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Earn an Associate Degree in Building Engineering Technology

An emphasis is placed on preparing students for jobs that are traditionally among the highest paid technician positions. Penn State technology graduates are recruited annually by national and regional companies. Surveys show that starting salaries for Penn State building engineering technology associate degree graduates range from $26,998 to $43,000.

Learn more from our BLET graduates!

Students can choose one of two options.

Architectural Engineering Technology

The Architectural Engineering Technology Option (AET) prepares graduates to work as architectural engineering technicians under the supervision of a graduate architect or architectural engineer, translating sketches and design concepts into working drawings and specifications.

The AET major emphasizes a hands-on approach to technology. Students spend about half their time in our high-tech labs working with AutoCAD, surveying transits, and in small groups developing details for real construction projects.

At graduation, an Architectural Engineering Technology Option graduate must have the following attributes:

  1. The knowledge and skills common to A/E/C and technical sales of building industry.
  2. The ability to continue into a 4-year technology program.
  3. The ability to work as a team member to select, size and design components of building systems.
  4. The ability to prepare, interpret and present written and graphic documents, using IT when appropriate to a specific audience/client.
  5. Demonstrated basic knowledge of project management, decision making process, applicable design codes, ethics and professional growth, conflict resolution and ability to conduct meetings

Building Environmental Systems Technology

The Building Environmental Systems Technology Option (BEST) prepares graduates to focus on designing and maintaining healthful, comfortable environments in specialized facilities: laboratories, computer clean rooms, spaces subject to a wide range of climate conditions, and many new alternatives, such as microprocessor controls, variable speed fans, and thermal storage systems.

While most BEST graduates prepare design drawings for new buildings, sizing the components and locating them within the structure, the full range of career paths in the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) field is available.

At graduation, a BEST Option graduate must have the following attributes:

  1. Knowledge and skills identified as critical and common to the design, technical sales, commissioning and building operation sectors of the HVAC&R industry.
  2. Ability to work as a team member to select, size and design an appropriate mechanical system for a given application.
  3. Ability to produce written documents, deliver oral presentations, develop, prepare and interpret graphical information, using information technology when appropriate, to a specific audience or client at a level of effectiveness expected of new employees.
  4. Demonstrate awareness of project management, the decision-making process, applicable design codes, appropriate ethics and professional conduct, teamwork and conflict resolution, ability to conduct a literature search.

Penn State is nationally recognized as a leader in engineering technology education. The BEST program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), www.ABET.org. This is valuable because many employers require graduation from an ABET-accredited program.

AET and BEST graduates have the option to move directly into the bachelor of science degree in structural design and construction engineering technology (SDCET) at Penn State Harrisburg.