According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are about 130,000 architects actively practicing in the United States. As of 2019, the median pay for architects is $80,750 per hour, which is just less than $40 per hour. Working as an architect can be incredibly rewarding and, as you will discover, the broader field of architecture presents many different opportunities.
One of the reasons architecture is an appealing career path is that this unique field blends both mathematical and artistic excellence. To become a successful architect, an individual must be both “left-brained” and “right-brained”, blending creativity with mechanics and design with engineering.
Furthermore, architecture is appealing because it creates something tangible and lasting. The joy of being able to look at a building and claim, “I helped bring that to life” can be incredibly satisfying and unparalleled. From Andrea Palladio to Frank Lloyd Wright to the many other brilliant architects around the world, architecture is an art form that has captured the public intrigue for centuries.
If you are currently considering becoming an architect, there are a few basic things you will want to keep in mind. In this article, we will discuss the most important things you need to know about becoming an architect, and architecture in general. By taking the time to better understand this unique career path, you will be able to decide if architecture is right for you.
How can I Become an Architect?
The first step to becoming an architect is to earn a bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in architecture from an accredited college or university. In some cases, earning a degree in civil engineering, sustainable design, interior design, or art can also be beneficial.
Upon graduating, you will then want to gain experience working directly in the field. Usually, this will come in the form of an internship (which may or not be paid) or an apprenticeship with an architecture firm. Gaining experience early will help make it much easier to find a job in your field.
Finally, architects will need to pass the Architecture Registration Examination (ARE). The examination is designed to “assess aspects of architectural practice related to health, safety, and welfare. Specifically, the ARE focuses on areas that affect the integrity, soundness, and health impact of a building, as well as an architect’s responsibility within firms, such as managing projects and coordinating the work of other professionals.”
Once you have been able to successfully complete each of the steps mentioned above, you will be ready to become a professional architect.
What Skills Does an Architect Need to Have?
As suggested, architecture is a dynamic field that requires many different types of skills. In addition to being familiar with architectural theory and practice, these are some of the skills you will want to have:
· Design: being able to design a building from scratch, and incorporate essential design elements, will be crucial for success as an architect.
· Attention to Detail: architects will need to pay attention to the little things and understand every component of the buildings they design.
· Communication: architects will need to not only communicate with the rest of their team but also communicate with clients and contractors.
· Technology Savvy: while architects should be able to draw, most new designs are made using a variety of computer programs. Learning to use these programs is crucial in the modern era.
· Reasoning and Problem-Solving: you will inevitably be faced with various design and mathematical challenges. Learn how to address these challenges and make changes, as needed.
Architecture, as you have seen, is a field that is constantly evolving. Developing this specific skill set will help you adapt to ongoing changes and continue to find success.
What are the Different Types of Architecture Currently Available?
The term “architect” can be rather broad. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states, “Architects plan and design, houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures’ ‘, offering a broad definition for a very dynamic profession. As you might expect, there are many different types of architects, each requiring their own design style click here and skill sets.
· Commercial and Residential Architects: these individuals and firms are responsible for designing buildings for businesses (commercial architecture) as well as homes for individuals (residential). They have a broad understanding of the different components of architecture and will need to know how to navigate a project from start to finish.
· Structural Architects: these individuals work closely with engineers to help design bridges, tunnels, and other types of structures. They are crucial to developing both private and public infrastructures around the world.
· Landscape Architects: these architects help design outdoor spaces, integrating both natural and man-made elements into a single design. These architects need to understand the careful balance between natural features and functionality.
· Urban Designers: these architects focus on designing multiple different spaces and creating functional cities. These big picture architects help ensure cities develop in a productive, universally-beneficial way.
· Sustainable Architects: these architects pay close attention to the environmental impact of architecture and seek to design buildings in a sustainable way. Over the past two decades, sustainability has become increasingly emphasized throughout the broader architectural community.
Each type of architect will also be presented with many different work opportunities. Individuals who are hoping to find an immediate in-road into the industry will typically choose to start at an experienced firm and hope to someday become a partner. Some individuals, on the other hand, might choose to take a bit of a risk and start their own architectural firm. The exact career path that is right for you will depend on your personal preferences, your skills, and your long-term goals.
Is Architecture Right for Me?
Architecture is an extremely interesting field of study, with many distinctive career paths that come with it. Architects help turn abstract ideas into tangible realities, shaping our communities and directly impacting our lives. Becoming a Boulder architect will require hard work, a deep understanding of architectural concepts, and the unique blending of both right brain and left brain qualities. If, keeping these things in mind, becoming an architect sounds appealing to you, you may want to consider it as a valid career choice.
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