Architecture As A Career Path: What You Need To Know

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Architects design and supervise the construction of buildings and other physical structures. They prepare construction plans, draw up specifications for materials, and discuss the project with clients to determine the feasibility of the design.


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Because architects are involved in so many facets of a project, they may act as supervisors of contractors who are building a structure.

Some architects own their own architectural firms, which may employ a number of other architects in addition to the owner. Some architects prefer to work for themselves because they can call the shots on a project, working when and where they want. They are responsible for all phases of a project, including conducting feasibility studies, performing environmental impact studies, and similar research such as cost analysis and design requirements before developing blueprints and construction plans for their clients' approval.

If you're thinking about going into architecture as a career, here are some things you should know:

  • Architects need to be artistic and creative.
  • Architects need to have strong technical skills.
  • Architects must be able to communicate with clients effectively.
  • Architects must enjoy designing solutions to technical problems.
  • Architects need to be able to deal with stress.
  • Architects must remain current on new trends in technology.
  • Architects usually work long hours, often at night or early in the morning, sometimes on weekends.
  • Architects must pay close attention to detail.
  • Architects may face deadlines that demand working around the clock.

Some of the tasks undertaken by an architect

  • Aids in designing a new structure or building
  • Assists in planning and designing public parks and recreational facilities
  • Develops architectural design solutions for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, urban planning, educational, research, and transportation projects
  • Evaluates cost estimates based on design proposals
  • Exercises independent judgment within guidelines set by supervisor or client

In addition to designing buildings, architects may be involved with space planning and interior design; energy efficiency strategies; new materials research; accessibility, fire prevention, and environmental issues; construction methods and techniques; or marketing, sales, and business development.

A degree in architecture is a good start for many other careers: conservation architect (who works to restore old buildings); landscape architect (who creates outdoor spaces that are visually appealing and environmentally friendly); urban planner (who coordinates land use policies); real estate developer (who builds residential or commercial complexes); urban designer (who designs a city's layout).

As with other careers in the arts, getting your foot in the door — and keeping it there — may require persistence and creativity. A portfolio featuring examples of your drawing ability and original designs can be a good way to get noticed.

There is no doubt that a career in architecture will be very challenging, which is why it is one of the most coveted careers in today's world. What's more exciting is that this path also offers lucrative benefits and opportunities for professional growth.

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Where To Study Architecture In South Africa


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