Civil engineers and architects share some of the same tasks, such as planning, designing, and building of structures. Some consider architectural engineering as a specialized sub-field within civil engineering.
Civil engineers’ main work is to design and construct large-scale projects typically, including airports, public infrastructure, and water supply systems. On the other hand, architectural engineers who graduate from the School of Planning and Architecture specializes in optimizing the structure and systems within the specific building, often working with HVAC, lighting, and acoustics.
Civil engineers have various responsibilities that include planning, designing, building or constructing, and supervising multi-structure projects. They should take on a leadership role to efficiently direct numerous construction teams, architects, and other engineers, along with the architectural engineers. Much of their work is done in the office, but they also spend time on construction sites to make sure that the work is being completed according to codes and specifications. They may work as city managers or city engineers, among several other options.
Job responsibilities of a civil engineer include:
- Test building materials
- Perform surveying operations
- Consider government regulations and possible hazards
- Conduct risk analysis
- Supervise maintenance of roads and structures
- Design sewage treatment systems
- Construct dams, tunnels, and bridges
Architectural engineers plan and design the structure and systems of a given building. They use computer software programs like Revit, eQuest, and others to help with building design. Beyond the physical structure of a building, including beams, girders, floors, and walls, architects may include HVAC, wiring, and lighting into their plans. Some professionals gain expertise in a particular area of architectural engineering, such as planning or acoustics or structural. Unlike architects, architectural engineers are technical experts who work on and give importance to the logistics of a building’s systems instead of the aesthetic appeal.
Job responsibilities of an architectural engineer include:
- Draft drawings and plans
- Organize structure specifications
- Estimate costs
- Design acoustic systems
- Inspect and testing building support systems
- Consider fire protection requirements
- Plan plumbing and electrical systems
Civil Engineering Encircles Several Areas of Expertise
Unlike architectural engineering, which focuses mainly on building construction, professionals working in this field should be able to work on several different projects including roads, bridges, water systems, dams including buildings. It encompasses several sub-disciplines such as environmental engineering, structural engineering, materials science and engineering, and more.
Architectural Engineers Focus on One Building During a Project
While both civil and architectural engineers have to complete similar college programs such as Bachelor of Architecture Course and to study similar subjects, the job requirements are very different. While civil engineers work on the whole project, architectural engineers are focused on designing and constructing one structure at a time. This means that the person is responsible for floors, beams, walls, wiring, lighting as well as HVAC.
Civil Engineer has to Supervise Architectural Engineer.
During a project, a civil engineer bears a management role. It means that this person is responsible for all the architects, mechanical engineers, architectural engineers, and other professionals who are part of the project team. A civil engineer is also responsible for planning, design, safety, legal, technology, materials, and more. A lot of experience and knowledge is required in the process. While architectural engineers do similar jobs, have related education and training, these professionals will be responsible for only one building. On the other hand, a civil engineer will have to supervise the building of various structures during a construction project and find any irregularities.