Architectural Engineers serve as a unique type of engineer in the civil / architect / engineering space. With just 23 ABET accredited Architectural Engineering or Architectural Engineering Technology programs in the USA, it's considerable more niche. There are 247 ABET accredited Civil Engineering programs in the USA.
But the field has carved out a niche for itself. One of the 17 versions of the Professional Engineering exam is Architectural Engineering. In 2016 there were 11,646 Civil Engineering graduates and only 618 Architectural Engineering. These professionals have a different situation in entering the job market. Whether that be good or bad, you can decide. As always in being successful, it's more about the relationships you build and making yourself unique in your field.
Architectural engineers apply science and technology to the real world by designing buildings that enhance our standard of living and improve our quality of life. They do this by combining building systems – structural, electrical, mechanical, lighting, acoustics and fire protection - into an integrated whole. These creative problem solvers are constantly facing the challenges of the future like sustainable building materials and green energy sources. Architectural engineers are trained to use the latest technologies – like computer based building design and analysis software (Revit, eQUEST, RIZA-3D, etc), building information modeling (BIM), and advanced sensors & controls – to design, build, and operate the various systems within a building.
There are many different ways you can impact the lives of people as an architectural engineer. You can design structural systems in buildings so they are able to withstand earthquakes and tornadoes. Because of highly engineered acoustical and lighting systems that eliminates dead spots and echoes, everyone in an audience can enjoy a theatre production. You could also design a lighting system for a sports stadium so that players aren’t blinded by the glare yet the HDTV cameras have enough light for quality instant replays, or a mechanical system for a hockey arena so the ice is maintained at just the right temperature.
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