The design and construction of things like buildings, bridges and dams is a complex process that will require the skills of a range of different types of engineers.

When you’re talking strictly about building, one of these fields is architectural engineering.

While the job title may think that this job focuses mainly on the drawing of the construction project, there are actually many other tasks and responsibilities that fall into the hands of an architectural engineer.

Architectural Engineering Definition

Architectural engineering is focused on applying various engineering principles to the overall design and construction of buildings.

It’s all about finding the right balance between the aesthetics of the project and the actual construction requirements for things like heating, cooling, electrical and water systems.

In some respects the architecture engineer is like a systems engineer in that they’re required to ensure the smooth integration of a range of different systems designed and created by different engineerings like structural, mechanical and electrical engineers.

Sub-Fields Of Architecture Engineering

When you work in architecture engineering you’re responsible for making sure that the different engineers working on the project create their systems in such a way that they fit in with the design of the building, along with the work being done by other engineers.

So for example an electrical engineer might be working on the light and power, and this needs to be matched with the work done by a structural engineer on the actual structure of the building.

The different engineering areas that need to be merged include:

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Building Services Engineering

Architecture Engineering Job Description

The actual work done by an architectural engineer will vary from person to person depending on which specific areas they have specialized in.

Some may have more knowledge of structural engineering while other may come from more of an electrical engineering background.

Where they don’t have the required skill-set or experience, they’ll call in other engineers to help out.

Designing The Building’s Appearance

As the job title would suggest, the first role of the architectural engineer is connected to the actual design of the building in terms of what it looks like.

Sometimes an architectural engineer may also be the architect, while at other times they may hire and work with an architect to design the look of the building before taking over and applying the relevant engineering principles.

Structural Integrity

Throughout the design of the building, the initial focus is on making sure that the design is going to be structurally sound. They may work with a structural engineer on this or they may actually have enough knowledge of this field to take care of it themselves.

Heating, Cooling & Air Ventilation

Once the look of the building is in place, and structural integrity has been covered, the architectural engineer will start focusing on all the areas within the building the need to be taken care of.

The climate within the building is obviously of great importance. Electrical and building services engineering skills are used to make sure that the people inside the building are going to be warm or cool enough and that their is a constant supply of fresh air throughout the building.

Lighting And Power

You can’t have a building without power, so an electrical engineer will be used to design the power and lighting systems.

These are increasingly being done with efficiency and energy conservation in mind.

Other Systems

Along with the various systems mentioned above, there are a number of other areas that need to be taken care of by the architecture engineer and the people helping them out.

These include:

  • Fire Safety & Protection
  • Acoustics
  • Telecommunications
  • Plumbing

Architectural Engineering Salary & Career Info


Obviously the growth in  architectural engineering jobs is tied to levels of construction. The current economic climate is certainly restricting this a bit, but this shouldn’t always be the case.

As the population grows and redistributes itself this is going to increase the demand for new construction and therefore the number of architectural engineers that are required.

The average architectural engineering salary is fairly standard for the industry. The average is around the $75,000 and for anyone with the right skills and experience n salary in excess of $100,000 is realistic.

So if you like the idea of working in some sort of building engineering role, but you don’t really have any preferences about specializing in one field or another, than the work done in architectural engineering may actually be right up your alley.


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