Architect Career Information
The role - an overview of a career as an architect
Architects design new buildings and the spaces in and around them and supervise their construction. They also help with the conservation, restoration and re-use of existing buildings.
They are involved in projects from beginning to end, from site selection and design through to completion, working closely with clients, with a range of professionals including surveyors, engineers, builders and interior designers, and with officials from local planning and building control departments. Many architects specialise in a particular field, such as conservation or urban design.
Day-to-day activities in an architecture career
During the early design phase of a project, an architect's work involves developing ideas and concepts with the client, taking into account the available funds, the needs of users and other interested groups, and the impact the project may have on the environment and the local community. They then produce detailed working drawings using computer-aided design, showing how the finished building or space will look.
Once the designs have been accepted by the client and approved by the appropriate authorities, the architect produces detailed drawings for the construction team, which specify everything from the precise dimensions of the building and the nature and quantity of materials required, through to the type of fixtures and fittings to be used. The architect then makes regular site visits to inspect the work and monitor progress, working closely with contractors to ensure that the project is completed on schedule and to the specific standards set and solving any problems that may arise along the way.
Skills and personal profile required in architect careers
Successful architects need to combine a wide range of skills and talents. Employers will look for the following attributes in particular:
- excellent communication skills - both written and verbal
- good presentation skills
- strong organisational and time management skills, with the ability to manage a number of projects simultaneously
- well developed problem-solving ability
- an imaginative and creative mind
- strong computer skills, with experience of AutoCAD
- excellent drawing skills, with the ability to work in three dimensions
- sound mathematical ability, with a keen financial awareness
- the ability to manage and motivate others
- the ability to work as part of a team
- a passion for buildings and the ability to convey that passion to others.
Training required for a career in architecture
A minimum of seven years is required to train as an architect. Architects complete a five-year full-time degree course, usually divided into two parts: a three-year course (RIBA Part 1), followed by a further two-year course (RIBA Part 2). At least two years must also be spent working in an architect's office, with one year normally taken after Part 1 and the second year after Part 2. Students then take the Professional Practice Examination, known as Part 3, in order to become qualified architects.
Architecture career outlook
More than 30,000 architects are employed in the UK, with around 80% working in private practice, mostly in small or medium-sized firms. Most of the remainder are employed either by commercial or industrial organisations (such as retail, finance or manufacturing companies) or by central or local government. Other opportunities are increasingly arising with house-building companies, housing associations and private developers.
Architects joining a private practice typically start as salaried employees, before progressing, on merit, to associate and, ultimately, partner. The public sector career path leads to principal or senior architect and eventually on to a management role. Many architects set up their own practices. Career moves are also possible into a number of other specialist areas, such as interior design, landscape architecture, project management or planning.
A newly registered architect can expect to start on around £25,000 a year (somewhat less in Scotland). After ten to fifteen years' experience in private practice, architects' earnings range between £30,000 and £60,000 a year, depending on the individual practice and the level of seniority reached.
General career related articles:
- What are your career choices?
- Could you start a business?
- Best Paying Careers for women and men
- Free Online Career Tests
- Latest home based business ideas
- Best rated home based businesses
- Best Careers for the Future
- List of Careers - UK
- List of Different Careers - US / Canada
- Top 10 Most Popular Careers
Articles on specific career related topics:
- Types of Accounting Careers
- Aquaculture careers
- Aquatic science careers
- Bilingual Careers
- Careers in Archeology
- Architect career information
- Athletic trainer careers
- Aviation career aircraft
- Career carpenter
- Career planning careers
- Careers in Cosmetology
- Crime Scene Investigators Careers
- Careers for enfj personality
- A career as a detective
- Careers in Event Planning
- Career in fashion photography
- Careers with hedge funds
- careers with a history degree or history major
- Insurance career opportunity
- Las vegas careers
- Career Description for a Lawyer
- Medical career descriptions
- Medical Career List
- Career in meteorology
- Careers in mexico
- Nanotech career
- Nursing career choices and options
- Career of Pediatrician
- Career information pharmacy jobs
- Probation Officer Careers in the UK and US
- Science Careers
- Top 10 science careers
- Stockbroker careers
- Venture Capital Careers
- Veterinarian career
- Careers in Zoology