Education and Training Required to Become a Successful Architectural Engineer

Without the work of an architectural engineer, people would be unable to enjoy football stadiums, high-rise office buildings, or apartment buildings. The fact that these structures are safe enough to accommodate hundreds or even thousands of people is testament to the training and education required to enter this career field.

Bachelorís Degree

One of these programs will focus heavily on math, science, building methods and building materials. Safety and principles of design will be stressed during the first two years in order to lay the groundwork for more advanced courses during the last two years. During this time, students will learn to communicate with architects and builders, use computers to aid with the design process, and make presentations concerning some of their research. During the senior year, many colleges require a capstone project which involves a unique and original design. Tuition can cost around $34,000 per year along with fees that average around $2,000 annually. Books average $500 each semester.

Masterís Degree

While working toward a Masterís degree, students will be taught principles of managing and planning construction projects and how to design structures that are resistant to natural disasters. Advanced computer-aided drafting will also be stressed in one of these programs. Research projects that include statistics gathering are normally required before graduation as well. The cost of tuition normally runs around $40,000 annually, and fees can be between $3,000 and $5,000 each year as well. Books can set students back around $1,000 per semester, and on-campus housing can run between $5,000 and $10,000 annually.

Doctorate Degree

In order to obtain a PhD in architectural engineering, students are normally required to complete around 25 hours of additional coursework beyond the Masterís degree level. As part of this degree program, students are typically required to complete an internship program and pass a certification exam in addition to completing a dissertation. The cost of a doctorate degree ranges from $55,000 to $80,000 annually. Students may be assessed an activity fee ranging from $200 to $300 annually, and may also be required to purchase health insurance if they are not already covered by an employer.

Licensing and Certification

Upon graduation, students are eligible to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which is administered by the Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). This is required in all states in order for an individual to begin working, and costs $125 to take. After four years of practical work experience, individuals are then eligible to obtain the prestigious Professional Engineer (PE) certification. Those who elect to take this examination are assessed a fee of $265.

While extensive training and education is required in order to become an architectural engineer, the time that is invested tends to pay off for years to come. Thatís because architectural engineers normally stay in their profession for a lifetime, as those who are drawn to this occupation find it immensely rewarding to build and design structures that serve the public.