Front Range Community College Blog

What Can I Do with an Architectural Engineering Degree?

The construction industry changes frequently and rapidly, so an Associate of Applied Science degree in Architectural Engineering and Building Science from Front Range Community College builds skills that can be applied universally throughout the industry.

It’s all about creativity. You won’t be put in a cubbyhole, ready for just one thing.

A wide variety of fields

This degree prepares you to be an architectural drafter. Architectural drafters work on construction sites. They work in offices. They develop graphics for residences, commercial buildings, or industrial structures like oil or gas rigs. So having training in architectural drafting, elementary design, and building science opens opportunities in a variety of areas.

The new trend in all construction fields is that the process from idea to turnkey is integrated. Firms are now design-build construction companies.

It’s a green industry today

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment identifies architectural drafters as a green occupation, so the FRCC program emphasizes green/sustainable architectural practices.

What skills will I learn?

In addition to learning green/sustainable architectural practices, you will learn essential technical concepts used in architectural CAD and building information modeling (BIM). This includes the structural skills needed to understand loads and support and CAD skills to develop graphics and construction documents. You will practice and improve communication skills because you will work on a team with architects and field engineers.

Is an Architectural Engineering degree right for me?

Successful students are detail-oriented and methodical. To them, sequence matters. They are visual and creative problem solvers. Some students come right from high school. Others may have been in the construction industry for years and come back to update skills.

An integrated approach

Because Architectural Engineering and Construction Science is used across a wide spectrum of industries, Front Range students have an opportunity to be introduced to Computer-Aided Drafting and Design (CAD) and Interior Design (Larimer Campus).

Job outlook

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment forecasts 49 annual openings for architectural and civil drafters over the next eight years, 40 annual openings for electrical and electronics drafters, and 26 annual openings for mechanical drafters. Those are the official numbers. Our faculty and instructors will tell you they have more companies calling with job openings than they can fill.

Salary outlook

  Entry Average Experienced
Architectural and Civil Drafters $37,465/year $55,075/year $63,880/year
Electrical Drafters $44,156/year $65,807/year $76,633/year
Mechanical Drafters $35,322/year $55,462/year $65,533/year

(Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, 2014)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie Hahn is program director for Architectural Engineering and Construction Technology at the Larimer Campus. To prepare students for the dynamic construction industry, he draws on 25 years of industry experience and his current position as general partner of Hahn Construction.