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You may not realize it, but architectural engineers probably played a big role in designing and building the structure you're occupying right now. This important profession is a great career path to consider if you are interested in math, business, art, construction, management and technology. If you are considering a career as an architectural engineer, you should learn how much money you can expect to make in this field.
Understanding Architectural Engineering
Architectural engineers are a subgroup of civil engineers. As the name suggests, this job blends together some facets of engineering with some facets of architecture – it's a hybrid position. Architectural engineers help design buildings, and tend to think about the big picture, as well as small details for each project. They consider the various systems that need to be integrated into the building, such as electrical and mechanical systems, as well as the aesthetic and acoustic factors taken into account during the design process. In the modern era, they also consider issues like environmental sustainability and resource usage. They work with technology, including design and construction software. But they may also meet face-to-face with clients.
Architects, on the other hand, may be less focused on building systems and more focused on the artistic design of the proposed structure. They may partner with engineers and other construction professionals during the building process. Architects are typically more focused on how the structure looks and feels, whereas architectural engineers are more focused on the building's functionality and utilization.
Architectural Engineering Salary
To understand a typical architectural engineering salary, it's helpful to consider current salary data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The federal agency has created an industry category called Architectural, Engineering and Related Services. There were 43,730 people employed within that category in May 2017, the most recent data available. The industry's average hourly wage is $69.65, with an average salary of $144,870 per year.
To understand what this translates to in a given month, it's helpful to divide the average annual salary by 12: $144,870/12 = $12,072.50. Of course, since this is an average salary across the entire industry, there will be some architectural engineers who make more than this amount each month and some who earn less.
You may be weighing architectural engineering versus architecture if you are looking for a new career path. It may also be helpful to consider the monthly salary of an architect, in comparison, when making your decision. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for an architect is $37.72 per hour. The average annual salary for an architect is $78,470 per year. This translates to a monthly salary of $6,539.17 for an architect.
- Kansas State University: Architectural Engineering
- American Society of Civil Engineers: Architectural Engineering Institute
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Civil Engineers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Architects
- Godfrey Hoffman Associates: What is the Difference between Civil Engineering and Architecture?
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images