Career Detail

“I've Got the Blueprint”
Licensed professionals trained in the art and science of designing buildings and developing visual ideas into images and blueprints.
Average Pay: $83K    Qualifications: BA Degree/ License
The Job
Architects design a wide variety of buildings, such as offices and apartments, schools, churches, factories, hospitals, houses, and airport terminals. They also design complexes such as urban centers, college campuses, industrial parks, and entire communities. The design of a building involves far more than its appearance, it also must be functional, safe, and economical and must suit the needs of the people who use them. Architects consider all these factors when they design buildings and other structures. They develop final construction plans that show the building's appearance and details for its construction including drawings of the structural system; air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems; electrical systems; communications systems; plumbing; and, possibly, site and landscape plans. Often working with engineers, urban planners, interior designers, landscape architects, and other professionals, architects in fact spend a great deal of their time coordinating information from, and the work of, other professionals engaged in the same project. Drawing skills are helpful but not required, but architechs should be profecient in design software. Most architects work approximately 40 hours per week, they often have to work nights and weekends to meet deadlines.
Work Environment
Usually working in a comfortable environment, architects spend most of their time in offices consulting with clients, developing reports and drawings, and working with other architects and engineers.
College Majors
Minimum Qualifications
There are three main steps in becoming an architect. First is the attainment of a professional degree in architecture. Second is work experience through an internship, and third is licensure through the passing of the Architect Registration Exam.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Creativity, the ability to work independently and as part of a team, able to communicate ideas visually, being a good drawer is helpful but not required
Quick Facts
  • Licensing requirements include a professional degree in architecture and at least 3 years of practical work training
  • About 1 in 5 architects are self-employed-more than 2 times the proportion for all occupations.
  • Many firms pay tuition and fees toward continuing education requirements for their employees.
  • More Info: The American Institute of Architects,
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of wage-and-salary architects were $70,320 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $53,480 and $91,870. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,320, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,220. Those just starting their internships can expect to earn considerably less.
Comments and Updates
If you are a professional in this field please post comments so we can make this section the best and most relevant. Comments and updates are reviewed by our staff prior to posting. Post your comments
Uri Cooper II
9/7/2010 1:25:17 AM
Hello, I am an aspiring architect currently in community college in San Diego, CA. I am interested in any and all opportunities and assistance that is pertinent to my success as a African (black) American male pursuing architecture. Please forward any information that will assist me in my endeavors. Thanking you in advance, Uri Cooper II

12/6/2009 10:49:39 P
I have been a architect for 11 years, it is tough right now because of the housing situation, but we lead the way of the rebound. There are a few of the super-big developers starting to make plans for new projects that they estimate could get off the ground by the end of 2011. So If you are in school, I think things will heat up by 2012
Comment or Update:

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