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What does an Architect do?

As an architect, you will have a hand in designing the homes and buildings of the future. This line of work will consist of designing the buildings that meet the needs of a wide-range of clients. This can include the appearance of a building, the overall safety, compliance of government regulations, and even the overall budget. Depending on the job, architects may also oversee the construction of a building to ensure that it accurately meets the initial design. This can include ensuring that the building is being built with the correct materials, and evaluating many different construction bids to determine which contractors will best put the plan into action.


What sort of training and education will prepare me to become an architect?

There are several steps that one must take in order to become an architect. To start, a potential architect will need a degree in architecture. This will be a bachelor’s degree at a minimum, and will require courses relating to architectural theory, building design, construction technology, and more.

Upon receiving a degree, students should look to complete some sort of internship to build experience. This internship and training should last at least 3 years. Not only is this internship giving you the training that you will need to excel in the job market, but the experience is also a requirement in becoming a licensed architect.

Finally, the last step will be to become a licensed architect. All 50 states require that an architect is licensed.. To obtain this license, you will need to pass the Architect Registration Examination. The Architect Registration Examination consists of seven divisions relating to architect. These divisions include Site Planning & Design, Structural Systems, Building Systems, and more. Upon completion, you will now be a licensed architect!

What does an Architectural Engineer do?

An architectural engineer is a vital part in the process of designing and creating a building. While an architect works to design a building based on a client’s needs, the architectural engineer works to ensure that a building’s operating systems will be compatible with the overall architectural design. An architectural engineer will accomplish this with their knowledge of building codes, cost efficiency, and a desire to solve the complex architectural challenges that are faced each and every day. While an architect will usually work for one client at a time, an architectural engineer is more capable of working for several clients at a time — often as an independent contractor.

architectural engineer

What sort of training and education will prepare me to become an architectural engineer?

To receive the proper education to become an architectural engineer, you must obtain a bachelors degree in architectural engineering. This can take anywhere from 4-5 years, and the degree that you receive must be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. The first two years of the degree should consist of general studies as well as classes in math, and science such as engineering physics and statics. You may also need to take classes relating to structural design, fluid mechanics, architectural design, and thermodynamics.

Upon receiving a degree in architectural engineering, the next step is to obtain a state license. This license will allow you to offer your services to the general public. Depending on the state, the process for obtaining a license may vary. Generally, you will need a bachelors degree and to pass the fundamentals of engineering examination. Beyond this, you may need to obtain work experience and pass a Principals and Practice of Engineering exam. The requirements can vary depending on the state, so it’s important to pay close attention to the requirements that you may face.

What does an Environmental Engineer do?

Environmental engineers work every day to protect the planet, in a real and practical way. Whether it’s designing environmentally friendly, energy-efficient structures that work in harmony with their environment, or helping communities to rebound from flooding by developing storm water mitigation measures, environmental engineers use their knowledge of science and math to create infrastructure projects or design systems that help protect our world for future generations. And as we continue to strive for less reliance on fossil fuels, their work will increasingly be in demand.

environmental engineer

Environmental engineers at work

According to the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE), “Environmental engineering provides limitless opportunities as to type of work, for whom you work, and where you work.”

The wide variety of work settings includes both the indoors and the outdoors; however, the AAEE indicates that, since the majority of pollution problems occurs in urban settings, much of the work environmental engineers do will take place there.

Possible job titles include researcher at a university, city or regional planner, manager of a pollution control or water treatment facility, official with a government regulatory body (such as the Environmental Protection Agency) or an engineer for a private engineering firm.

Although you could work for many types of employers, most of them will require a high level of formal training.

Preparing to become an environmental engineer

Most engineering jobs can be attained with a bachelor’s degree in engineering (usually civil, mechanical, chemical or environmental), four years of relevant work experience and a state exam, all leading to a Professional Engineer (PE) license. Following that, a certain amount of continuing education (determined by state) is required to maintain licensure.

The AAEE also indicates that a master’s degree in environmental engineering is increasingly preferred by employers in this specialty, and you may even be encouraged to earn a Ph.D., which could help you in pursuing this highly research-intensive career.

Environmental engineering is a hot career

CNN Money ranked environmental engineer as #5 on its list of the 100 Best Jobs in America. And the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says that while engineering jobs are growing at an average rate of 11 percent, environmental engineering jobs are growing at an extremely rapid 31 percent.

With the ever-present push to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, and an increasing focus on green building and energy efficiency, the need for environmental engineers should continue to grow for many years to come. One factor that may slow growth is government regulation, since environmental protection policies often take many years to be adopted.

Salaries in environmental engineering are relatively high. Perhaps the AAEE puts it best when it says, “A career in environmental engineering provides a comfortable salary, job security, and considerable personal satisfaction.”