Thinking of Becoming an Architect: Everything You Need to Consider

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Architecture is an interesting and challenging career choice. It is also a very rewarding one once you get to see your work come to life. Architecture also has a great job outlook and is one of those jobs that seem to not be going anywhere anytime soon. If you are considering getting into this field, here is what you need to know.

What Type of Architect Will You Be?

When thinking about getting into architecture, you need to consider the most common types of architects in the field. The first category is technical architects who work on the technical aspects of structures. These can include water tightness, thermal efficiency, and more. Planning architects are brought in to ensure a project adheres to local and national rules, regulations, and requirements such as in outlining the proper site and placement of a structure.

Site architects oversee whole projects from start to finish. They are the party responsible for workers, quality, safety, and the procurement of contracts. Design architects are well-known as they provide the actual designs for structures. They come up with blueprints and ensure final designs meet client and regulatory requirements. Since they understand the design best, they may be involved in choosing materials for the construction as well as working with technical architects.

Required Education

While this requirement may vary, many jurisdictions require that architects have at least a bachelor’s degree in architecture. Once you complete the 5- to 7-year bachelor’s program, you will also be required to complete a 3- to 4-year internship. These internships teach you various aspects of being an architect including project management, practice management, design and more.

Once you are done with both of these, you must obtain a license to start practicing. The license is offered by architectural registration boards, so check which one applies to you. You also have the choice to complete optional professional certifications to further demonstrate your experience and abilities.

Skills of Successful Architects

Although most architects will be involved in the design of different structures, they also need to understand engineering and math. These skills allow them to apply engineering principles in their designs as well as work with other engineers. Leadership and communication skills are especially important for architects who would like to get into leadership positions. These positions often need people capable of overseeing construction teams and ensuring the successful completion of projects. Leadership and communications skills enable architects to achieve both of these aims.

You Will Need Insurance

Mistakes can still happen even when you are a highly qualified and competent architect. When these mistakes happen, they can end up causing massive financial losses or injuries that you might be liable for as the chief architect. To protect yourself, you need to have required architect insurance. This is also the case when working for a firm as an employee or when you own an architect firm. Architect insurance helps pay for expenses and damages and covers liabilities in case of injury. This type of insurance is the best protection for both individuals and firms against risks and liabilities.

You Do Not Need to Know How to Draw Well

One of the most surprising things about architecture is that you do not need an ability to draw well. What architects need is the ability to convey ideas through their drawings. Architects do not make art, but instead use their drawings to make sure others understand their visions, make it easier to understand their designs, and ensure their designs are sound. Additionally, a lot of architects and architectural firms now use software that eliminates the need to know how to draw well. However, understanding the principles of architectural designs is still important in case you do not have access to a computer.

A Lot of Architectural Work Is Not Design

Another surprising thing about architecture is that most of it is not about design; it is about solving problems. It is also about tracing on paper and thinking about unique solutions to problems that have not even become apparent yet. The practical skills practicing architects need to succeed might seem mundane, but they are important for clients who want their services.

Becoming an architect is not glamorous at all, but it is highly rewarding. Once you know what path you would like to follow and get into the industry, you might just find that it is the perfect fit for you.

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