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How Do I Become a Building Engineer?

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  • Written By: M. Kayo
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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To become a building engineer or architectural engineer you need to take a few things into consideration first. As with most technical positions, the right education and training are important. A working knowledge of basic and industry specific drafting software programs like AutoCADĀ® will also likely be required for this job. Once you start working through your college coursework and declare a major in architectural engineering, you will need to decide on an area of specialization within the broader field of building engineering. Building engineers may also be required to obtain a professional engineer's (PE) license.

You will need to have skills in mathematics, critical thinking, science, building construction, and a basic understanding of engineering technology if you want to become a building engineer. Most engineering programs are challenging and may be hard to get into, so many will require that you maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or better. Basic coursework includes engineering mechanics, technical drawing, thermodynamics, surveying, and structural analysis. Degrees for those wanting to become a building engineer or architectural engineer include a Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Technology, and Bachelor of Applied Science. A typical degree plan for this job takes between three and four years to complete

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Building engineering is a general approach to planning, design, construction, renovation and operation of building structures and their overall impact on the surrounding areas and environment. It is typically divided into several sub-disciplines, including structural systems, environmental systems, mechanical systems, and electrical systems. All building or architectural engineers work closely with architects, engineers, and other professional people, so an ability to communicate clearly helps. Architectural or building engineers may require a license to practice architecture.

If you want to become a building engineer, you will need to know how to analyze survey reports, read technical drawings and blueprints, and interpret the geological and topographical information necessary to plan building projects. Management skills are needed to direct personnel in various construction, maintenance, or operations activities at a building site. The ability to estimate the overall cost and quantity of building materials and equipment may also be a necessary skill. One of the most important characteristics for those planning to become a building engineer is a well-developed sense of detail. This will assist you when conducting inspections to make sure design conformance standards are being met on a job site.

Many other job titles, like architectural engineer, plant or facilities engineer, construction project manager, and structural engineer are used interchangeably with the title of building engineer. Check out the specific details of any enrollment requirements, training certifications, and educational degrees offered by any engineering training school or college.

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