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Architectural Engineering vs. Architecture (Courses/Salary)

albedo22albedo22 Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
edited December 2013 in Architecture Major
Hi, I've only been recently considering architecture for college. What's the difference between Architectural Engineering and Architecture majors in terms of courses and what's the medium starting salary, and what's the salary, say, after ten years of experience?
Post edited by albedo22 on

Replies to: Architectural Engineering vs. Architecture (Courses/Salary)

  • cheerscheers Registered User Posts: 5,163 Senior Member
    If you want to do engineering for architecture--do structural engineering and get paid a whole lot more. I have never met an architectural engineer in 30 years of practice.

    Starting salaries for enigneers are probably...40% higher than architects? They probably maintain that ratio throughout the first ten years.

    In either field, the major money is in developing and running your own business.

    Architecture school is a form of art school. Engineering school is a deep Math and Physics experience.
  • Mr PayneMr Payne Registered User Posts: 8,850 Senior Member
    ArchE. All the time consuming projects of architecture. All the math and physics of engineering. None of the sleep.
  • sashimi46sashimi46 Registered User Posts: 482 Member
    the two are very different. while there is design involved in engineering, it is more structural design more than anything else, whereas in architecture, you're dealing with many aspects within design. in arch school, you're constantly producing lots of ideas whereas in engineering, you're studying how things stand, and calculating forces,etc. in the real world, there is far less designing involved in engineering, but the pay is better, especially in the beginning years after college. Both fields have the potential for you to earn a lot of money, but engineering has more stability.
  • laldmlaldm Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    Architectural engineering is very nearly the same as Structural Engineering. The difference lies in a few classes that gives it a little bit more of a design emphasis. It is very deeply math & physics, as stated above. Architecture is a different thing entirely, and does not often include a lot of structural and physics stuff - just the basics to be able to converse with an engineer about it, focusing more on the artistic, social, theoretical aspects of design. Both are difficult, though architecture is more time-consuming.

    Architects don't make much money. Engineers start in the $40,000-50,000 range - architects often start around $30,000.
  • MarsdenMarsden Registered User Posts: 654 Member
    I've never heard of an 'architectural engineer' per se.

    We hire all sorts of engineers though, mostly structural, civil, mechanical.

    They all tend to make more money than architects FWIW.
  • laldmlaldm Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    Everyone makes more money than architects. If you're considering architecture, you can't care about money. But, $30k is enough to live most places.

    IIT has architectural engineering. The program is growing pretty quickly. There must be some demand for them...
  • MarsdenMarsden Registered User Posts: 654 Member
    Everyone makes more money than architects. If you're considering architecture, you can't care about money. But, $30k is enough to live most places.

    Well, two things. 30K is not enough to live on in NYC, and many if not most of the architects I know there have "outside" sources of funds to enable them to live there and work in the top firms.

    Remember Peter Eisenman's office went several weeks without pay on at least one occasion.
  • BG123456BG123456 Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    Anyone have any first hand info on the Architectural Engineering programs at CU Boulder, KU or OU? Jr daughter is interested.
  • larationalistlarationalist Registered User Posts: 916 Member
    There's a "Building Science" program at USC that sounds about like what you describe as "Architectural Engineering". It's a program that's really split between the two schools- the undergrad program is technically a part of engineering, but takes around 1/3 of their classes in architecture, and the grad program is part of the school of architecture.
  • laldmlaldm Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    When you get right down to, $100k isn't really enough to live on in NYC. Never quite understood why people put up with those prices. Needless to say, I'm staying in Chicago.

    There are a lot of stories of interns, at least in the fairly recent past in the US, and it still happens elsewhere, going without pay and living a marginal but, um, interesting, i guess, existence in superstar firms. I had never heard of other members of the firms going without pay, but I believe it.
  • sarebethsarebeth Registered User Posts: 101 Junior Member
    i used to be really interested in architectural engineering but i could only find like 3 decent school's that offered it and none of which i was particularly interested in..there may be more now but i don't think its a very popular major

    is structural engineering really almost the same? is it like architectural but less artsy? because taht would be perfectt
    oh and is structural offered at a lot of schools??
  • cheerscheers Registered User Posts: 5,163 Senior Member
    If you have any inclination for architectural engineering--get a structural engineering degree or a geo tech degree. In 30 years I have never met or worked with an architectural engineer--and what's more--I don't want to! If I am designing a tower, I want the best damn daring structural engineer in town--the higher the degree the better.

    I never had so much fun on $20K a year as I did when I did my apprenticeships in New York City. Those apprenticeship experiences still lead to multi-million dollar projects for my office because my international client base recognizes the names of those architects.
  • ken285ken285 Registered User Posts: 3,919 Senior Member
    I'm a civil engineering major, which is the broader field in which structural engineering lies and from what i've seen in classes, there is little to no emphasis on aesthetic design. My professor mentions it from time to time, but it's usually overlooked and isn't much of a factor.

    structural engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering, so it's offered at almost every university with an engineering dept.
  • Terry NovaTerry Nova Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Well, would anybody suggest doing the Duo Major program with ArchEngi and Arch? I'm facing the choice right now.
  • rosstheboyrosstheboy Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I'm from the UK and leeds University does a year out for AchEng in Penn state which I have heard is really good. Any one got any idea on starting salaries are? and mean salaries too?

    I'm coming to Hamilton college for a year before I come back home to study it anyway.
This discussion has been closed.