Bachelor's degree programs in architectural technology introduce students to the theoretical and practical components of building design and construction, as they'll master computer-aided drafting (CAD) software, learn how to read blueprints and study building codes, cost estimating and the history of architecture. Hands-on studio work is required through most programs.
These programs can be completed in four years full-time and require a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) equivalent, the submission of high school transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and an admissions essay for entrance. Some institutions call for a demonstrative work portfolio as well.
It should be noted that only architectural technology degrees from professional programs will qualify a graduate to sit for the architect's examination, not one from a customary university.
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Bachelor's in Architectural Technology
In addition to traditional classroom lectures, students will get to apply their knowledge with studio work practice of 2D and 3D computer visualization, freehand drawing and other art processes. Along with a core curriculum of architectural and construction classes, students complete credits in science and math, such as calculus and physics. Other central courses are:
- History of architecture
- Construction technology
- Mechanical building systems
- Residential and commercial building construction
- Drafting techniques
Popular Career Options
While a bachelor's degree in architectural technology from a standard university doesn't qualify students to sit for the architect's licensing exam, there are still plenty of exciting career opportunities. Many graduates go on to work as assistants, acting as liaisons between an architect and the building construction team on a project. Other career options include:
- Building inspector
- Architectural drafter
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Architectural and civil drafters transform designs into technical drawings and plans, using current software. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates this field will see a decrease over 2014-2024 at a rate of 3% because of an increasing dependency on computer-aided design and outsourcing to foreign countries. Individuals who keep up with the latest software technology in the field will have the best chance of finding employment. The median annual salary of these professionals was $52,720 as of 2015.
Continuing Education Information
For students who want to continue their architectural studies, they may pursue a professional bachelor's degree in architecture, which generally takes 5 years, or an advanced degree in the area.
Individuals interested in entering the field of architect technology can take a bachelor's degree program from a standard university. This will not qualify them to write the architect's licensing exam, but will prepare them for other careers such as an assistant or inspector.