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Electrical Engineering Vs. Architecture (Guide)

Choosing between electrical engineering and architecture depends on your preferences and likings. 

If you have a passion for designing and developing electrical systems and components, a degree in electrical engineering is worth pursuing.

Conversely, if you prefer to plan and design buildings and structures, a career in architecture is worth considering.

This post explains the differences between electrical engineering and architecture to help you make a better decision on which career to pursue.


Electrical EngineeringArchitecture
Average Pay$90,275$88,181
Ease of finding a jobGoodGood
Types of jobs you can qualify forControl Engineer
Project Engineer
Systems Engineer
Electronics Engineer
Electrical Designer
Electrical Technician
Substation Technician
Building Surveyor
Town Planner
Production Designer
Historic Building Inspector
Structural Engineer
Interior/Spatial Designer
Building Inspector
The difficulty of the majorHardHard
Key things to noteCan work in a wide range of fields
A lucrative career with high starting wages
Highly employable with many job opportunities
Requires a creative mind with excellent problem-solving skills 

What Is Electrical Engineering?

Electrical engineering is the study of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. It’s a broad discipline with several subdisciplines such as telecommunications, automotive, aerospace, and robotics. 

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and maintain electrical systems and components. They solve problems, improve existing systems, and invent new electrical devices.

What Is Architecture?

Architecture is the practice of planning, designing, and building structures. Architects design and develop residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. 

They also plan towns and cities, create models and sketches, and manage construction projects that revolve around their architectural blueprints.

Jobs You Can Get with A Degree in Electrical Engineering

Electrical engineering is a lucrative career with plenty of job opportunities. You can work in a variety of fields with an electrical engineering degree.

The jobs you can get with a degree in electrical engineering include:

  • Control Engineer.
  • Project Engineer.
  • Systems Engineer.
  • Electronics Engineer.
  • Electrical Designer.
  • Electrical Technician.
  • Substation Technician.

Jobs You Can Get with A Degree in Architecture

Architecture isn’t only about designing and developing buildings and structures. It also entails inspecting buildings, surveying structures, interior design, naval architecture, and landscaping.

The jobs you can get with an architectural degree include:

  • Architect.
  • Building Surveyor.
  • Town Planner.
  • Production Designer.
  • Historic Building Inspector.
  • Structural Engineer.
  • Interior/Spatial Designer.
  • Building Inspector.

Learn more: Can Architects Do Interior Design?

Classes You’ll be Taking in Electrical Engineering

Like any other engineering major, electrical engineering is a difficult field of study. It requires solid knowledge of math and physical sciences. 

Classes you should expect to take in electrical engineering include:

  • Calculus.
  • Electricity.
  • Electromagnetism.
  • Control Systems.
  • Circuit Analysis.
  • Signal and systems.
  • Instrumentation.

Classes You’ll be Taking in Architecture

Architecture requires long hours of study and research. After all, it’s one of the toughest majors to pursue.

Classes you should expect to take in architecture include:

  • Architectural Design.
  • Analytical Reasoning.
  • Architectural History.
  • Plane Trigonometry.
  • Architectural Systems.
  • Environmental Control.
  • Advanced Architectural Techniques.
  • Physics.

Is Architecture Better than Engineering?

Engineering is only better than architecture when it comes to earnings. Most engineers earn more money than architects, receiving better perks in salaried positions.

Architecture is better than engineering in terms of job satisfaction. Architects find more joy and fulfillment when people marvel at and appreciate their architectural designs. 

Most buildings and architectural masterpieces have the architect’s name behind the project.

In contrast, it’s hard for the public to recognize and appreciate the work of engineers, particularly electrical engineers.

You can never know the name of the engineer who designed a specific electrical system or component.

Read more about Is Naval Architecture A Good Career?

Can Electrical Engineers Become Architects?

Electrical engineers can become architects after proper education and meeting essential accreditation requirements. 

In essence, you can’t switch careers from electrical engineering to architecture without first going through architecture school and passing the necessary exams.

Nevertheless, electrical engineers can easily become architects since they already design, develop, test, maintain, and repair electrical systems and components used in buildings and construction sites. 

Electrical engineers also work with architects to ensure the successful completion of architectural projects.

Also read: Electrical Engineering Vs Mining Engineering

Which Pays More: Architecture or Engineering?

In some states, engineers earn more than architects, while the opposite is true in other areas. 

For instance, an architect in Washington DC earns an average annual salary of $113,428, while an engineer in the same state is $109,781 per year. These figures are vice versa in other regions.

Moreover, the average annual salary for each profession depends on various factors such as experience, location, and focus areas. 

Which Is Harder: Engineering or Architecture?

Engineering and architecture are both difficult majors. They require long hours of study, research, and problem-solving.

According to the National Survey of Student Engagement, architectural students spend more time studying than engineering students. 

The Washington Post also reports that architectural students study harder than others, making it one of the toughest majors to pursue.

Despite these assertions, engineering remains the hardest major.

Do Architects Design Electrical?

Architects don’t design electrical blueprints since that is the work of an electrical engineer. 

The farthest an architect will get involved in electrical work is when describing the position of items such as lighting fixtures, switches, and other components in their final design.

Can You be Both an Architect and an Engineer?

You can be both an architect and an engineer. A degree in architecture opens up opportunities to pursue a career in structural engineering.

Architects are essentially structural engineers since they design structures and buildings.

Besides, you can become an architect if you’re already an engineer or vice versa, as long as you undergo proper technical training. 

Can You Study Engineering After Architecture?

You can study engineering after architecture. Many professionals consider engineering the offspring of architecture. Both fields complement each other.

The ideal engineering degree programs to pursue after architecture include civil engineering and electrical engineering. These majors relate closely in terms of courses and elective subjects.

Final Verdict

Electrical engineering and architecture have the potential to lead to fulfilling careers. The ideal profession for you depends on your passion. 

If you’re artistic and love planning and designing buildings, consider gravitating towards architecture.

If your interest is in creating extraordinary electrical systems and components, electrical engineering is the ideal career.