Architecture professionals design structures for many purposes. They can build factories, design landscapes, design homes, and even renovate old structures to include climate-friendly measures. Architects use both technical skills and creative artistry to design projects that are functional and attractive.
This post examines the top careers in architecture that are marketable, as well as the nitty-gritty of the profession. You can also learn about how to become an architect.
See the table of contents below.
Table of contents
How To Become An Architect
To become an architect, you need to graduate from one of the schools of architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Students can choose to enroll in a five-year bachelor’s degree program. Typical courses in an accredited architect bachelor’s program include project management, building systems, and environmental planning and impact analysis.
After the bachelor’s degree program, you can also go for a master’s degree program. There are various Master of Architecture programs available that are accredited by the NAAB. Pursuing a master’s degree may be a good choice for individuals wishing to work in a research or teaching capacity as well as those who want to switch to an architecture career and who don’t have an architecture-related bachelor’s degree.
Upon graduation, students must complete a training period or internship, which typically lasts three or more years.
After the training period, you are eligible to sit for the Architect Registration Exam. Once you’ve passed the exam you can obtain a state-specific practice license.
In addition to the Architect Registration Examination, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards also offers additional national certification. While not required, this certification can make it easier to apply for architecture jobs in various states and demonstrate your professional abilities and experience.
What does an architect do?
Architects are professionals who are trained in the science and art of building and structure designs. They are responsible for the design and construction of buildings and structures.
Architects oversee not only the aesthetic appeal of a structure but also its safety and functionality. They must also take into consideration the economic aspects of buildings and ensure they meet the needs of the individuals and the construction standard.
Common duties of an architect may include:
- Developing architecture that best aligns with a client’s needs
- Overseeing architectural projects to ensure functional and high-quality design
- Producing blueprints for a project
- Composing predesign figures that may include cost analysis, land studies, and the environmental impact of a structure
- Researching and following zoning laws, building codes, city ordinances, and other regulations that impact an architectural project
- Using advanced computer technology to draft models of structures and explore different construction approaches
- Finding and obtaining construction contracts and coordinating with construction workers
While there are different types of architects in various industries, the primary objective of all architects is to plan and design all components of a structure.
Is Architecture A Good Career?
A career in architecture is highly attractive, high paying, and has lots of potential in terms of growth.
Architects design structures, give a physical beauty to structure, provide functional utility, safety and contribute to the economy.
The work of an architect is not limited to designing corporate offices, rather they design houses, apartments and colonies, industrial complexes, hospitals, hotels, airport terminals, stadiums, shopping and commercial complexes, schools, etc.
According to topuniversities.com, as an architect, you’ll work closely with clients and users to design new structures or complete extensions or alterations to existing ones, ensuring that they are safe, cost-effective, and functional.
Architecture is great for individuals who enjoy solving a diverse array of issues, using creative and systematic problem-solving to come to aesthetic and functional answers.
The last century saw tremendous growth in the scope of architectural designs. Though architects have been in existence since time immemorial, new concepts and designs, as well as the implementation of technological inputs, increased in the last century only.
Are Architects in Demand? Demand and Job Outlook
According to Investopedia, there are approximately 129,900 architects employed in the United States. The Bureau of Labour Statistics projects 1,100 new architects will be needed by the year 2029, which represents a 1% job growth rate.
There are several factors affecting the demand for architects. Architects plan and design homes, schools, healthcare facilities, and other buildings. However, according to the BLS, “improved building information modeling (BIM) software and measuring technology are expected to increase architects’ productivity, thereby limiting employment growth for these workers,” which is reflected in the lower than average expected growth rate.
The states that employ the most architects include:
- California – 14,480
- New York – 11,740
- Texas – 9,380
- Illinois – 5,760
- Florida – 4,230
How Much Can I Make As An Architecture?
According to BLS, architects made a median salary of $80,750 which is a median wage of $38.82 per hour. in 2019. The best-paid 25 percent made $105,600 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $62,600.
Best Architecture Schools
Architecture as an art is a more functional and practical form of artistic rendition. To that end, if you desire a career in architecture you need to pass through the best and complete a significant amount of formal education in any of the best architecture schools as listed below:
- University College London
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Delft University of Technology
- ETH Zurich
- Harvard University
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of Cambridge
- National University of Singapore
- Manchester School of Architecture
- Tsinghua University
These schools were selected based on rankings across reputable websites. For more information on the best architecture schools in the world, click HERE.
Important Skills For Architects
Architects create designs for new construction projects, alterations and redevelopments. They use their specialist construction knowledge and high-level skills to design buildings that are functional, safe, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing. Here’s a list of key skills for architects:
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
- High levels of creativity and imagination
- A keen interest in the built environment and the dedication to see projects through to their conclusion
- Willingness to work long hours, under time and budget pressure
- Excellent design and drafting skills and proficiency with computer-aided design (CAD)
- A keen eye for detail, as well as the ability to see the bigger picture of a project
- Organizational, project management, and planning skills, including the ability to juggle multiple tasks
- An analytical mind with excellent problem-solving and mathematical ability
- Leadership skills as well as the ability to work well within a team of other professionals
- An awareness of the specific environmental and social impact of your projects
Top 10 Careers in Architecture That Are Marketable
An architecture major is an excellent opportunity to develop both technical skills and creative ones. And because of the broad range of skills involved in this major, graduates of architecture can choose from our list of top careers in Architecture.
Average Base Salary: $55,747
Job Outlook: 4% growth
A drafter is someone who uses software to transcribe the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings and plans. Workers in production and construction use these plans to build everything from microchips to skyscrapers.
Going the extra mile to learn how to use CAD to convert designs of production into technical drawings will give you leverage in the profession.
As a drafter, your duty is to produce effective product designs by using your understanding of engineering and manufacturing techniques.
#9 Town planner
Average Base Salary: $74,350
Job Outlook: 11% growth
Architects with an interest in development, regeneration and sustainability might be interested in a career as a town planner, in which you’ll manage and develop the countryside, towns, cities and villages.
As a town planner or planner, you will supervise the management and development of cities, towns, villages, and the countryside. Your aim will be to balance the conflicting demands of housing, industrial development, agriculture, recreation, transport, and the environment, in order to allow appropriate development to take place.
To become a town planner, you’ll need strong multitasking skills, commercial awareness, attention to detail, and be confident in listening to and negotiating with a diverse range of people.
#8 Architectural Technologist
Average Base Salary: $54,000
Job Outlook: –
Also referred to as building technologists, in this architecture career you’ll use your science and engineering skills and knowledge to create tough, resilient, and sustainable constructions and refurbishments. Using both computer-aided design (CAD) and traditional drawing techniques, you’ll prepare and present design proposals and advise clients on technical matters.
An architectural technologist concentrates on the ever-increasingly complex technical aspects of a building project, but matters of aesthetics, space, light and circulation are also involved within the technical design, leading the professional to assume decisions which are also non-technical
Most architectural technologists are employed in architectural and engineering firms, or with municipal authorities, but many provide independent professional services directly to clients.
#7 Building surveyor
Average Base Salary: $63,420
Job Outlook: 2% growth
This is one of the top careers in architecture that is highly marketable. Building surveyors are responsible for analyzing the quality of buildings, from houses to public and commercial properties. They examine the condition of buildings and advise on ways to improve them.
They are also often involved with taking precautionary measures to keep buildings in good condition, as well as to make them more sustainable. Again, pre-entry work experience is highly recommended, giving you insight into how ideas are adopted in the real world, and perhaps even leading to paid jobs through the contacts you’d make.
#6 Landscape Architect
Average Base Salary: $69,360
Job Outlook: 2% growth
With a degree in architecture, you can afford to pursue a career in landscape architecture.
Landscape architects design attractive and functional public parks, gardens, playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, and public spaces. They also plan the locations of buildings, roads, walkways, flowers, shrubs, and trees within these environments.
The practice of landscape architecture includes site analysis, site inventory, site planning, land planning, planting design, grading, stormwater management, sustainable design, construction specification, and ensuring that all plans meet the current building codes and local and federal ordinances. This is one of the top marketable careers in Architecture.
#5 Restoration architect
Average Base Salary: $80,750
Job Outlook: 7% growth
If you are looking for a top career in architecture, restoration architecture is a good way to go. Restoration architects are architectural professionals that specialize in the preservation and conservation of ancient buildings with historical trappings; such as monuments. Their duty is to manage and restore these buildings and monuments to prevent deterioration.
Restoration architects are an integral part of a restoration project from conception to completion, and they may work on projects of various sizes and scales.
#4 Interior and Spatial designing
Average Base Salary: $56,040
Job Outlook: 4% growth
Interior and spatial designers design or renovate internal spaces, fixtures, and fittings, using their architectural, creative design, and project management skills to ensure that spaces are both attractive and efficient.
As an interior and spatial designer, you may work in a range of commercial, leisure, or domestic settings. The job combines the efficient and functional use of space with an understanding of aesthetics.
#3 Structural engineer
Average Base Salary: $87,060
Job Outlook: 2% growth
Structural engineers analyze, design, plan, and research structural components and structural systems to achieve design goals and ensure the safety and comfort of users or occupants. Their work takes account mainly of safety, technical, economic, and environmental concerns, but they may also consider aesthetic and social factors.
Like architects, structural engineers are creative innovators, using maths and science to plan, design, and oversee structures that will withstand the pressures of human and environmental wear and tear.
Structural engineers work in partnership with other engineers and architects to design aesthetically pleasing and safe structures and will be responsible for choosing the right materials to meet design specifications. You might also be involved in examining existing buildings to ensure that they are structurally secure and up to standard. To become a chartered structural engineer, you will most likely need a postgraduate degree, depending on the typical entry requirements in your country.
#2 Green building and retrofit architecture
Average Base Salary: $76,000
Job Outlook: –
Green building and retrofit architecture is on our list of top careers in architecture. Green building and retrofit architects are responsible for designing new buildings and retrofitting existing buildings that reduce energy consumption and decrease environmental impact.
Retrofitting existing buildings requires the architect to assess cost-effective opportunities to renovate the building; this likely results in doing cost-benefit analyses and then making recommendations for removing energy-inefficient facets and fixtures, such as improving insulation throughout the facility and switching energy delivery platforms for key infrastructure; for instance, the architect may recommend natural gas-powered climate controls or the placement of solar panels when able. Individuals in this field should expect to work in an office and spend time on job sites, usually working during regular business hours.
To work as a green building and retrofit architect, an individual generally needs at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field and all necessary certifications to work as an architect.
#1 Industrial architects
Average Base Salary: $80,750
Job Outlook: –
Industrial architects specialize in integrating different processes, machinery, equipment, and industrial building code requirements into functional industrial buildings, such as factories, storage buildings, warehouses, power plants, etc
According to BLS, the employment of architects is projected to grow 1 percent from 2019 to 2029, slower than the average for all occupations. Improved building information modeling (BIM) software and measuring technology are expected to increase architects’ productivity, thereby limiting employment growth for these workers.
FAQs On Architecture
Architects are responsible for the design and construction of buildings and structures.
It takes seven years to complete a BSc and master’s degree in architecture.
On average, architects in the United States earn around $107,945 per year. However, some architects salaries in the United States can range from $130,826 – $151,388 per year.
The Bureau of Labour Statistics projects that 1,100 new architects will be needed by the year 2029, which represents a 1% job growth rate.
- Important Job Skills for Architects – thebalancecareers.com
- What can you do with an architecture degree?- timeshighereducation.com
- What Can You Do With an Architecture Degree? – topuniversities.com
- Architecture Careers – thebestschools.org
- Architects – bls.gov