Students can complete a certificate or diploma program in building engineering. Students must have a high school diploma or the equivalent as well as physical aptitude, background in construction, and a letter of intent.
A certificate program in building engineering teaches students how to setup, maintain, operate and troubleshoot engineering systems. The programs are math intensive and rely on practical, hands-on experience. They are offered at technical or community colleges and through the engineering departments of universities. This certificate is preparatory for associate's and bachelor's degrees in building or architectural engineering.
Students in a diploma program receive technical, theoretical and practical training in the construction industry. Graduates understand the process of starting and completing a structure and the maintenance of it thereafter. Certification is often necessary in this field, so aspiring building engineers should consider advancing their education to the bachelor's degree level.
Certificate Programs in Building Engineering
The skills and knowledge gained in this program provide a solid understanding of the field. Students learn how to read blueprints and evaluate problems in order to execute solutions and improve residents' quality of living. Field experience is an important aspect of the classes, which may cover topics such as:
- Building systems
- Boiler operations
- Civil engineering
- Health and safety
- Engineer communications
- Environmental systems
Diploma Programs in Building and Structural Engineering
This program is more technical in nature than the certificate program. Students learn about drawing and mapping methods, computer applications, materials research and environmental problems. The core curriculum is math and science intensive and may include:
- Architectural drafting
- Building statistics
- Building designs
- Building surveying
- Construction materials
- Designing structures
Popular Career Options
Certificate and diploma holders are prepared to maintain systems in industrial, corporate and residential settings. Common job titles include:
- Engineering assistant
- Engineering technician
- Maintenance technician
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment in civil engineering, which includes building engineering, was projected to grow 8% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). The BLS found in May 2015 that the mean annual salary for civil engineers was $87,940.
Continuing Education Information
The credits earned during a Certificate of Completion in Building Engineering program are usually transferable to associate's or bachelor's degree programs in engineering. Additional certification is needed for specific areas, such as green building engineering. Professionals who want to earn this certification must pass an examination.
Many building engineers gain valuable experience on the job. However, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering is recommended to further maximize career potential. There are also different certifications available, which are required for certain higher-level positions in building engineering. For example, the Association for Facilities Engineering offers three credentials related to building engineering, including the Certified Plant Engineer and Certified Plant Supervisor designations. A 4-year degree is required for these certifications, as are several years of experience.
Students interested in building engineering can enroll in a certificate or diploma program. The certificate program implements field experience for students to gain hands-on experience, while a diploma program is focused more towards the technical aspects of building engineering.