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Architecture Major Careers

Architecture Career Information

Area

Employer

Information/Strategies

Residential Architecture

  • Single Family Housing
  • Multiple-Unit Residential
  • Tract Homes
  • Senior/Assisted Living
  • Remodeling/Renovations
  • Research
  • Architecture firms
  • Real estate developers
  • Construction firms
  • Individual homeowners
  • Self-employed
  • Description: Designing new homes or renovating existing ones for either single or multiple families.
  • Shadow, volunteer, or intern in an architect’s office to gain exposure to the field.
  • Develop strong communication skills and patience which are important when working with individuals in designing their homes.
  • Study houses and architecture styles and read books and magazines about architecture.

Commercial/Institutional Architecture

  • Private Industry including:
    • Office buildings
    • Convention centers
    • Medical offices
    • Healthclubs
    • Motels, hotels
    • Casinos
    • Restaurants
    • Shopping centers
    • Supermarkets
    • Theaters
    • Arenas
  • Public/Government including:
    • Schools, colleges, universities
    • Government facilities
    • Military facilities
    • Libraries
    • Hospitals
    • Recreational facilities
    • Churches
    • Museums
  • Architecture firms
  • Large corporations
  • Manufacturers
  • Research institutions
  • Transportation companies
  • Universities and colleges
  • Local and state government
  • Federal government agencies including:
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Interior
    • Department of Housing & Urban Development
    • General Services Administration
  • Preservation firms
  • Self-employed
  • Description: Designing office buildings, factories, laboratories, malls, schools and other commercial or government facilities.
  • Seek part-time jobs and/or internships to gain relevant experience.
  • Learn the technical side of preparing construction documents; spend time in the field to understand the mechanics of construction.
  • Research the various jobs and processes that will take place in the buildings.
  • Seek advanced training if specializing in a certain typology such as historic preservation and renovation or a certain type of building such as schools or hospitals.
  • Get involved in leadership roles on campus; architects may serve as project leaders coordinating the work of engineers and contractors.
  • Develop strong writing skills which are necessary for advancement.

Related Professional

  • Forensic Architecture
  • Urban Planning
  • Real Estate Developing
  • Contracting
  • Property Assessment
  • Landscape Design
  • Interior Design
  • Engineering:
    • Architectural
    • Civil
    • Mechanical
    • Structural
  • Consulting
  • Project Management
  • Facilities Management
  • Product Development/Marketing
  • Law
  • Insurance Liability
  • Writing/Journalism
  • Set Designers
  • Federal, state, local government
  • Real estate firms
  • Developers
  • Contractors
  • Self-employed
  • Architecture firms
  • Design firms
  • Engineering firms
  • Corporate architecture departments
  • Law firms
  • Magazines, journals, publishers
  • Entertainment industry
  • Specialized training or advanced degrees may be required, e.g. master’s in urban planning, degrees in landscape design, interior design, etc.
  • Learn about real estate market and local supply and demand.
  • A contractor’s license is considered valuable for working in the design/build area of architecture.
  • MBA degree may open more opportunities within business and industry.
  • Many large corporations employ architects to serve as client representatives when working with architectural firms.
  • Earn JD for law practice. Experience in architecture and construction will help prepare one for contract negotiation and litigation.
  • Take courses in English and journalism to develop writing skills. Get involved with campus publications.

Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Information/Library Science
  • Part-time Instruction
  • Colleges and universities
  • Special Collections Libraries
  • A doctoral degree in architecture is preferred and/or required for full-time professorships.
  • Professional experience and licensure in the field of architecture is beneficial.
  • Develop a working knowledge in the building design or construction industry, along with knowledge of CADD, project planning, and estimating.
  • Create a portfolio for faculty review.

Historic Preservation

  • Architectural History
  • Curating
  • Architectural Conservatory
  • Preservation
  • Restoration
  • Research
  • Historic Interior Design
  • Educational institutions
  • Private architectural firms
  • Government agencies
  • Get experience in the construction and contracting field.
  • Seek knowledge about construction of buildings during earlier periods. Gain technical experience in problems that occur with historic buildings such as complications from climatic and environmental conditions over time.
  • Join the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

General Information and Strategies

  • To gain entry into the field of architecture, one must receive either a Bachelor or Master of Architecture from a school of architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, complete a full-time internship (three to five years), and pass the Architect Registration Examination.
  • There are master’s degree programs for students who did not major in in architecture at the undergraduate level.
  • Architecture involves much more than designing buildings. Talk to architects and visit their offices to learn more about the field.
  • Architecture is a combination of art and science. Students of architecture must be able to conceptualize and understand spatial relations and be detail-oriented. Develop creativity, analytical skills, and a sense of quality.
  • Supplement curriculum with art and photography classes.
  • Oral and written communications skills are important, particularly when working with clients, construction crews, or government officials. Good writing skills are valuable for developing architectural proposals.
  • Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD), Building Information Modeling (BIM), and other computer technologies are prevalent in the field of architecture. Develop as many computer skills as possible.
  • The job market for architects, especially residential, varies with changes in economy as demand is often tied to level of construction.
  • One third of architects are self-employed as either partners or running their own firms.
  • Most architects work in firms of fewer than five people.
  • Related fields include: graphic, interior, or industrial planning, real estate development, civil engineering, and construction management.
  • Some architects specialize in a particular building type. Graduate study in the field may be helpful for specializing. Other architects may specialize in a certain function of the firm such as project management or specification writing.
  • Areas of specialization include: historic preservation/renovation, healthcare facilities, sports facilities, educational facilities, master planning, and interior design.
  • Students should design a portfolio to use when interviewing. Include freehand drawings, final drawings by hand and computer, process sketches, photos of study models and finished models, a sample of writing, and work from technical courses.

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