How to Become an Architect
Architect Job Duties
Skills and Qualites of Architects
Architect Salary
Influential Professionals in this Field
Leading Organizations in this Field
Top Cities for Architect Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become an Architect

Architects must have a degree in architecture. A professional architecture degree has to be obtained from a degree program which is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Architecture students can receive a five year bachelor's degree (the most common type), a two-year master's degree (for students with a previous bachelor's degree in architecture), or a three-or four-year master's degree (for students with a bachelor's degree in a different field). Some architectural school offer post-professional degrees. These are most useful for students who already have a bachelor's degree in a different field and wish to become an architect.

y American state, an aspiring architect must complete a period of training for about three years before he is able to take the licensing examination. Internships during school can often count as part of this training time. A candidate must be licensed before she can call herself an architect, or contract out to provide architectural services.

What does an Architect do?

Architects design buildings for many different purposes. An architect may practice general architecture or specialize in building homes, churches, schools, office complexes, or any other type of building. In addition, architects may design areas such as college campuses or outdoor shopping malls.

Part of the job responsibility of an architect is determining the safety of a particular building or structure being designed, before it is built. Buildings must be safe and functional, and the construction cost cannot exceed a client's budget. This may involve some compromise, as the client may want a building that is not feasible, too expensive, or unsafe. An architect will, in this case, need to present alternatives that the client may also be happy with.

An architect may also provide what are called "pre-design services," which are tasks such as environmental impact studies and feasibility studies. This helps the architect and client choose a site and research the appropriateness of that site. The architect then designs the plans for the building, taking into account such factors as zoning laws and plumbing systems, and specifying building materials.

Computers are used more often in architectural design nowadays, with many architects depending greatly on computer-aided design (CAD) and building information modeling (BIM) in creating their designs. Although architects spend most of their time in offices, they also visit job sites as their projects progress.

What skills or qualities do I need to become an Architect?

An ability to draw or otherwise express themselves visually is essential to becoming an architect, as this is how architects show their clients their ideas. Computer skills are important, as more and more drafting and design work is done on computers. Attention to detail and an ability to work with others are qualities that are extremely important for people wishing to become architects. Architects must also be aware of safety concerns.

How much does an Architect make?

In May of 2006, the median annual salary of all architects in the United States was $64,150, with the middle fifty percent of architects making in between $49,780 and $83,450 per year. Architects who are not licensed tend to earn less than licensed architects, and those in the internship stage earn much less than other architects. The salary of an architect may vary depending on his or her specialty.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Frank Lloyd Wright is perhaps the best known American architect. He was a fan of organic architecture, as can be seen in his work "Falling water," a house in rural Pennsylvania. In addition, Wright created the Usonian home and helped begin the "Prairie School" style of architecture. An interior decorator as well as architect, Frank Lloyd Wright often worked on the interior décor of the homes and buildings which he designed.

What are some leading organizations in the field of Architecture?

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) considers itself the "voice of the architecture profession." It is the top professional organization for architects since its founding in 1857. The AIA is committed to excellence in architecture, in both livability and design. Although the group was founded with only 13 architects, it now boasts a nationwide membership of more than 83,000 professionals.

The Architectural Association (AA) in Great Britain is a highly regarded association and architectural school which are known worldwide. The school provides a place for students to learn architecture, whether they wish to attend at night or during the day. The association presents information about architecture to the general public.

What are the top cities for Architect jobs?

Architects are needed wherever buildings, complexes, or structures of any kind are being built. New York City is the top city in the United States for architecture jobs, and Chicago, Illinois is not far behind, in second place. In a distant third place is Dallas, Texas, with Houston, Texas in fourth place. Atlanta, Georgia is the fifth top city in the United States for architect jobs.

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