Architects plan and design new buildings and suggest alterations to existing buildings, including houses, office buildings, factories, shopping centres and other structures. They can be commissioned to design anything from a single room to an entire complex of buildings.
Duties and responsibilities
- Meet clients to discuss ideas, requirements and budget
- Prepare drawings, specifications and construction documents
- Advise clients on building procedures and costs
- Supervise building projects from start to finish
- Visit construction sites to ensure architectural plans are followed
- Ensure building projects stay within building laws, safety regulations and budget
- Write and present reports, applications, proposals and contracts
- Collaborate with other professionals such as construction managers and quantity surveyors
- Plan interior and exterior spaces and landscaping
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Long hours to meet deadlines
The work of architects is mostly office based, although you may be required to travel locally to visit construction sites or clients. Depending on the project you are working on, national or overseas travel may also be required.
The job can be stressful and the hours can be long, especially when leading up to deadlines. If working from home or for yourself, you can enjoy a more flexible work schedule.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
The first step to becoming an architect is obtaining a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree, accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which takes about five years to complete. Many architects then proceed to a master’s degree, which typically takes an additional one to five years to complete, depending on previous training.
After obtaining your degree education, you are then required to complete a three-year paid internship and pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), which is developed and maintained by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
As you progress in your career, you can become an architectural or engineering manager. You could even set up your own architecture firm.
Depending on the state in which you live, you may be required to complete some form of continuing education in order to keep your licence, including attending workshops or conferences.