When it comes to career paths and the jobs we aspire to, it’s easy to feel like there are only a few options on the table. But actually, there’s a whole world of different types of jobs and roles out there, and we’re on a mission to bring them to light and explain what they actually involve. Ahead, a look at architects — and over here, we’ve also got pharmacists, marketing managers, and physical therapists.
There are some jobs that quite literally shape the world around us, and one of those jobs is that of an architect. Architects are responsible for the planning and design of buildings — and that building could be a house, a multi-dwelling apartment building, a hotel, or a commercial tower building.
While there is an element of creativity required, part of the design process of an architect includes working on building specifications and code requirements. A building has to look great, yes, but it also has to be safe, long-lasting, and functional.
Here’s what you need to know about the job description for an architect.
There are several areas of architecture that you can get into. Here are a few details about what the role entails.
So, what are the typical duties of an architect?
According to Cathi Colla, a Melbourne, Australia-based architect, your primary responsibility as an architect is to “be the client’s agent.”
Your client could be a single person or a business entity, depending on the type of job. Either way, it’s your obligation to keep the client’s best interests “at the heart of a great design solution, while assisting them through the potential barrage of planning and legal and building challenges.”
So, let’s say you have been asked to design a boutique hotel.
Your duties will include: talking with the client about their ideas and then producing detail designs that bring that concept to life; ensuring that your designs comply with all building and safety regulations as well as any local planning regulations and/or restrictions; liaising with the team that will bring the project to life, including engineers, interior designers, landscape designers and financiers; using technology (such as CAD) to test the viability of your designs; translating your design into instructions and technical specifications for contractors and construction; and finally bringing the project to fruition.
Who is this job ideally for?
If you want to be an architect, you’ll need resilience and grit. According to Colla, “you need to be prepared to get on with the job [and] do the hard slog” if you want the “glory and satisfaction” of great design work.
Additionally, Colla says great communication skills are a must. On a daily basis, you’ll be dealing with a wide variety of stakeholders — financiers, construction managers, clients, etc. — and you need to be able to effectively communicate with each and every one.
What are the different types of architecture you can practice?
As you pursue your career in architecture, you may find you want to work in a more specialized field. Here are two you could consider:
Interior Architecture encompasses the design of a residential or commercial building’s interior features. You’ll be working on balancing great design with great function.
Landscape Architecture encompasses the design of outdoor areas, landmarks, parks, and structures. In this field, you’ll be striving to balance an aesthetically pleasing design with positive environmental and social-behavioral outcomes.
What are the usual job requirements?
According to Study.com, you’ll need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in architecture, at a minimum. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) has a list of schools in the United States that offer accredited architecture programs.
You’ll also need to be licensed in your state. In order to qualify for licensure, “architecture school graduates need to build experience by completing an internship under the direction of a licensed architect.”
What’s the average salary like?
The average salary for an architect is $60K per year, according to PayScale. However, this could include up to $10K in bonuses and profit-sharing proceeds. According to the data collected by PayScale, salaries increase considerably with experience.
While an entry-level architect could expect to earn an average salary of $50K per year, those with 10 to 20 years of experience could expect to earn closer to six figures per year.