Architects plan and design all types of buildings and structures.Architects design many kinds of structures. Projects may include:
- Office Buildings
Architects take part in every phase of a building project. They help create the first design and stay involved until the construction is complete. Architects also help clients select building sites. They work with many other people during this process, including the client, engineers, and general contractors.
Before beginning a new building design, architects meet with clients. They find out the clients' needs and their ideas for the design. Using this information, architects prepare initial drawings and estimate costs and timeline for the project.
With the client's approval, architects draw or use computers to develop detailed plans. These plans include scaled drawings and models showing the completed building. Architects work with drafters and engineers to complete the detailed plans.
Architects follow building codes, zoning laws, and fire regulations. They make necessary adjustments and changes to plans throughout the planning and building stages.
Architects may specialize in one type of building or in one phase of work. Some specialize in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
Some architects supervise the construction process. They help clients get bids from building contractors and prepare contract documents. They also visit construction sites to ensure builders follow the plans correctly.
At the end of construction, architects inspect buildings to be sure they were built according to building plans.
Entry-level workers, called intern-architects, draw or use computers to complete construction drawings. They also do research on zoning regulations, environmental impacts, and other topics. Sometimes they help to design one part of a project or manage small projects.
Career Skills and Interests
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- Understand spoken information.
- Understand written information.
- Listen to others and ask questions.
Reason and Problem Solve
- Think of new ideas about a topic.
- Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
- Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
- Follow guidelines to arrange objects or actions in a certain order.
Use Math and Science
- Add, subtract, multiply, and divide quickly and correctly.
- Choose a mathematical method or formula to solve problems.
- Use math skills to solve problems.
Manage Oneself, People, Time, and Things
- Check how well one is learning or doing something.
- Motivate, develop, and direct people as they work.
- Manage the time of self and others.
- Obtain needed equipment, facilities, and materials and oversee their use.
Work with People
- Change behavior in relation to others’ actions.
- Persuade others to approach things differently.
- Be aware of others’ reactions and understand the possible causes.
- Solve problems by bringing others together to discuss differences.
Work with Things
- Analyze needs and requirements when designing products.
- Inspect and evaluate the quality of products.
Perceive and Visualize
- Imagine how something will look if it is moved around or its parts are rearranged.
- Identify a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in distracting material.
- Quickly and accurately compare letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns.
Career Working Conditions
in a typical work setting, architects:
- Talk to others throughout the day. They interact with clients, engineers, drafters, and other staff.
- Are greatly responsible for work outcomes and results of other workers.
- Are sometimes placed in conflict situations.
- Work as part of a team.
Physical Work Conditions
- Almost always work indoors, but occasionally visit construction sites outdoors.
- Work within several feet of coworkers during meetings.
- Must be accurate in what they do. Errors could seriously endanger the safety of people using their buildings, or cause building delays.
- Meet strict weekly deadlines.
- Work in a highly competitive environment.
- Make decisions daily that affect others.
- Usually work full time.
- Sometimes work more than 40 hours a week to meet deadlines.
- Sometimes travel to job sites or to visit clients.
Career Wages and Outlook
Architects who are partners in large firms usually make the most money. However, it takes many years of experience to become a partner. For self-employed architects, expenses may be higher than earnings when first starting out.
Most employers offer health insurance, paid vacation, and a retirement plan. Self-employed architects must provide their own insurance and retirement plan.
About 22 percent of architects are self-employed.
- Architecture firms
- Engineering firms
Demand for architects will be very strong. The need for new office buildings, schools, and health care facilities will create the most job growth. Many existing buildings are old and in need of renovation or replacement, especially in big cities. The increase in the aging population will also require that more housing and nursing facilities be built. Demand will be strong for architects with knowledge of sustainable design which emphasizes renewable resources and environmentally-friendly design and materials.
Competition for jobs will remain strong as there are many graduates from architecture programs. Some jobs will become available each year as current architects retire or move to other occupations.
Career Related Occupations
The occupations listed below may have similar work duties, use similar skills, be in the same career ladder, have a similar level of education, or be related in another way.
- Architectural and Engineering Managers
- Civil Engineers
- Conservation scientists
Program of Study
You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.
For this program, schools recommend you also focus on graphic arts, fine arts, and environmental design. Some colleges require two years of a second language, a letter of intent from you, letters of recommendation from teachers or employers, and your portfolio of creative work.
Admission to a four-year college does not always guarantee admission to its undergraduate architecture program. You may be able to apply to this program only after you take some basic visual arts and design courses and receive good grades in them.
Additional requirements sometimes include:
- Personal interview
- Portfolio of creative work
- Statement of intent
Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:
- Blueprint Reading
- CAD Design and Software
- Computer Graphics
- Computer Technology
- Computing Systems
Program Typical Course Work
This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:
- Applied Color Theory
- Architectural Computer Graphics
- Architectural History and Theory
- Basic Design
- Building Design and Construction
- Custom Cabinet and Furniture Design
- Design Skills and Design Studio
- Environmental Design
- Furniture Theory and Analysis
- Heating, Cooling, and Lighting Systems
- Historic Buildings and Interior Structures
- Human Settlement Patterns
- Interactive Space and Human Factors
- Interior Design
- Physical Sciences
- Preservation and Restoration
- Professional Practice and Office Management
- Space and Composition
- Types of Structures
- Visual Communication
- Wood, Steel, and Concrete Buildings
Graduate course work usually tends to look similar to that in undergraduate programs. This is because most graduate programs offer first professional degrees, as mentioned in the "Graduate Admissions" section.
However, with some graduate programs, if you already have a background in architecture, you may be able to take more advanced classes.
In both undergraduate and graduate programs, you get plenty of studio time to work on projects and techniques that you have learned in your other courses. You also typically have to complete a degree project such as a thesis that combines your design and architectural skills.
- Architectural Engineering Technology
- Civil Engineering
- Community and Regional Planning
- Construction Engineering
- Construction Management
- Environmental Design
- Historic Preservation
- Housing and Human Environments
- Interior Design
- Landscape Architecture
- Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
Schools That offer my Program of study
4 year and above
Required Admission Tests-