Architectural engineers specialize in the design of systems within buildings. These typically include plumbing systems, heating and air conditioning systems, and the sprinkler systems that help prevent fires. Architectural engineers typically need a bachelor's degree in engineering, which usually takes four or five years.
Pay for Internships and Co-ops
While attending school, many architectural engineering students opt to participate in an internship or a cooperative education program. This allows students to gain valuable workplace experience related to their future career, and to make money at the same time. According to the Pennsylvania State College of Engineering, the average wage for architectural engineering co-ops and internships was $16.26 per hour as of 2012. According to the Missouri University of Science and Technology, architectural engineering co-ops pay an average of $2,233 per month, while internships pay an average of $2,578 per month.
Average Starting Pay
Starting pay for architectural engineers is around $50,000 per year. The Missouri University of Science and Technology reports that architectural engineers earned an average starting salary of $51,443 per year in 2008, the equivalent of earning $4,287 per month. The University of Colorado reports that the average starting salary of an architectural engineer was $55,265 per year in 2010, or a monthly salary of $4,605.
Pay for Experienced Engineers
According to the American Association of Engineering Societies, architectural engineers earned a median yearly salary of $74,000 and median monthly income of $6,167 by the time they had nine years of experience. Architectural engineers with 35 or more years of experience in the industry reported a median annual income of $96,000, the equivalent of earning $8,000 per month.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for all types of civil engineers are expected to grow at a rate of 19 percent between 2010 and 2020. That's faster than the 14 percent projected growth rate for all occupations. Because architectural engineering jobs are not heavily tied to residential construction, downturns in the housing industry should not affect them too much. Instead, the number of job opportunities will rise and fall with the nonresidential construction industry.