Someone once stated that the best part of being an architect is being able to walk into your dreams. Architects bring dreams to life by creating sustainable, useful, and aesthetically pleasing environments in which people can enjoy their daily lives.
Similar Job Titles
- Architectural Designer
- Architectural Project Manager
- Architectural Superintendent
- Building Architect
- Building Consultant
- Commercial Green Building Designer
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Architects do?
An Architect would typically need to:
- Plan and design contextual and sustainable buildings and play a key role in their construction
- Develop the concepts for structures, such as homes, schools, libraries, stadiums, malls, and commercial buildings
- Meet with clients to discuss the ideas, objectives, requirements, and budget of a project and in some cases help to select a site
- Provide various pre-design services, such as feasibility and environmental impact studies, site selection, cost analysis, and design requirements
- Prepare structure specifications per state and local building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other government ordinances
- Prepare scaled drawings with computer software and by hand in addition to designing the surrounding landscape and spaces
- Direct workers who prepare drawings and documents and prepare contract documents for building contractors
- Manage construction contracts and visit worksites to ensure construction adheres to architectural plans while remaining safe, functional, and economical
- Assess the impact on the local environment and deal with challenges that might arise while working on the project
- Configure spaces so they have a strong inside/outside connection if design of outdoor space is part of the job description
- Collaborate with civil engineers, urban and regional planners, interior designers, and landscape architects
- Design new buildings, extensions, and alterations to existing structures while offering advice on the restoration and conservation of old properties
- Help clients get construction bids, select contractors, and negotiate construction contracts
- Seek new work by marketing and giving presentations
Standard Work Environment
The majority of the work is done in the office, but some time is spent visiting clients and locations. Overnight absences from home are uncommon.
Architects often work Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. When necessary, you may be required to work late hours or on weekends. Overtime is not usually compensated. There are a few part-time jobs available.
According to research, the younger generation values flexible hours and favorable telework regulations more than money. There has been a gradual growth in the number of firms prepared to give promising employees the opportunity to change their schedules based on job demands.
Seeking a new job may appear difficult. Architects can improve their job search by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting firms directly, using job search platforms, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and contacting staffing agencies. You can also choose to freelance or work for yourself.
Architects are generally employed by:
- Private Architect Practices
- Large Construction Companies
- Public Sector Bodies
- Large Organizations with Substantial Property Portfolios
- Teaching & Research Institutions
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional groups and organizations, such as The International Union of Architects (UIA), are essential for an Architect seeking professional development or engaging with other professionals in their industry or trade. Participation in one or more of these organizations adds value to your resume while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Finding and winning over new clients while keeping the firm financially sustainable
- Being heard in an industry that often values high speed and low cost over design quality
- Battling the negative stereotypes of elitism, ego, and creative martyrdom
- Spending time to find the perfect material to match the design while also taking the time to rest, relax and recuperate
- Bridging the generation gap in Architecture by keeping up with ever-changing hardware and software
- Grappling with contemporary political issues that affect the economy and architectural trends
- Appropriate safety equipment, such as protective boots, and headgear to be worn on site
Suggested Work Experience
Summer internships, part-time entry-level work, or short-term paid/volunteer work give you a taste of the career, provide valuable insight into how a firm or institution functions, help you make useful contacts, and boost your chances of securing a permanent job.
The experience may also assist you in determining if the public, commercial, or non-profit sectors are most suited to realize your goals. The career services department at your educational provider can provide information about suitable opportunities for work placements, internships, and volunteer work in a variety of areas.
Several registration boards require graduates to undergo a lengthy paid internship lasting at least three years before taking the registration exam.
Architectural Experience Programmes (AXP) are available in some places through architectural companies or engineering and general contracting offices. Interns may assist in the preparation of architectural documents and drawings, the construction of models, the preparation of construction drawings on CADD, the investigation of building codes, and the writing of specifications for building materials, installation requirements, and the quality of finishing.
Students who complete school-based internships may apply some of their time towards the three-year internship period. Degree apprenticeships for architectural assistants or architects are available in certain other locations.
When your tasks outside of the classroom precisely align with your teachings inside, you will get the most out of them. When more experienced workers manage to turn seemingly ordinary occurrences into unique learning experiences, you may be able to hear endless stories from them and gain significant hands-on knowledge.
Prospective Architects should practice sketching and model-making on a regular basis to improve their skills. Follow building-related periodicals or TV shows to stay current on architectural and design trends. Pre-entry work experience in architecture, design, or construction is desirable and highly valued by recruiters.
Over the summer, several firms offer internship opportunities, which can provide essential experience to aspiring architects. Joining one of the professional organizations, which normally provides free student membership, gives you access to professional journals as well as networking opportunities.
Learn about the profession and interview/shadow a professional. Architects, engineers, and general contractors can help you demonstrate your dedication to course providers and potential employers.
Most architectural schools offer three-, four-, or five-year bachelor’s programs to prospective architects who can present a portfolio of freehand drawings and sketches during the interview. A foundation year at an approved institution is a viable option.
Courses in architectural history and theory, building design with a concentration on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) structures, construction processes, professional practices, arithmetic, physical sciences, and liberal arts are all recommended.
Several firms prefer applicants who have completed a master’s degree in architecture, which can take one to five years to finish. A bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts is usually required.
At high school, concentrate on arts, art education, art & design, business management, fine arts, environmental management, history, math, and English.
Keep in mind that finishing a certain academic programme does not ensure your admittance into the field. Professional qualifications and transferrable skills, on the other hand, may open more than one door.
Before enrolling in a specific programme, do your homework and investigate all available possibilities for education and career. Associations and employers in your field are reliable sources that can help you make an informed selection.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
Architects must complete a degree program in architecture, get relevant experience through a paid internship, and pass an Architect Registration Examination or its equivalent in locations where they need a license to practice.
Architects who are licensed are more likely to obtain better possibilities. A license can also help you earn more money and gain more power in your field.
Projected Career Map
Career advancement is driven by performance, experience, and the acquisition of professional certifications.
After accumulating significant experience, a newly-qualified Architect who joins a practise as a salaried employee may move to the rank of Associate and eventually Partner.
Private practice provides more opportunities for advancement; you may be given work on international projects. Employees in the public sector may advance to Senior or Principal Architect positions before taking on managerial responsibilities.
You can also become an Architectural and Engineering Manager, open your own firm, or work in project management, drawing, planning, model creation, landscape architecture, interior design, illustration, or graphic design.
A growing number of millennials are opting to job hop and build a scattershot resume that demonstrates ambition, enthusiasm, and a willingness to master a wide range of skills in order to expedite their career progress and personal development.
Research shows that job hopping, which was formerly derided as “flaky” behavior, might lead to increased work satisfaction. Workers looking for a healthy culture and fascinating work are eager to try out different roles and settings while learning vital, transferrable skills.
Applicants who complete an authorized master’s program in architecture and an internship have the highest job prospects once they obtain a practicing license.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active Architect in developing personal skills and proficiency through work-based learning, a professional activity, formal education, or self-directed learning.
The majority of significant architectural firms provide systematic training and promote professional standing. Internal and external training courses, pertinent seminars, and conferences assist architects in staying current and refreshing their knowledge.
Architects who achieve chartered membership and maintain mandated levels of CPD are more likely to advance to more senior positions. To retain their competence, Chartered Architects typically do at least 35 hours of CPD every year.
In order to preserve your license to practice, you may need to attend workshops, university lectures, conferences, or self-study courses.
Develop contacts in the sector through job experience, academic departments, personal contacts, and local representatives of professional organizations and associations to plug into trends and conversations at various levels.
Successful architects try to integrate nature, buildings, and people into long-lasting pieces of art that symbolize peace.
Advice from the Wise
As an architect, you create for the present while keeping the past in mind, for a virtually unknown future.