Career Summary

Architecture is the art form and the science of designing and building functional structures in relationship to and regard for the surrounding environment. In Greek, the word architect means “master builder”. Architects mastermind and supervise the construction of houses, public buildings, industrial facilities, commercial complexes, retail centers, or whole communities. They integrate far-reaching inferences of design, construction, historic preservation, urbanization, regional environmental dictates in their conceptual vision of a construction project. Architects must be knowledgeable about current environmental design principles, building methods and techniques, local zoning laws and building codes.

As a part of their job duties, they perform detailed cost analyses of the project, develop project controls, prepare actual building plans according to specifications, select or recommend building materials, negotiate contracts for the requested services, generate construction field reports and instruction bulletins, to name a few. Architects personally oversee construction work at all the stages of its progress. They interact with their clients, support staff, building contractors, and city officials. Architects implement their design ideas via computerized CAD/CADD program and/or have a team of architectural drafters perform the computer-aided design functions. Architects are required to obtain a license upon satisfying the mandatory eligibility criteria. The candidates must pass a state-administered examination before qualifying to independently practice their profession. Architects may find employment in construction firms, urban development companies, and government agencies or branch out into teaching. About one third of all architects nationally is self-employed. A Master’s degree and continuing education will increase person’s chances for career advancement.

Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree should consult with an academic and/or transfer counselor to discuss university transfer requirements.

Key Skills and Characteristics

  • Knowledge of broad technical construction aspects, construction administration principles and practices.
  • Creative vision.
  • CAD/CADD and PC expertise.
  • Familiarity with documents and forms utilized throughout the progress of a construction project.
  • Graphic design skills.
  • Strong negotiating and communication skills, including technical writing.
  • Effective human relations management and client-diplomacy skills.
  • Problem solving ability and technical know-how.
  • Independent decision-making capacity.
  • Expertise in drafting, computer drafting, modeling, rendering, and lettering techniques.
  • Multi-tasking ability.

Related Career Titles

*Landscape Architect  *Interior Architect  *Project Architects  *Architectural Designer  *Project Architect  *Intermediate Architect  *Technical Architect  *Junior Architect


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Last updated: 11/15/2009 12:07:29 AM