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What is the Difference Between Engineering and Architecture?

Architects and engineers work closely to make the construction of buildings and other structures possible, but like other professions in similar fields, they also have their differences and specializations.

What architects do

Architects are primarily concerned with the design and layout of buildings and structures. This does not only involve the physical appearance of the structure, but also its functionality. Before designs are made, architects survey the land the structure will be built on first so they can put the size, shape, location of the land, as well as local planning and zoning laws into consideration during the designing process.

Using those information, the architect will figure out how much space will and can be used for the structure, how that space will be allocated among the structure’s components, and where to place those components in order to maximize space and efficiency.

The architect may also decide on which specific materials will be used for the finishing touches of the project taking into consideration such factors as the climate of the area the structure is going to be built, the budget of the client, or specific accommodations the client may need such as special facilities for those who are physically challenged.

What engineers do

If the architect is primarily concerned with the design and layout of the structure that is going to be built, the engineer is focused on interpretation, analysis, and execution of that design. They’re the ones responsible for figuring out the type and amount of materials needed for the project to ensure the strength and stability of the structure, and, if necessary, the adjustments that should or could be made should a conflict between the original plan and its actual implementation comes up. They’re also responsible for procuring the necessary materials for the project and making sure that the cost does not exceed the client’s budget.

Career Opportunities

Architecture and engineering are similar fields; however, the career path that an engineering student can take is a bit more diverse compared to that of an architecture student. For example, architects typically work on residential and commercial structures while engineers can work on anything from buildings, roads, vehicles, computers, minerals, and biomedical machines among many other things.


Salaries of architects and engineers vary depending on their experience and the scope of their jobs, although experienced engineers typically make more money than experienced architects. This is because engineers are more involved in the actual construction of the structure than architects are. Aside from that, the bulk of the legal responsibilities with regard to the stability of the structure rests on the engineer’s shoulders.


Architect. (2012, September 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:07, September 27, 2012, from
Engineering. (2012, September 20). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:08, September 27, 2012, from
Leo L. Chavez, Civil Engineer, ERGA Progress Engineering Consultants
Shahmuqqadar. (2005, May 18). Re: Difference between Civil Engineering and Architecture [Online discussion group]. Retrieved from
Aibarr. (2005, May 18). Re: Difference between Civil Engineering and Architecture [Online discussion group]. Retrieved from

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  1. Hello
    I’m currently a freshman BS Civil Eng’g student but aside from CE, I really want to be an Architect someday. I just wanna ask if which is better to take up first, Architecture or Civil Engineering? I also want to have knowledge on architecture without shifting on it. I need help 🙂

    Thank you.

    • Hi, KimAnn!

      Thanks for visiting our site.

      We hope we can answer that question for you, but we think your school registrar would probably be in a better position to answer that. They know the specific subjects you’ll need to take for either courses as well as their exact descriptions, so they might be able to give you advice on the additional subjects from other courses that you can take without dropping your original course.


  2. what are the difficuties of architect students in studying architecture?

    • Hi, Ian!

      Thanks for visiting our site.

      Unfortunately, we don’t really know much about this, so we’ll try to search for someone who knows more. We’ll get back to you once we have.


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