How To Become An Architect in 2022

You want to become an architect, huh, and want the right information to help become an effective professional? Say no more. That is part of what I’m going to show you here; how to become an architect.

The architecture industry is consistently growing. The computer and access to information have significantly changed the revolutionalized the way architecture has been practiced for the past 100 years. The word “architecture” is now as general as the term “music”. So, just like music, there are sub-niches in architecture.

As an architect, your work influences the workplace, and lives of people. In truth, being an architect as a profession is drastically different from the architecture school experience.

So carefully read to the end to really discover all the necessary things you may require in becoming an architect, with or without a college degree.

What Is Architecture?

According to the wiki, architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing, as well as constructing buildings or any other structures. So, architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art.

So any specialist who has received certified professional training to carry out these tasks listed above is called an Architect.

The Architectural profession is one of the oldest professions before civil engineering. Even historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements. As has been said already, the architectural career is a rewarding, creative career. Well, just so you know, no day is ever the same at work. Each new day opens with new opportunities and expectations.

This profession is generally not limited by background, gender, and age. Anyone can be an architect- man and woman alike.

One amazing thing about this profession is that there are simply not enough architects to go round. So you can become an architect and carve your own niche in this very vast industry.

Hence, architecture provides a sense of place and support for all types of human activity, while creating a legacy that reflects and symbolizes culture and traditions.

Who is an Architecture?

Architects are licensed-specialists trained in the art and science of building design who develop the concepts for structures and turn those concepts into images and plans.

Their duties generally require specific skills—designing, engineering, managing, supervising, and communicating with clients and builders.

People need places to live, work, play, learn, shop, and eat. So, as an Architect, you are responsible for designing these places.

What does an Architect do?

There are so many facets that architects engage in. Part of what they do is to plan, design, supervise, develop and maintain public and private infrastructure projects and systems which may include roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, water supply, as well as wastewater treatment systems and so many others.

Some architectural designers may be involved in all phases of a construction project, from the initial discussion with the client through the final delivery of the completed structure. So, their duties require specific skills—designing, engineering, managing, supervising, and communicating with clients and builders.

Here are some specialized activities that you may be involved in as an architect:

  • Assist clients in obtaining construction bids, selecting contractors, and negotiating construction contracts.
  • Advice on energy efficiency measures, also, evaluate how well the building design adapts to the needs of occupants, and make necessary improvements.
  • Design complexes such as urban centers, college campuses, industrial parks.
  • Give preliminary estimates on cost and construction time
  • Prepare structure specifications
  • Direct workers who prepare drawings and documents
  • Prepare scaled drawings, either using computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) or by hand. However, hand-drawing skills are very much required, especially during the conceptual stages of a project and when an architect is at a construction site.
  • Prepare contract documents for building contractors
  • Manage construction contracts
  • Visit worksites to ensure that construction adheres to architectural plans
  • Seek new work by marketing and giving presentations.

How Much Does an Architect make? | Salary, Job Outlook, Work Environment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Architects hold about 133,900 jobs. The largest employers of architects are as follows:

Architectural, engineering, and related services 60%
Self-employed workers 20%
Government 3%
Construction 3%

From a recent AIA study, 79% of architects work in firms with 9 or fewer employees. And, only 2% of architects work in firms with 100 or more employees.

Also, the BLS states that the median annual wage for architects was $79,380 in May 2018. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,020, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $138,120.

Furthermore, the employment of architects is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.

In fact, demand is expected to increase over time as the need for Healthcare facilities increases. The baby-boomer population ages and the geometric increase in the world’s population is a basic reason for this.

So, the employment of architects is strongly tied to the activity of the construction industry. Therefore, these workers may experience times of unemployment when there is a slowdown in requests for new projects or when the overall level of construction falls.

There are various careers related to architectural design, namely:

  • Architectural and Engineering Manager
  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction and Building Inspectors
  • Construction Managers
  • Drafters
  • Industrial Designers
  • Interior Designers
  • Landscape Architect
  • Surveyors
  • Urban and Regional Planners

What Are The Requirements To Be An Architect?

There are definitely requirements you must meet if you must become an architect. Some of these requirements are basic personal skills that you must develop while some others may include compulsory educational and professional requirements that you must meet.

Let us examine some of the personal skills that you must possess if you must have a swell time practicing as an architect.

Personal Skills Required

Below are some of the personal skills that guarantee success in your career pursuit of how to become an architectural designer.

  • Math skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Creativity
  • Organizational skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills
  • Technical skills

Educational Skills Required

While considering the various requirements to meet, you must also consider architectural education requirements. You see, for you to really start a career as an architect, you must meet some acceptable and appreciable standard which usually begins with acquiring architecture degrees.

Below are some educational requirements for becoming an architectural designer.

  • High school background in maths, physics, and other natural sciences
  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in architecture.
  • Earn a Master’s degree
  • Gain professional experience especially through a paid internship
  • Pass the Architect Registration Exam and pursue professional certification

How much does it cost to become an architect?

The total cost to be an architect will depend on whether the architectural degree is offered by a public or private college and also whether the student is attending in-state or out-of-state. However, the annual cost of a bachelor’s degree in architecture is between $15,000 to more than $60,000 a year.

Well, of course, this includes tuition, fees, and books.

Is Being An Architect HARD?

The architecture profession is typically about slaving away on construction drawings, checking their staff’s work, invoicing clients, reviewing the work of contractors so they can get paid, and handling their clients and employees and managing all types of problems related to their projects and business.

However, if you get beyond the long hours, and complicated licensing and educational requirements. Architecture is really one of the greatest occupations known to man.

How long does it take to become an architect?

Usually, it takes about 5 years to acquire a Bachelor’s degree in this Architecture. This might depend on the school anyway. If you wish to pursue a master’s degree, it will take you a long time. A couple of years more may be involved. And if you further wish to acquire a doctorate degree, you can be sure you will invest more time and resources on the go.

So do the math; 5 years of bachelor’s degree plus 2 years of master’s degree plus 2 years of doctoral and professional studies may give you an average of 9 years.

However, You can still become a licensed architect with just your bachelor’s degree.

But if you must advance and earn more money, then you must advance professionally too.

Which are the best Architecture schools I can attend?

Some schools have been recognized and rated based on their notable and outstanding contributions in the making of renowned architectural designers. Most of these schools offer bachelor’s degrees in various options. You can also find programs leading to master’s and doctorate degrees and in this field.

These architectural schools were ranked according to QS World University ranking system on some best architecture schools.

Enrolling in any of these schools assures you of well-meaning careers in architecture. So, you can find below the list of best architecture schools in the world.

  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Manchester School of Architecture
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Purdue University–West Lafayette
  • University of Texas–Austin
  • Havard University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University

Steps to Becoming an Architect: The full guide

Here is what you have been waiting for. This is a step-by-step guide on how to have a great architecture career. So carefully read through to learn more.

Obtain a bachelor’s degree

Earning the 5-year bachelor’s degree is the entry-level requirement if you want to practice architecture. At this level, students take a variety of courses in math, structural elements, project management, fluid dynamics, as well as environmental planning. They learn from a variety of media, including classroom lectures, internships or collaborative training, and on-site fieldwork.

Select an elective and build your knowledge in it

Architecture degree is a broad field of study. While taking your undergraduate courses, it is wise you narrow it down to one aspect of architecture. There are several options for concentrations. Areas you may consider include construction engineering, structural engineering, and geotechnical engineering.

A number of competitions are available to students pursuing degrees in architecture, including competitions hosted by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. And, these competitions provide students with the experience to fill on his or her resume. Also, they help students to better evaluate their design skills.

Apply for Internship Programs while still in school

All states always make it compulsory for architects to complete training or internship programs before obtaining a license to become an architect.

As a matter of fact, some states have adopted the Intern Development Program (IDP) administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and the American Institute of Architects. So, completion of the IDP entails 5,600 hours of state- and NCARB-approved work experience.

However, an internship in the area of your career will expose you to on-hands training sessions with experts in the field while you are still in school.

So, the four main experience areas covered in the IDP are pre-design, design, project management, and practice management. Interns learn about various topics, including schematic design, site, and building analysis, zoning regulations as well as contract negotiation.

These opportunities also serve students well for future employment, allowing them to network with other professionals, receive mentorship from an established architecture, and possibly leverage their experience into a job after graduation.

Apply for State Licensure and Certification

It is imperative for Architects to hold licensure from the states in which they practice. Although conditions for obtaining licensure vary, most states require completion of an approved bachelor’s degree program and an internship. Then, qualified applicants may sit for the NCARB’s Architect Registration Examination (ARE). This is a 7-part pass-or-fail test covering topics in site planning, building systems as well as construction documents.

To further your career even as a residential architect, you can opt for voluntary NCARB certification to add more weight to your working portfolio.

Pursue a graduate Program

This is optional but it’s important you do it. Pursue a master’s degree program so as to advance in your career even at the management level. This is very important because some organizations will only consider your application if you already have a master’s degree in this field.

Even for a student without a college degree in architecture, you can enroll to study architecture at the postgraduate level provided you have a bachelor’s degree in any other field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you become an Architect online?

Online Architecture degree can be earned at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and certificate levels. When earned, you will help design and help build structures like airports, roads, bridges, buildings, and railways, and they work in diverse areas such as the complexes, hospitals, parks, etc.

How much does it cost to become a architect?

The annual cost of a bachelor’s degree in architecture is between $15,000 to more than $60,000 a year.

Are architects in demand?

Yes, architects are in demand. In fact, the employment of architects is projected to grow 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations.

How much do architects make?

The average annual salary for architects was $79,380 in May , according to Bureau of Labour Statistics.

In a Nutshell

If you want to carve out your own path of success an architect, then it’s worth drawing inspiration from the professionals who have created their own fruitful career paths through internships.

There are several paths you can take to develop the Architectural designer career you desire. Most thriving architects followed these steps to get to senior positions.

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