A bachelor's degree in civil engineering is required to be a building technology engineer. A professional engineering license is also required.
Building technology engineers utilize their expertise in structural development, sustainability and energy needs to design and construct buildings. This job requires a bachelor's degree in civil engineering or a related field as well as professional licensure; licensure requires passing the Fundamentals of Engineering and the Principles and Practice of Engineering exams and completing continuing education throughout one's career. This job might appeal to individuals with interests in construction management, 'green' building practices and design.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in civil engineering|
|Additional Requirements||Professional Engineer (PE) license|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||8%|
|Median Wage (2015)*|| $82,220 annually
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Job Description for a Building Technology Engineer
Building technology engineers plan, design and supervise construction projects. Engineers typically begin a new project by testing soil samples, determining the type of foundation and estimating quantities and costs of material, equipment and labor. Next steps may include using computer-aided design to draft models, preparing bid proposals to submit for approval, and assessing environmental impact of construction. Once the project has been approved, engineers may work in the office, directing and coordinating projects as well as on-site, overseeing staff and resolving technical issues.
Building technology engineers may work in commercial, residential or industrial construction or renovation. Additionally, because engineering programs often include similar concepts and educational paths, engineers have the flexibility to switch between industries and positions.
Entry-level workers may begin under the supervision of an experienced engineer and receive on-the-job and in-class training. With experience, new hires may move on to more challenging assignments including measuring dynamics and load, incorporating calculations into models and evaluating the integrity of various structural materials. Building technology engineers may advance to become structural specialists, chief engineering officers or engineering consultants.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of civil engineers, including building technology engineers, was expected to increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for this career field was $82,220 as of May 2015.
Requirements for a Building Technology Engineer
The BLS notes that building technology engineers extending their services to the public must be licensed. Prospective candidates may begin the licensure process by earning a 4-year bachelor's degree in civil engineering or a related field. Civil engineering programs include courses in steel structure analysis, geotechnical engineering and fluid mechanics. Other topics may include building design and construction budgeting.
College graduates are required to complete two licensing exams. The first, Fundamentals of Engineering (FE), may be taken after graduation. Students who successfully complete this exam are designated as engineers-in-training (EITs). EITs with four years of work experience can take the second exam, Principles and Practice of Engineering, to become licensed Professional Engineers (PEs). PEs may need to participate in continuing education, like completing college coursework, attending seminars or publishing papers.
Building technology engineers design and construct buildings. They are involved in the process from start to finish; their job begins with testing soil samples to determine what type of foundation is needed, and includes designing the structure, estimating the costs of construction, and supervising construction. While some may work in residential construction and renovation, others may work on commercial or industrial structures.