What does an Architect do?
An architect designs and planns office buildings, houses, churches, complexes and other structures. They visit the field site or construction site to visualize the project and plan it's design, as well as oversee it's progress. They estimate costs, materials, and time needed to complete the job and prepare scaled drawings to submit to a client or their employer.
How to become an Architect
To gain a career as an architect, most applicants aquire a 5 year bachelor's of architecture degree then gain experience through an internship. Architects are required to pass the Architect Registration Exam. Some students go on to earn their master's degree.
Job Description of an Architect
Architects design and plan the structures that people occupy or need for shopping, working, living or even eating or playing. They work on projects, both private or public, as well as, indoor or outdoor areas. Their clients or employer may have them plan and design large buildings, such as, apartment complexes, malls or several buildings, or only a small design, like a home or similar small scale space.
In order to determine the client's project feasibility, the architect must meet with them to consider requirements needed for structures, budget and objectives and deliver any updates, progress or adjustments during the entire job. An architect must collect all information pertinent to the project, for instance, site selection, environmental impact, if any, and be in conformance with any zoning laws, building codes or any other ordinances, like, access to buildings for the disabled.
An architect is responsible for drawing up the detailed plans for the project and developing final construction plans, such as, electrical systems, heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems. Also accompanying the drawings are the designs and plans for landscape requirements or plumbing and communication systems.
He or she must closely follow the progress of the construction site to be sure of on-time schedules, proper design implementation and required materials and be satisfied with standards of the work quality. Sometimes an architect may assist his or her client in obtaining specific contractors or obtaining fair construction bids.
An architect uses tools, such as, building information modeling (BIM) and/or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD). Hand-drawing skills are used mostly during the early design stages of a project. An architect seeks new jobs or stimulates his or her business by giving presentations or using marketing techniques.
They usually spend most of their day working in an office, mainly meeting with potential customers, coordinating with other engineer or architects and designing drawings for projects. They can also be found on the construction site, overseeing the progress of a project.
Because 1 out of 5 architects were self-employed in 2012, they work at their home office as well as the field site. The Bureau of Labor Statistics project a 7 percent growth in this career field and one should expect strong competition for employment.