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Area
Employer
Information/Strategies

Commercial/Institutional Architecture

  • Private Industry including:
    • Office Buildings
    • Convention Centers
    • Medical Offices
    • Health Clubs
    • Motels, Hotels, Resorts
    • Casinos
    • Restaurants
    • Shopping Centers
    • Supermarkets
    • Theaters
    • Arenas
  • Public/Government Including:
    • Schools, Colleges, Universities
    • Government Facilities
    • Military Facilities
    • Libraries
    • Hospitals
    • Recreational Facilities
    • Churches
    • Museums
    • Environmental Design
    • Disaster Response/Management
  • 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.
  • Familiarize yourself with the various jobs and processes, e.g. hospitality, healthcare, that take place in the buildings to design effectively for clients’ needs.
  • 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.


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.


Historic Preservation

  • Architectural History
  • Curating
  • Architectural Conservatory
  • Preservation
  • Restoration
  • Research
  • Historic Interior Design
  • Building Inspection
  • Architecture firms particularly those specializing in historic preservation
  • Federal, state, local government
  • Consulting firms
  • Nonprofit preservation groups
  • Educational institutions
  • 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.


Related Professional

  • Landscape Design
  • Interior Design
  • Forensic Architecture
  • Urban Planning
  • Furniture Design
  • Federal, state, local government
  • Architecture firms
  • Design firms
  • Consumer goods manufacturers
  • Furniture stores
  • Specialized training or advanced degrees may be required, e.g. master’s in urban planning, degrees in landscape design, interior design, etc.
  • Take courses in specialized fields of interest, e.g. landscape design, economics, etc.
  • Gain experience working in fast paced environments and meeting deadlines. Plan to work on multiple projects at a time.
  • Build a network of contacts, especially if considering freelance work, to keep up with industry trends and build clientele.


Construction

  • Building Surveying
  • Development
  • Planning
  • Construction Management
  • Project Management
  • Facilities Management
  • Architectural Technology
  • Contracting
  • Property Assessment
  • Developers
  • Contractors
  • Self-employed
  • Architecture firms
  • Design firms
  • Engineering firms
  • A contractor’s license is considered valuable for working in the design/build area of architecture.
  • Develop strong verbal, written, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. Consider a course in public speaking to enhance presentation skills.  Plan to collaborate with others.
  • Obtain relevant experience through co-ops or internships for industry-related careers.


Entertainment/Arts/Media

  • Writing/Journalism
  • Set Design
  • Advertising Design
  • Illustration
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • Publishers including book, magazine, journals
  • Entertainment industry
  • Take courses in English and journalism to develop writing skills.
  • Supplement curriculum with relevant courses in theater and art.
  • Get involved with campus publications.
  • Take an active role, preferably leadership, in journalism and/or writing organizations on campus.
  • Create a portfolio of writing, photography, and/or illustration samples, especially those that have been published.


Business and Industry

  • Real Estate:
    • Development
    • Appraisals
    • Brokerage
  • Consulting
  • Law
  • Insurance Liability
  • Product Development/Marketing
  • Real estate firms
  • Appraisal firms
  • Apartment and condominium complexes
  • Developers
  • Large corporations: real estate departments
  • Law firms
  • Corporate architecture departments
  • Federal, state, local government
  • Develop an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Investigate apprenticeships in appraisal.
  • Research the process of becoming a real estate broker through the National Association of Realtors. Learn about the real estate market and local supply and demand.
  • Considering pursuing an MBA degree to open more opportunities within business and industry.
  • Many large corporations employ architects to serve as client representatives when working with architectural firms.
  • Earn a JD for law practice. Experience in architecture and construction will help prepare one for contract negotiation and litigation.


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.


General Information and Strategies

  • To become an architect in most states one must receive a professional degree, Bachelor or Master of Architecture, from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, complete an Intern Development Program (IDP) that takes three to five years, and pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).  Research your state’s requirements for licensure.
  • A growing number of architects seek certification by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) which makes it easier to become licensed across states.
  • There are master’s degree programs for students who did not major in architecture at the undergraduate level.  A strong background in the physical sciences and math is important.
  • Architecture involves much more than designing buildings. Conduct informational interviews with 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.
  • Two thirds of licensed architects in the US are in private practice.  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.