Building engineers, also known as building maintenance engineers, are responsible for operating and maintaining specific buildings and facilities, including their appliances, equipment and internal systems. As preparation for working in a large variety of settings - ranging from rest homes to retail stores to national parks - students in certificate or associate's degree programs related to building maintenance learn about dishwashers, heating equipment and transformers. Associate's degrees in building construction technology may also benefit those wishing to work as building engineers. These programs include specific fields of study, such as construction management, building construction technology, and building maintenance. Students in the associate's programs may be required to supply their own tools.
Certificates Covering Building Maintenance
These professionals are concerned with preventative maintenance, heating and air conditioning as well as the effect that cleaning chemicals have on air quality. Certificate programs prepare students for careers fixing, designing and working on electrical, plumbing and construction projects, programs teach about lawn care techniques, electrical theory and air conditioning. Training programs at this level, which typically take one year or less, offer instruction in these areas:
- Electrical work
- Building cleaning
- Technical writing
Associate of Applied Science in Building Construction Technology
These 2-year, hands-on programs include teaching in building codes, framing and project scheduling. Students learn to complete remodeling, repair and construction projects from planning out the concept to material selection to installation. Eligible program applicants must have completed high school; it's recommended that applicants have a background in geometry, algebra and science.
Students prepare for careers preventing the deterioration of the building in which they work by learning how to use power tools, read blueprints, reassemble equipment. Commonly, these programs include the following coursework:
- Construction safety
- Construction materials
- Cost estimation
- Project management
- Site preparation
Individuals trained in building maintenance are prepared for a variety of careers in construction-related sales and preventative maintenance. Certificate program graduates may find themselves working as:
- Building maintenance technicians
- Plumbing supply salespersons
- Construction workers
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of May 2015, the median annual wage for the over 1.3 million employed general maintenance and repair workers was $36,630 (www.bls.gov). According to the same source, these professionals were expected to see a 6% increase in employment opportunities between 2014 and 2024.
Graduates interested in supervisory and management positions are able to enroll in bachelor's degree programs in building construction technology management. These 4-year programs focus on labor relations and industrial safety as well as on the management and supervision of the construction process.
Students interested in learning general building techniques or in the repair of specific types of mechanical equipment could also consider the following programs:
- Certificate in appliance repair
- Certificate in industrial maintenance technology
- Associate's in construction technology
- Associate's in HVAC technology
Education in building engineering, available at the certificate and associate's levels, cover topics like electrical work, general building maintenance, and construction safety. These programs prepare students for careers as construction workers or building maintenance technicians, while additional learning in a bachelor's degree program can lead to more advanced positions.