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So I am 22 and have wanted to post this here for a while but expect to get some backlash for it. I graduated recently with an Architectural Engineering Technology degree. I chose this program rather than a straight architecture program because I wanted to learn about all aspects of design build and construction, not just design. The focus of my program was Architecture but took many structural classes construction documents, and MEP along the way. I want to be a part of the building industry in some way I am positive. I like all aspects of it, designing, documenting, drafting/rendering, structural analysis, and so on. So now I want a job using what I have learned but I know being an Architect is usually hard to make a living doing and a slow ladder to climb. I want to start working in a job that will eventually land me in the 100,000 dollar plus salary column at some point in the future. I want to work now and maybe go back to school at some point if necessary but not yet. Its not that I am lacking a passion, but more that I haven't narrowed it down enough to say, alright THIS is what I need to go to back school for (I would prefer not to have to pay for more school at all). So I was hoping I could get some sort of very entry level position that would expose me to a lot of different things. Anyway I'm looking for some advice on what I should go look for and If you have any thoughts, what should I aim for with a good chance of making a salary of my desire before I'm 40-50.. I have been interviewing mostly for architecture/drafting positions in the Boston area (CBT, ADD inc, C^3 for a general) for months now with no luck / lack of work needed by them.
I know it sounds kind of cynical, but my goal is to work hard in the building industry and be able to support a family in the way I envision.
i would think about getting an actual construction job. maybe a framer. i think framer would be good because mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and other trades end up going through and around their work, so that might be a good avenue to get broad exposure to the other trades as well.
that will also get you on construction sites where you can meet a site superintendent, and see how one climbs into their position. from site superintendent, work towards general contractor. i believe a general contractor is typically going to make more money on average than an architect.
to get from 80 on average to 100, i think at the very least you'll need to be running your own company. that means, as a framer, you're going to need about a 30 year plan. you're going to have to consistently live below your means and save money. also, keep your credit rating high. that will be hard as a farmer. you'll also have to do you're best to meet the people that will become your contacts for new jobs in the future.
A bachelors of science architectural engineering technology degree? What? They couldn't toss a little art and philosophy into the mix too?
And if you're looking for an income of 100K then your best bet is to start your own business.
Correct me if I am wrong, but AE degrees are actually Engineering degrees not Arch degrees, and would require you to do an additional three year master program if you ever wanted to be a licensed architect. Architecture probably isn't the best route for that amount of money either.
Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering Technology is somewhere between an architecture degree and a construction management degree, with more emphasis on the latter and less on design. When the degrees have this title, they are never NAAB accredited. You can still license in some jurisdictions. Heck, I think it's a very functional degree, so I think these 4 year degrees should be allowed to license. As for architecture, it's up to you. This degree could work in an architectural firm, a design-build firm, or a construction company. The questions to ask yourself are 1) "what do I see myself doing for 8+ hours a day?" (drafting, project documentation, design, consultant coordination, code checks, etc. from an architect's p.o.v. or having the hard hat and doing similar but different things from a builder's p.o.v), and 2) do you want to be a licensed architect? I am not sure about the trades, in the physical sense. You can go work for a construction company and then, if you don't like it, switch over to architecture, either directly (in a jurisdiction not requiring the NAAB accredited degree, as I believe MA is) or by going to get a M.Arch. However, some people like the money that the construction sector pays them and then don't switch to architecture. Note that, if you choose the M.Arch., they need to be chipping off 3 or 4 courses for you since you have that academic background. No backfilling with electives to make for the same number of credit hours. Screw that. Hope that helps. No backlash here. I wish I had gone for an undergrad in CM.
construction management would probably be your best bet to get towards those numbers. it sounds like you're more into construction than you are into design, so i'd say go for it. probably easier to get a job at a large construction company anyway.
not sure about what structural engineers make, but that would probably require a lot more education on your end.
it is a B.S. in Architectural Engineering Technology for those of you who misunderstood. It was from a NAAB accredited University with a 2 year masters program for the Architects.
Explanation of degree:
The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program with a major in Architectural Engineering Technology prepares students for professional careers in architecture, the design build industry, and related fields. The program stresses the application of scientific and engineering skills and knowledge combined with practical technical skills to support architecture and architectural engineering. Graduates will be employed as members of the engineering team where they assist with planning and designing of structures and buildings, testing of materials, construction and inspection of structures, model building, design estimating, and development of contracts and specifications. Students who concentrate electives in design may qualify for admission to graduate study leading to registration as a professional architect. The minor in architectural engineering technology is available to those in other majors with an interest in architectural design.
In response to Observant, I feel "drafting, project documentation, design, consultant coordination, code checks, etc. from an architect's p.o.v" is what I would like to do. I'd rather not be on the hardhat side. I was surprised how many Architects were impressed with my design work and general knowledge of the field. I thought they would have laughed at me for having a technology degree. My Revit work/renderings probably really impressed some of the older folks. I am sprucing up my portfolio for a meeting at SMMA in Boston. I've been eager to meet with them because they also do a lot of Engineering work so there must be a place for me there. The thing is I'd probably be meeting the VP and Director of Architecture. So I don't know how to say, If you don't see me fitting in this role, can I fit into another role? without seeming "un-passionate" about what I want to do... Which I think is a HUGE interviewing point to make..
Work for a larger scale GC in a city and work your way up to a project manager/ project executive. Trust me you will make 100k soon enough. You will work your ass off along the way but you will learn a lot and probably like it. I am currently on that track myself and like it a lot.
So is this degree different than a regular Architectural Engineering degree?
Only a few of such kind of horrible incidents of fire accidents and explosions have been taken into the hands of experienced forensic engineers for critical analysis and problem identification.
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