to use architectural design software and read blueprints. To strengthen students' communication skills, many programs include classes in technical writing, professional development and public speaking. In addition to general education courses, such as fine arts and literature, other courses might include:
- Animation and modeling techniques
- Hydraulics and geotechnics
- Project management and planning
- Technical drawing
- Visual studies
Popular Career Options
Graduates of associate degree programs can pursue entry-level positions in places like architectural firms, engineering companies and governmental agencies. Some career options include:
- Architect assistant
- Cost estimator
- Computer-aided design (CAD) operator
- Designer or drafting technician
- Engineer or engineering salesperson
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecast an overall employment increase of roughly 7% for all architects between 2014 and 2024, regardless of specialty. The average salary for an architect was $82,850 as of 2015, reports the BLS.
Degree programs in architectural engineering technology can be found at the associate's and bachelor's levels. Common courses in computer-aided design and technical drawing will prepare graduates for employment as architect assistants, cost estimators, drafting technicians, or other careers in the field.