An architectural engineer works on the analysis, application and implementation of a building’s design. This may either be a new building or a renovation. He makes sure that the design made by the architect can be applied in actual construction, and that the structure is safe, using the right materials. While architects focus on the design and blueprint, the architectural engineer is concerned with the safety of the structure for its users and the surrounding environment.
If you want to become an architectural engineer, you will need to have a strong foundation in math and the sciences in preparation for a four to five year college course in engineering or architecture. In some universities and colleges, there is no specific course that specializes on architectural engineering. During college, it is advisable to take subjects that dwell on structural design. There are projects that may be done individually or in groups, which will help you apply theories hands on. Aside from excelling in the projects, it is also advisable for you to get involved in summer internships with construction firms and other companies to be able to get exposed to the actual work setting of an architectural engineer. Check out with your school if they have a tie up with companies, which offer on the job trainings for undergraduates. Before graduation, it is best to prepare your resume and business, which you can readily submit to prospective companies that you would want to work for. After graduation, you need to pass a licensing exam so you can practice as an architectural engineer.
You may also pursue further studies after college and finish a master’s degree in architectural engineering. This will help you get a better position in a construction firm, although field experience also counts. You may opt to take subjects part time while working full time. This way, you are able to gain actual work experience while studying. If you cannot allot time to pursue a master’s degree, you can attend conferences and seminars for architectural engineers to be updated with the current development in your field. It is also advisable for you to study the recent technologies such as computer aided design software. Short courses are available to learn these technologies in a span of a few weeks. Also associate with the best architectural engineers in your workplace, and learn from their insights and experiences.
A few years of experience in a construction or architectural firm may already give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to start up your own firm with the help of other partners in business. However, you do need to be prepared to shell out some amount of capital in starting your own architectural or construction firm. You may also provide consulting services to architectural and construction firms. There are some companies that outsource these services, which you can take advantage of.
Overall, becoming an architectural engineer will take years of study and hands on experience, and the best fulfillment is for you to see a construction project from start to finish.