So, you Want to be an Architect?

Others may complete a 5-year professional undergraduate architecture degree, followed by an additional 3 years of professional internships to complete the Architecture Experience Program (AXP) requirements.

The final step to becoming fully licenced is to complete a series of exams. The Architect Registration Examination (ARE) tests candidates’ abilIf you are someone who enjoys drawing and you tend to choose to draw buildings rather than people or nature, and if you find yourself thinking about architecture design often then perhaps a career as an architect might be a good fit for you.

What skills does an Architect require?

The skills of an Architect include:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • attention to detail
  • problem-solving skills
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and industry software packages confidently

It is important to understand that being good at art and loving to draw on its own does not mean architecture is the right career for you. Where artists are extremely creative, architects combine creative flair with strong analytical and problem-solving abilities. 

One architect that combines these skills masterfully is Kevin Ten Brinke of KT2 Design Group from the Boston, Massachusetts area. Check out his work here to get an understanding of what a great architect is capable of.

What does a typical day at work look like?

Day to day tasks an Architect regularly undertakes include:

  • creating hand sketches, 3D models and detailed technical plans using computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • create a plan, and have a thorough knowledge of building laws and safety regulations
  • find cost-effective ways to work within budgets
  • manage construction projects
  • choose appropriate materials for each specific build
  • visit building sites to check work in progress
  • communicate and share ideas with clients, other architects, architectural technologists, and technicians
  • write reports and job proposals and complete planning applications

You can see that drawing and the artistic side of the job are only one of many aspects of the career. The everyday work also includes lots of written and verbal communication, maths to work out the cost of each build, and you do get out of the office and visit building sites.

How do you become an Architect?

An architect designs buildings that must be sturdy enough to overcome the whims of nature and be aesthetically pleasing to the eye of the owner. Therefore, there is a rigorous program of qualifications and exams required before you can be a fully licensed Architect with independent or contracted practices within the industry.

This can take 11 years to achieve on average. 

But don’t let that number scare you off.

There are many different pathways to becoming fully licensed. You complete a 3- or 4-year undergraduate degree that will allow you to work for an architectural business. You can then complete further qualifications while also working and earning.

ities and knowledge of architecture practices and principles

Architecture is a highly rewarding and exciting career path, not all who study this career want to or need to go on to become fully licensed. 

There are many careers you can follow with a 3-year Architect degree.