Architectural Engineering Master’s Degree

Have you ever dreamed of creating innovative designs and structures that meet society’s needs and solve big problems?

With a master’s degree in the complex and rewarding field of architectural engineering, you can explore your creative side while relying on the technical skills you’ve been honing since college. You’ll learn important concepts like energy efficiency, construction materials, and building sustainability from experienced faculty and industry experts, all with the goal of making the world a better place.

Through theoretical studies coupled with hands-on projects, you’ll be able to create buildings and structures that are both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound.

Whether you prefer residential buildings or large-scale commercial skyscrapers, a master’s degree in architectural engineering gives you the tools to bring your ideas to reality.

What Is Architectural Engineering?

Architectural engineering is a specialized form of engineering that focuses on applying scientific principles to the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings and structures.

With a master’s in this field, graduates have the potential to pursue lucrative careers in structural design, building systems design, environmental systems design and materials science. This degree uniquely combines the fields of architecture, engineering and construction management, giving students an opportunity to gain expertise in many aspects of the built environment.

Anyone studying architectural engineering can look forward to gaining knowledge in topics such as project management, building information modeling (BIM), environmental control systems, fire protection systems and seismic analysis. They can also develop skills related to the use of modern technologies, including robotics, augmented reality and virtual reality.

Let’s dive into architectural engineering degree programs in greater detail, discussing what obtaining a master’s may look like, future salary potential, coursework, and more.

Online Master’s in Architectural Engineering Degree Programs

Are you interested in a career that combines technical, creative, and managerial skills? An online master’s degree in architectural engineering could be a perfect choice.

Professionals with an architectural engineering degree help design buildings, bridges, monuments, and more; they use their expert knowledge of construction materials, spatial planning, and energy efficiency to ensure designs meet the requirements of their clients and comply with applicable building codes and regulations.

This guide will take a detailed look at online engineering master’s degrees, specifically architectural engineering: what topics to expect, available concentrations, how to apply, and more.

We’ll also focus on inspiring readers who may feel intimidated by the breadth of technical skills required for this profession – no matter your background, we’re confident that pursuing this degree will open up a world of possibilities. Read on to learn what it’s all about!

Master’s in Architectural Engineering Online Program Overview

Pursuing a master’s in architectural engineering is an ideal option for those who want to specialize in the design, planning, and construction of building structures. Typical coursework covers topics such as project management, cost analysis, sustainability, engineering fundamentals, structural mechanics, and architectural principles. Students learn to apply technical skills when dealing with complex projects, which hones their critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication abilities.

Pursuing an online degree program has several benefits over traditional on-campus programs. Flexible program schedules allow students to take classes that fit their lifestyle, while also having access to faculty resources, such as peers and instructors from around the world. Moreover, online study can be more affordable, with reduced tuition rates for some courses compared to physical campuses. The technology used for online instruction opens up opportunities for online learning platforms that facilitate interactive teaching sessions—further enhancing the student experience.

Concentrations & Specialties for Architectural Engineers:

  • Structural Engineering Concentration: Focuses on structural design and analysis. Course topics include structural engineering principles, materials science and mechanics, construction methods, and finite element analysis.
  • Building Technology Concentration: Focuses on emerging technologies that are integral to the design and construction of a building. Course topics include building systems, energy conservation and sustainability, environmental control systems, and project management.
  • Construction Engineering Concentration: Provides knowledge in the management of construction projects. Course topics include contract documents, estimating methods, construction law, cost scheduling, and quality control.
  • Design and Planning Concentration: Prepares students to develop innovative solutions for urban and community design projects. Course topics include community planning, development economics, preservation of cultural resources, and urban land use.
  • Geotechnical Engineering Concentration: Covers issues related to the analysis and design of foundations and soil-structure interactions. Course topics include soil mechanics, geotechnical engineering, and slope stability.

Why Earn an Online Master’s Degree in Architectural Engineering?

The architectural engineering field has been in high demand for years, and now it’s easier than ever for aspiring engineers to pursue a master’s degree in this specialized field of study. With an online master’s in architectural engineering, you can push yourself to the forefront of the industry, and gain the skills and knowledge to become a leader in the field.

An online master’s degree in architectural engineering gives you the ability to develop a mastery of various structural systems, including steel, timber, and reinforced concrete, and gain a strong understanding of building science, design analysis, and project management. You’ll learn CAD programs to create construction drawings, as well as how to work with a variety of project stakeholders.

This degree can also help you become a project leader in the construction sector, as you’ll be able to take on vital roles like project management and design analysis. Your expertise can also help you become a consultant for companies looking to build green buildings that conserve resources or fit tight specifications. In addition, an advanced degree has the potential to lead you to powerful teaching and research positions within academia.

With an online master’s degree in architectural engineering, the possibilities are endless. Pursuing this field of study can give you invaluable insight into modern technologies, cultures, and societies, allowing you to make a visible impact on the world around you.

Some of the benefits of earning an online master’s in architectural engineering:

  • An online master’s in architectural engineering allows you to obtain a specialized and advanced education in the field of architecture.
  • By earning an online master’s, you can learn from professors at top universities around the world and further your career.
  • Have the choice to specialize in various facets of architecture, such as electrical engineering, building systems design, and architecture theory.
  • Get access to the latest technologies, theories, and techniques used in the field of architectural engineering.
  • Easily continue your career while learning, as most master’s programs are flexible and tailored to meet the needs of working professionals.
  • Network with other professionals in the field and develop connections for career advancement.
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of how different elements of architecture interact and become familiar with international standards and guidelines.

Master’s in Architectural Engineering Curriculum and Common Courses

Pursuing a master’s degree in architectural engineering involves more than just attending lectures and completing exams.

As an Architectural Engineer, you’ll be expected to understand the basics of structural design, engineering principles, sustainability, computer-aided drafting, and the communication and management of complex projects.

In the following sections, we’ll explore the curriculum and common courses of a typical master’s degree in architectural engineering and explain what each course is intended to cover.

Architectural Engineering Curriculum

  • Structural Analysis and Design: Master the fundamentals of design and analysis for complete structural systems.
  • Building Materials and Construction: Gain knowledge of different building materials, construction methods, and types of building structures.
  • Architectural Design: Explore the artistic and practical aspects of digital drawings and 3D models to create serviceable, appealing, and enduring designs.
  • Civil Engineering: Study engineering principles in the context of infrastructure design, land use planning, and topographical considerations.
  • Environmental Engineering: Gain a comprehensive understanding of energy efficiency, green building techniques, water resource management, environmental impact assessment, and risk management.
  • Urban Planning: Study urban geography and urban design, transportation planning, and urban growth strategy implementation.
  • Quantitative Methods: Gain a comprehensive understanding of building data analysis and optimization techniques utilizing numerical tools from linear programming to 3D computer simulations.
  • Project Management: Learn project planning, funding, scheduling, and management techniques to optimize project performance.
  • Law and Regulations: Explore various laws, regulations, and standards as they relate to architectural engineering.
  • Economics and Financial Planning: Understand the economic principles of decision-making to plan the expenditure associated with large building projects realistically.

Architectural Engineering Common Courses

  • Building Materials and Structures: Explores the different types of materials and their properties, focusing on their application in buildings, including steel, concrete, and stone. It also covers structural analysis, principles of loading and general construction principles.
  • Construction Management: Focuses on managing a construction project from start to finish, with emphasis on scheduling, budgeting, cost control and quality assurance.
  • Electrical Systems and Lighting: Details the concepts of building electrical systems, lighting systems, communications, fire alarm and safety systems. Topics include fundamentals of wiring, lighting and communication equipment, products, standards, and codes.
  • Building Services: Covers plumbing systems, refrigeration systems, air conditioning and ventilation, which are essential components of building services including systems design and installation.
  • Project Management: Deals with the management of architectural design and construction projects, focusing on the role of the project manager in coordinating the different stakeholders involved in a project.
  • Computer Applications in Architecture: Covers the use of computer software skills such as CAD, 3D modeling, rendering, multimedia and video in the architectural design process. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the principles behind computer-aided design.

Accreditation for Master’s in Architectural Engineering Degree Programs

An accredited master’s in architectural engineering degree program is a critical step toward a successful career in the field. It demonstrates an end-to-end understanding of architectural engineering concepts and provides students with the necessary skills and qualifications to practice professionally.

Accredited degrees ensure that a program’s curriculum meets specific standards set forth by professional bodies and organizations, and directly carries over to skills the industry is seeking in graduates.

This section will provide an overview of key accreditations for a master’s in architectural engineering degree program and the importance of such accreditations.

ABET Accreditation

ABET Accreditation is an important factor to consider when selecting an engineering degree program. This accreditation is awarded by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and indicates that a program meets rigorous standards set by industry professionals and employers. An ABET-Accredited engineering degree provides assurance that courses and curricula are up-to-date and focused on developing the skills necessary for success in the field. Students can be confident that the engineering education they receive will be of high quality.

For those interested in pursuing an architectural engineering degree, ABET accreditation is especially critical. The accreditation ensures that the programs offered are designed to cover the knowledge and skill requirements for careers in this specific field. Students can be certain that their degree will include in-depth interdisciplinary coursework that focuses on design, analysis, and problem-solving.

What Can I Do with a Master’s Degree in Architectural Engineering?

Having a master’s degree in architectural engineering opens doors to many exciting and impactful career opportunities.

Graduates will possess a set of diverse skills that enable them to become experts in the design, development, and construction of buildings and other infrastructure. Individuals who pursue this field of study develop an advanced level of understanding of topics such as structural design, sustainability, building materials, and much more.

With a master’s in architectural engineering, you can pursue career roles such as Design Engineer, Structural Analyst, Building Inspector, Project Manager, Sustainability Consultant, Building Scientist, and more. No matter which route you choose after graduation, you’ll be positioned to make positive contributions to the world as a whole.

Here are several standard career options graduates with a master’s in architectural engineering can pursue:

Architectural Engineer

Architectural Engineers are responsible for the design and construction of high-performance buildings. They work with architects, designers, and other engineers to develop comprehensive building plans and ensure that all necessary features comply with relevant regulations and codes.

Median salary: $80,180 (BLS)

Structural (Civil) Engineer

Structural Engineers specialize in designing and analyzing the structural systems and components of a building, such as foundations, walls, floors, and roofs. They use engineering principles and creative thinking to ensure that safety and load-bearing requirements are met.

Median salary: $88,050(BLS)

Building Services Engineer (Civil)

Building Services Engineers manage the planning and design of mechanical, electrical, and other systems in a building, such as heating and cooling, lighting, security, and accessibility systems. They perform calculations such as thermal loads, airflow, and energy efficiency.

Median salary: $88,050 (BLS)

Construction Manager

A Construction Manager oversees the construction process for projects of all sizes. They manage the budget, timeline, and scope of a project, as well as the resources allocated toward it.

Median Salary: $98,890 (BLS)

Civil Engineer

Civil Engineers are responsible for large projects such as roads and bridges. They also develop solutions for issues such as waste management, water supply, air pollution, flooding, and landslides.

Median salary: $88,050 (BLS)

How Much do Architectural Engineering Graduates Make?

Architectural engineering is a field of study that combines engineering principles and architectural design. Graduates of this program can expect to be prepared for a career in the building/construction industry, focusing on the design and construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures.

In turn, they can expect to enjoy rewarding salaries and opportunities for growth post-graduation as they progress in their careers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for architectural engineers was $80,180 in 2021, with those at the highest 10% earning over $129,980 per year. Job prospects are expected to remain strong over the next decade. With the knowledge and skill set graduates develop through an architectural engineering degree program, they’ll have the ability to pursue a variety of well-paying positions within the field.

Starting Salary for Architectural Engineering

The starting salary for an Architectural Engineer is typically between $60,000 and $90,000 annually. This range can vary depending on experience, location, and industry. Entry-level positions may start lower, but most engineers can expect to receive a pay increase as their skills and experience grow. Architectural Engineers should also consider the potential to earn bonuses or other perks from their employers. These additional compensation benefits can often add significantly to a professional’s total salary package.

Average Salary for a Master’s in Architectural Engineering

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, individuals who obtain a master’s degree in architectural engineering are, on average, earning salaries that range from $77,000 up to $103,000 per year. The median salary for this field is approximately $80,180 per year. Graduates with a master’s degree in architectural engineering can expect to have access to job opportunities in various fields such as construction, design, and project management. Additionally, those with a master’s in architectural engineering may also be able to find jobs in the public sector working for government agencies or local municipalities.

What’s the Most an Architectural Engineering Graduate Makes?

For architectural engineering graduates, the peak of their career could bring a salary of up to $129,980+ per year. This is based on many years of experience in the field, as well as recognition for the design and construction accomplishments that have come with it.

For a professional in this field to reach this peak salary rate, they must stay current with developments in the industry and market trends, and must be well-versed in the leading software and technologies related to architecture and engineering design. Having highly specialized knowledge in a certain area can contribute to further advancement and job opportunities.

Professional memberships in related organizations can be helpful in networking and obtaining information about job openings and trend updates, which can be beneficial when negotiating salaries. As an architect or engineer, you must constantly push yourself to apply innovative solutions to the challenges that arise in today’s global market.

Reaching a peak salary in this profession requires commitment and dedication – but the rewards are well worth it.

Tips for Increasing Salary Potential

As an Architectural Engineer, you have the potential to increase your salary by making the right decisions and taking strategic action.

In this section, we will explore specific tips and strategies that you can use to maximize your earning potential in the field.

  • Increase your knowledge of technology: You should stay ahead of the curve when it comes to staying updated on technology related to architectural engineering. The more you know, the more likely you are to be able to take advantage of emerging opportunities.
  • Strengthen your geographical knowledge: As an architectural engineer, you need to know the areas you operate and build in like the back of your hand. Knowing the physical and political geography of the areas in which you work can greatly help you in your career, as this knowledge can help you understand the different challenges you may encounter.
  • Develop your writing skills: Architectural engineering requires a great deal of written communication, so you should practice and refine your writing skills so that they stand out and are articulate.
  • Become an expert in practical design: You should strive to become a master of practical design, specializing in specific areas such as urban planning, environmental engineering, or construction management.
  • Pursue additional certifications and qualifications: Extending your qualifications and getting certified in adjacent areas of architectural engineering would not only make you a more attractive candidate for jobs, but would also demonstrate your commitment to making yourself a valuable asset for employers.

Continuing Education After a Master’s in Architectural Engineering

Continuing your educational journey after obtaining a master’s degree in architectural engineering is an important part of keeping up with the ever-changing field of engineering and architecture.

From advanced certificates to full doctorate programs, there are various continuing education opportunities that can help you stay ahead of the curve and propel your career forward.

In this section, we’ll discuss the possibilities – and potential benefits – of these educational paths in more detail.

Advanced Certificates

For those with a master’s in architectural engineering, advanced certificates can be helpful for further professional development. These types of certificates can provide specialized training that often requires fewer courses than are needed for master’s programs. Additionally, these certificates can sometimes be completed within months and at less cost than a full degree program.

Advanced certificates can open up opportunities to become adept at more specialized areas within architectural engineering, such as computational design, advanced facades, low-energy building technologies, and others. They can also help architects achieve promotion by allowing them to develop unique specialist skills and demonstrate their knowledge to employers. With the skills gained through an advanced certificate, architectural engineers may be able to undertake larger-scale projects or develop design tools such as simulations or virtual models.

Obtaining an advanced certificate in architectural engineering is a great idea for experienced architects who have already obtained a master’s degree and are looking to enhance their career prospects. With specialized training and the right certification, it’s possible for engineers to stay competitive in their field and gain recognition from employers.

Doctorate in Architectural Engineering

With a doctorate (Ph.D.) in architectural engineering, you can develop specialized knowledge and skills that will help you stand out from the competition.

A doctorate degree is designed to give students an advanced understanding of their chosen field so that they can lead the way in research and innovation. For those with a master’s in architectural engineering, pursuing a doctorate provides the opportunity to explore new theories and ideas, develop technical expertise and collaborate with experts in the field.

If you’re passionate about making a difference and want to help shape the built environment of the future, a doctorate may be the perfect choice for you.

Scholarship and Financial Aid Information

Pursuing a master’s in architectural engineering can be a costly endeavor, but don’t let the price tag discourage you.

Scholarships and financial aid options exist to help students manage college costs. In this section, we’ll discuss the various sources of scholarship and financial aid options available to those seeking a master’s degree in architectural engineering. We’ll then cover financial aid and scholarships for those enrolled in engineering programs in more detail.

Financial Aid

Pursuing a master’s in architectural engineering can be a significant investment, but there are a wide variety of financial aid options available to help fund tuition costs.

Federal grants are the most common source of financial aid for those pursuing a postgraduate degree. Students can apply for federal grants through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Additionally, some institutions may offer their own institutional grants and scholarships specifically designed for students earning a master’s in architectural engineering. Another option is to take out a private loan, which can be sourced from banks or credit unions and often have more flexible terms than government loans.

Other forms of financial aid may include tuition waivers, work-study programs, grants from professional associations or organizations, and fellowships. Furthermore, employers may offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees who plan to pursue advanced degrees, like a master’s in architectural engineering. It’s important to thoroughly research all the available options to determine which ones best fit individual needs.


For anyone pursuing a master’s in architectural engineering, scholarships can provide invaluable financial assistance to get them into a future career.

Scholarships come in a few varieties, such as merit-based awards, which are awarded based on academic excellence, or need-based awards that consider a person’s financial situation. Scholarships may also be offered by outside organizations, universities, and employers, many of which have specific criteria and deadlines; however, completing an application is often quick and straightforward.

The amount of money earned via a scholarship can vary greatly – some only cover small costs like books and supplies, while others can be larger and cover more significant expenses such as tuition. Despite the size of the award, recipients of scholarships benefit hugely from the additional financial relief. These funds can free up resources for other necessary expenditures, allowing one to focus exclusively on their studies and provide ample opportunity for professional development.

Anyone hoping to pursue a master’s in architectural engineering should strongly consider researching scholarship opportunities via external sources such as government institutions or even private companies, as well as through universities themselves. Doing so could lead to potentially significant savings and, ultimately, make attaining success within their profession easier.


Although traditional study is important, gaining hands-on experience through internships can be just as beneficial.

Internships can provide unique experiences that go beyond reading textbooks and attending lectures.

In this section, we’ll discuss the potential benefits of pursuing an internship to gain the most from your studies in architectural engineering. We’ll also address some details to keep in mind when considering taking on an internship.

Some Benefits of Pursuing Internship Opportunities Include:

  • Gain Valuable Experience – Internships offer architects/engineers an opportunity to gain valuable experience while still in school. This helps them develop a more in-depth understanding of the trade and how to think creatively when tackling design problems.
  • Enhance Your Resume – Employers often look for applicants who have had hands-on experience, even if it is just through an internship. This makes you stand out from other applicants, making it easier to get a job after graduating.
  • Networking Opportunities – Internships provide a chance to meet and work with other professionals in the industry. This helps architects understand the different aspects of the job and build valuable connections that can become invaluable later on in their careers.
  • Explore Different Possibilities – Internships give architects a chance to explore different types of architecture and figure out what they like and dislike. This can help determine whether they want to specialize in a certain type of architecture or just become an all-around specialist.
  • Expand Your Knowledge – You can expand your knowledge by taking on an internship in a completely unfamiliar area of architectural engineering. This will help you learn new skills and gain valuable insight into different methodologies, strategies, and designs.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How Much Does a Master’s in Architectural Engineering Cost?

A master’s degree in architectural engineering typically costs between $30,000 and $55,000 in total, but in-state public college tuition can be as low as $9,120 annually, depending on the institution and the length of the program.

Is a Master’s in Architectural Engineering Degree Worth It?

Earning a master’s degree in architectural engineering is a great way to differentiate yourself in the job market and significantly increase your earning potential. Employers are likely to pay more for a higher degree, and many employers prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree over those with just a bachelor’s degree.

How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online Master’s Degree in Architectural Engineering?

The typical online master’s degree in architectural engineering program usually takes around two years to complete, although there are some accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months.

Is a Master’s Degree Required to Advance in Architectural Engineering?

Most entry-level positions in architectural engineering require applicants to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, however earning a master’s degree will significantly increase your chances of advancing into higher roles or earning promotions. Some employers may require applicants to hold a master’s degree to apply for certain positions.

Are Architectural Engineering Jobs in Demand?

Yes, architectural engineering jobs are in demand. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2019–20 estimates that architects, including architectural engineers, are projected to increase by 3 percent through 2028.

What Industries Are Hiring Architectural Engineering Graduates That Have a Master’s Degree?

With a master’s degree in architectural engineering, you may be able to find job opportunities in a wide range of industries. These can include construction, civil engineering, technology, healthcare, military, and urban planning and design. Most architectural engineers will work for design firms, engineering consultancies, or construction management businesses.

Is an Online Master’s in Architectural Engineering the Same as an On-Campus Degree?

Generally speaking, an online master’s degree in architectural engineering offers the same academic content and qualifications compared to an on-campus program. The same core courses in mathematics, material science, and structural and architectural design will be covered in an online program.


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