Program Overview

architecture building engineering technology

In the Architectural Building Engineering Technology Associate Degree program, you will become a skilled technical architectural professional, learning how to create residential, commercial, and office buildings and how they are constructed.

You will learn how to create buildings that answer today’s economic, safety, technical, sustainability, and aesthetic requirements. The curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of architectural design, building technology, and environmental systems, including green technologies.

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Full Description

The Associate in Science degree in Architectural Building Engineering Technology is offered through the Department of Design + Architectural Building Technology.

The Architectural Building Engineering Technology degree program is based on the premise that buildings are designed and built using a team concept. As an integral member of that team, the architectural technician must have the ability to create and construct buildings that will answer the economic, safety, technical, sustainability, and aesthetic requirements of a project.

The associate degree program allows students to develop these necessary abilities by emphasizing the fundamentals of architectural design, structural engineering, environmental systems, sustainability, and construction technology. The program is also designed to instill within students at the associate level a sense of professionalism and a desire to serve and contribute to society.

In the associate degree program, Architectural Building Engineering Technology students will be introduced to drafting, graphic communications, three-dimensional theory, computer-aided drafting (CAD), construction documents, construction techniques, energy conservation, and building materials.

Students will acquire a developed set of skills to help them identify the appropriate design elements needed for building construction and convey important information to their building team, including other architects and engineers. They will also learn how to put together effective reports and presentations.

Students will develop problem-solving abilities to identify potential engineering problems and create effective solutions in a timely manner. They will learn to incorporate building systems into design plans, prepare drawings for construction, make visual guidelines, and more.

The associate degree program will also help them prepare for a variety of workplace responsibilities. Architectural engineering technologists will be expected to convert architectural designs into technical documents, writing detailed reports, and drafting specifications.

They must also know how to navigate two and three-dimensional CAD software to create topographical maps and construction schematics. They may be expected to evaluate building sites using specialized equipment and analyze construction materials.

Additional responsibilities may include estimating construction costs, selecting materials, performing analysis on electrical and mechanical systems, and making sure plans and construction activities comply with local building codes and regulations.

Upon successful completion of the 18 month degree program, architectural engineering technology students can get started with either the NEIT Bachelor of Science in Architectural Building Engineering Technology or the Bachelor of Science in Construction Management degree programs, the highest level of education offered at NEIT. These programs will further develop students as problem solvers and professionals in the field.

Potential Career Opportunities

The associate degree program will prepare students for careers as drafters, designers, engineering technicians, and more.

Graduates of the associate degree program can also pursue opportunities like the following:

CAD Drafter

Structural Designer

Manufacturing Architectural Products Manager

Construction Supervisor

Project Coordinator


  • How much does an architectural technician with an associate degree make?

    Current statistics on potential salaries and job outlook are listed on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website.

  • Can you be an architect with an associate degree?

    Architects are typically required to complete either a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. Degrees in architectural engineering technology allow graduates to get started with entry-level work experience in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, or civil engineering firms. Other career opportunities include assistant to an architect, estimator, or specification writer.

  • What is architectural building engineering technology?

    Architectural building engineering technology refers to the practical aspects of a building’s design and construction. Architectural building engineering technology professionals apply technical skills and engineering principles to assist architects, engineers, and planners in designing and developing buildings and cities.

  • Can an architectural technologist design buildings?

    Individuals with an architectural engineering education will be able to embark on a promising career path. Architectural engineering professionals can assist architects, planners, and civil engineering technicians on construction projects by taking the lead on the technical and functional elements of a building, including building code, drafting and CAD, conceptual engineering drawing, and 3D models. Architects, meanwhile, focus more on the art and the science of the building, specifically when it comes to flow, function, style, building code, construction materials, bylaws, and overall design.

  • What can you do with an architectural technology degree?

    A degree in architectural engineering technology will help prepare individuals for careers across the architecture industry. Popular job titles include civil engineering technician, construction coordinator, and cost estimator. These individuals may also pursue opportunities in specialty areas including fire and safety systems, electrical systems, or foundations. Other professional possibilities include drafters, designers, and more.

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Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The Architectural Engineering Technology education programs, both associate and bachelor, prepare the student to be proficient in the art, engineering, and technology of designing the built environment relative to the users’ social, psychological, and aesthetic needs.

Program Goals

  1. To educate students in the fundamentals of building design and sciences through a seamless and comprehensive study combining the theoretical and practical concepts of design, building systems, components, engineering, and construction.
  2. To develop our students’ observational skills and critical thinking abilities.
  3. To instill within each student an awareness of their responsibility to the profession and society through their ethical and professional behavior.

Program Outcomes

  1. Function as a support member in a design and production team environment.
  2. Evaluate and analyze fundamental design problems relative to the built environment and participate with the design team in the development of appropriate solutions.
  3. Evaluate and analyze fundamental engineering principles and problems relative to construction and develop appropriate solutions.
  4. Demonstrate a historical appreciation relative to the building industry.
  5. Demonstrate effective communication skills.
  6. Generate construction documents using both electronic and non-electronic media.
  7. Demonstrate a commitment to producing accurate and quality work.
  8. Apply fundamental technology used in the building industry.
  9. Develop an appreciation for sustainable design principles.

Courses Offered

Courses offered for the Associate Degree program include an introduction to building science, technical drafting, and graphic communications. Computer-aided drafting (CAD), two and three-dimensional design theory will also be discussed.
Additional topics include construction methods and materials, presentation techniques, surveying and civil technology, building information modeling (BIM I), building design and technology, construction estimating.
Students will also be introduced to technical math, physics, workplace communications, architectural history, college writing, visualization studies, programming, structures, and more.

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When do my classes meet?
    Day Classes:  Technical classes normally meet for at least three hours a day for up to five days a week. Classes normally begin in the early morning (7:45 a.m.), late morning (usually 11:25 p.m.), or mid-afternoon. A technical time slot may vary from term to term.
    Evening Classes:  Technical classes meet on the average of three nights a week, although there may be times when they will meet four nights a week. Classes normally begin at 5:45 p.m.In addition, to achieve your associate degree, you will take a total of approximately eight liberal arts courses, which will be scheduled around your technical schedule over the course of your entire program. Each liberal arts course meets approximately four hours per week. Liberal arts courses are offered days, evenings, and Saturdays.
    At the beginning of each term you will receive a detailed schedule giving the exact time and location of all your classes. The College requires that all students be prepared to take classes and receive services at any of NEIT’s locations where the appropriate classes and services are offered.
    When a regularly scheduled class falls on a day which is an NEIT observed holiday (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day), an alternate class will be scheduled as a make up for that class. The make up class may fall on a Friday. It is the student’s responsibility to take note of when and where classes are offered.
  2. How large will my classes be?
    The average class size is approximately 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  3. How much time will I spend in lab?
    Almost half of your technical courses consist of laboratory work. In order for you to get the most out of your laboratory experiences, you will first receive a thorough explanation of the theory behind your lab work.
  4. Where do my classes meet?
    Students should be prepared to attend classes at any of NEIT’s campuses: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campus or at an off-campus clinical/fieldwork/internship location.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?
    A candidate for admission to an associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized general equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements.
  6. How long should it take me to complete my program?
    To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you should take the courses outlined in the prescribed curriculum. For a typical six-term curriculum, a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months.To complete all your degree requirements in the shortest time, you should take at least one liberal arts course each term. Students who need more time to complete their curriculum may postpone some of the liberal arts courses until after the completion of the technical requirements. Students are provided up to two additional terms of study to complete the liberal arts requirements without any additional tuition assessment fee. During these additional terms of study, students are required to pay all applicable fees.Students may also elect to complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a special five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Quarters. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees.Students wishing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.
  7. Is NEIT accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  8. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?

    The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Student Affairs Office of the institution that they are transferring to for further information.

  9. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?
    Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at an accredited institution will be considered upon receipt of an official transcript for any program, biology, science, and mathematics courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the past three years and for English or humanities courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the last ten years. An official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students will receive a tuition reduction for the approved technical courses based on the program rate and will be applied against the final technical term of the curriculum’s tuition amount. No tuition credit is provided for courses which are not a part of the technical curriculum.
  10. What is the “Feinstein Enriching America” Program?
    New England Institute of Technology is the proud recipient of a grant from the Feinstein Foundation. To satisfy the terms of the grant, the university has developed a one-credit community enrichment course which includes hands-on community enrichment projects. The course can be taken for a few hours per term, spread over several terms. Students who are already engaged in community enrichment on their own may be able to count that service towards course credit.

  11. How many credits do I need to be eligible for Financial Aid?
    In order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award, you need to maintain at least 12 credits per academic term.

  12. What does my program cost?
    The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with your cost for books and other course materials. Students who decide to take more terms than the enrollment agreement describes to complete the technical courses in their curriculum will be subject to additional fees and possible additional tuition costs. Students who elect to take the technical portion of the degree requirements at a rate faster than the rate prescribed in the curriculum and the enrollment agreement will be assessed additional tuition.Students who require prerequisite courses will incur additional tuition and fees above those outlined in their enrollment agreement.If a student elects to take a course(s) outside of the prescribed curriculum, additional tuition and fees will be assessed.Remember, students who withdraw and re-enter, one time only, pay the tuition rate that was in effect for them at the time of their last day of attendance for up to one year from their last day of attendance. Second re-entries and beyond pay the tuition rate in effect at the time they re-enter. The most economical way for you to complete your college degree is to begin your program now and continue your studies straight through for the six terms necessary to complete your degree requirements.
  13. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?
    The Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing a job search strategy. Upon completion of their program, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates’ employment or a specific starting salary.
  14. Where will job opportunities exist?
    Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the most exciting aspect of this program is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities.
  15. Is there any state or federal licensing required in my field?
    No license is required for any of the careers which you will be preparing to enter.
  16. What kind of jobs will I be qualified to look for?
    Career opportunities for graduates of the Architectural/Building Engineering Technology Associate Degree program include entry-level positions with:

    • architectural and engineering firms as drafters, CAD operators, or job captains
    • construction companies or construction management firms as estimators and schedulers
    • construction subcontractors as estimators
    • municipalities in their drafting/engineering departments
    • real estate companies in sales (with appropriate license)
    • real estate development companies as drafters/designers
    • corporations who manufacture or sell construction products in their sales or drafting/engineering departments
    • corporations who have in-house facilities management, design and/or construction departments as designers/drafters
    • building materials related retail sales
    • Career opportunities for our Bachelor Degree graduates include entry-level positions with:
    • architectural and engineering firms as project managers or junior engineers
    • construction companies or construction management firms as project managers, estimators, schedulers, and expediters
    • construction subcontractors as project managers or estimators
    • government agencies such as HUD or the Army Corps of Engineers
    • state agencies such as RI Department of Environmental
    • Management, RI Building Code Commission, or Department of Transportation
    • municipalities in their building inspection, planning, engineering, or highway departments
    • real estate companies in sales or inspections (with appropriate license)
    • real estate development companies as designers, planners, or project managers
    • corporations who manufacture or sell construction products either in their sales, engineering, or marketing departments
    • corporations who have in-house design and/or construction departments as designers or project managers
    • related industries such as insurance or finance
    • corporations as a facilities manger or plant engineer
    • builder of manufactured housing as a designer, production supervisor, or sales representative
  17. How much time will I spend on Computer Aided Drafting (CAD)?
    You will receive approximately 120 hours of formal training on CAD before the end of the fourth term or your program. In many of the other courses in the program, students will prepare both CAD and manually drawn projects. In some cases students will be able to choose whether or not to complete a drawing manually or on CAD.NEIT has found that the best way to learn a software package such as CAD is through the student’s independent practice. After you have received the formal introduction to CAD, you will work on your own exploring the CAD system. Instructors and lab assistants will be available to answer questions that come up for you; however, it is essential that you take personal responsibility for mastering the software package.
  18. Will I be able to continue toward a bachelor’s degree?
    Yes. Students who have successfully completed the Associate Degree program in Architectural/Building Engineering Technology with a grade point average of 2.0 or better, may continue in the Bachelor Degree Program in Architectural/Building Engineering Technology.

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the Architectural Building Engineering /Interior Design Technology Programs Department; establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to these programs to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies to enter these fields. The successful student must possess the following skills and abilities or be able to demonstrate that they can complete the requirements of the program with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Cognitive Ability

  • Ability to interpret ideas and concepts visually and/or graphically
  • Ability to learn, remember and recall detailed information and to use it for problem solving.
  • Ability to deal with materials and problems such as organizing or reorganizing information.
  • Ability to use abstractions in specific concrete situations.
  • Ability to break information into its component parts.
  • Ability to understand spatial relationships.
  • Possession of basic math skills through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions using both the U.S. and Metric systems of measurement.
  • Ability to perform tasks by observing demonstrations.
  • Possession of basic keyboarding skills and knowledge of computer programs.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty and students.
  • Ability to demonstrate and use the knowledge acquired during the classroom training process and in the lab setting.

Adaptive Ability

  • Ability to maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with other members of the faculty and students in a responsible manner.

Physical Ability

  • Ability to stand and/or sit for long periods of time.
  • Ability to perform learned skills, independently, with accuracy and completeness.

Manual Ability

  • Sufficient motor function and sensory abilities to participate effectively in the classroom laboratory.
  • Sufficient manual dexterity and motor coordination to coordinate hands, eyes and fingers in the use of the computer, plotter and other equipment.

Sensory Ability

  • Visual
    • Acute enough to enable the adjustment of drafting equipment
    • Ability to properly distinguish colors.
    • Acute enough to read small print.
    • Acute enough to read small numbers on measuring instruments