Architectural Engineering

Overview of Architecture

Architectural design and engineering is an industry that has one of the fast growing jobs markets of any out there.  With 123 schools that are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, there are many schools to choose from with a range of degree programs.  These programs can include a five year program that has students graduating with both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Architecture.

A degree in Architecture prepares you to oversee the design and construction of a structure. There are opportunities in both residential and industrial construction for architects.  When it comes to education and certifications, there are a number of programs ranging from Associate’s degree to a Doctoral degree.

There are also some accelerated programs that will allow students to get a Master’s degree in five years, so there are many different options.  Keep in mind, to be an architect; one must get his/her license which is a combination of three years of experience working in Architecture as well as Bachelor’s in Architecture from a school accredited by N.A.A.B (National Architectural Accrediting Board).  There are also licensing exams that one must pass to be licensed properly.

Curriculum for Architecture

Courses vary from program to program but many programs will include classes like the following:

  • Visual Communication
  • Basic Studio Design
  • Introduction to Architectural Structural systems
  • History of Architecture
  • Materials and Building Construction
  • Architectural Planning and Theories
  • Architectural Design
  • Environmental Control Systems
  • Architectural Analysis
  • Architectural Professional practices

Degrees in Architecture range from Associate’s all the way up to doctoral.  A Bachelor’s degree in Architecture generally takes five years to complete, however, there are some colleges that offer a combination program that allows students to earn their Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in five years and two summers so students interested in Architecture should take extra care in examining what type of Architecture program each school offers.

How to Enroll in Architecture Programs

Most Bachelor’s programs in Architecture are designed for students with no prior experience in Architecture so background studies should not be a concern.  Architecture programs are pretty well laid out for students but, because the course material will be new for most students and very intense, students should stay in close contact with their college advisor and make sure that they are on track.

In addition to the courses, most programs have their students engage in hands-on work experience throughout their enrollment.  This allows students to graduate with confidence because they, not only have the informational background in Architecture, but have actually worked in professional environments so they will know what to expect.  The cost of an Architecture degree varies but it is usually somewhere around $20,000.

Benefits and Rewards of Architecture Programs

A degree in Architecture will prepare one for both design and construction.  Having knowledge of both how to build structures as well as how to make them aesthetically pleasing, can go beyond just the work environment.  Having this knowledge and experience would prepare a parent to build a steady and reliable tree house for their child or design their own dream home on both the interior and exterior.  This would also apply on even smaller projects like building a doll house or bird feeders or even room deign and decorating.

With training in green or environmentally conscious design, an architect would be able to cut their own heating and cooling cost of their home with different design techniques.

Job Opportunities in Architecture

Employment of architects is projected to go up by 16 percent from 2008 to 2014 which puts it ahead of the average for all other job markets.  There is also new demand for architects that have a working knowledge of green and environmentally conscious design.  Projects can range from corporate facilities to medical complexes and Nursing homes.  Sixty-eight percent of architects are employed in the architectural, engineering, and services industries.  Most of those architects work for architectural firms. There is also an unusually high percentage of architects, 21 percent, that are self employed.

The median income of an architect was $70,320 in May 2008.  The middle 50 percent of those architects’ income ranged from $53,480 to $91,870.  This income level puts architects above the income of the average American which is $46,326.

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