If you are reading this article, chances are you are already fascinated and hopefully, intrigued by the world of Architecture. So, half of my job is done already! But here is a greater insight into the field so that you may know everything you need to know before you start your worthwhile journey of architecture.

An overview of Architecture as a Career Option
 Research in architecture ©AIA

The career option, as you know already, involves many characteristics of work from different fields; from mathematics to computer training, to sensitive and insightful drawing and aesthetic skills. The architecture utilizes it all. The main focus of the work of an architect is essentially the design of buildings and other types of structures. These must not only be creative, but be in line with the requirements of the client, and also respect building rules and regulations that make buildings safe, affordable and allow for maximum functionality.

Initially, the architect holds several discussions with the client about the concept of the building, the size, form, spaces, and the budget involved. The architect then begins making plans, sections, elevations, and three-dimensional designs of the building. If these are finalized by the client, final construction drawings are made which hold important information for its construction, as well as details for its electrical, plumbing, and technical systems. Apart from manual drawings, the architect also makes use of computer-aided design software for drafting and 3D software for renders. Given the technical requirements of the job, the working conditions of an architect are generally comfortable, mostly in lenient environments with flexible and liberal time management requirements. The architect also has to spend a lot of time on the site, overseeing construction, and managing on-site decisions. Often the long work hours and energy requirements, with specific deadlines make the job quite stressful as well but allow for a greater lifelong understanding of time management skills.

It is also important for an architect to be licensed and acquire relevant certifications to be able to make their designs. This often requires an examination alongside a basic work experience, which is required in states all over the work. A licensed architect takes all legal responsibility for the work they carry out.

Furthermore, the majority of architectural college degrees in bachelor’s are mostly five-year programs, with some even being four years in some countries. To be able to work as a fully specialized and recognized architect in the field, some countries also require a master’s degree, which is offered as mostly a two-year program for students who already hold a professional undergraduate degree in architecture. Options for colleges are available everywhere, with the highest-ranking architecture colleges being in the United States of America, Europe, the United Kingdom, and then Asia. Courses offered in the field range from highly specific architecture design to others such as sustainable architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, interior architecture, urban design, urban planning, to name a few. It is very easy for someone who has found their calling in the field to be able to develop an interest in a specific area of architecture and be able to specialize in it when they deem appropriate. Most colleges do not require a professional work experience as an eligibility criterion, but a few do require one or two years of work in the field.

The skills that an architect typically requires are good artistic and drawing skills, which are not a concrete requirement per se, but having them allows greater freedom to be able to translate ideas from the discussion, brainstorming, and research on paper for further development on software. The ability to work alone and as part of a team, and good communication skills are generally significant qualities to develop over the years. An architect needs to be able to converse with the client, be able to not just express the ideas he has in mind, but also have the ability to extract what the client wants and needs. Making contacts in the industry also very important. This can be easily gained through work, projects, or through professional bodies, as these allow you to expand your horizon as an architectural designer and be able to become a part of the creative mindset of the country, where you not only gain valuable insight into what people are doing in the field but also learn and grow as an individual yourself, where you know who to turn to if you ever run into a situation requiring external help or guidance, or even just more projects. Apart from this, communication skills are also necessary on the site where one has to deal with contractors, building, and developers to allow for efficient building and conflict resolution processes.

An architect mostly starts earning an average of about $27,000 without a license, and those with 3-5 years of work experience and a certified license can expect salaries of around $33,000. Architects with more experience of around 8-10 years may be able to earn $45,000, and those with firms of their own typically earn $75,000 to $100,000, if not more. The job outlook for an architect may be limited in some countries of the world where people do not tend to invest heavily in the building process, but the career is actually gaining popularity and its challenges are certainly rewarding in many states.

The life of an architect is thus, very promising and gratifying indeed. It happens to be one of the very few renowned fields that have the scope for personal, intellectual, and social growth daily, where you not only come new materials, construction techniques but also innovate avenues of research which inspire and compel your mind deeper into the field, to improve people’s lives while also exercising your ability to design.

Author

An Architect by profession, a writer, artist, and baker by interest, Amna Pervaiz sees Architecture and Urban Planning as a multifaceted avenue allowing her to explore a plethora of disciplinary elements. She sees the field as an untapped canvas; a journey she hopes would one day lead her towards social responsibility and welfare.

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