An architect’s primary responsibility is for the overall planning, design and construction of building and other structures. The safety of the structure along with keeping the costs of the structure economical is vital and key for a successful career as an architect. The other main facet is of course the design. Meeting and exceeding expectations while at the same time coming up with a functional design is a skill that an architect will find himself constantly juggling with.
After graduation, an architect can potentially apply to the following companies. This by no means is an exhaustive list but one that will do for starters
- Construction Firms (including infrastructure companies)
- Architecture Firms
- Landscaping Companies
- Real Estate Developers
- Historical/Cultural/Archaeological Organizations
- Federal government agencies including the Department of Defense, Department of Interiors, Department of Housing & Urban Development, General Services Administration.
An architect learns quite a few skills of the trade while in school. It is the expertise or proficiency in these areas that go a long way in landing a job. How well versed are you with CADD, BIM and other software related to architecture? Computer skills are an essential prerequisite, your appeal to your potential employer will also depend on your major. Speaking of majors, there are quite a few areas that an architect could specialize in. A few of them are listed below
- Historical preservation
- Master planning
- Interior development and decoration
- Sports facility design and development
- Health care facility design and development
Depending on your strengths and your specialization an architect can look at the following areas for a potential career
Do you have the patience to work with families and demanding individuals? Do you have good communication skills? If you just answered yes to these questions then Residential Architecture is an area you might want to consider. A deeper look at some of the job specifics might help you make up your mind. Let’s take a look at a few job or project types you could be working on in residential architecture
- Projects relating to single or family housing
- Multiple-unit residential projects
- Tract homes
- Projects pertaining to senior or assisted living
- Re-modeling or renovation projects
Getting started in residential architecture would be easier by assisting or working as an intern to an architect already in this field. Infact your college internship should be ideally in an area that is very close to what you think you will be interested in pursuing full time once you graduate.
Institutional or Commercial Architecture
Institutional or commercial architecture involves designing office buildings, malls, schools, laboratories, commercial and government structures. A job in this area largely depends on your specialization. Besides, this area requires you to be involved in preparing construction documents, understanding the mechanism of construction as most of the structures have different requirements. A career in commercial architecture could see you working on following type of structures or buildings
- Office buildings and convention centers
- Medical offices
- Health facilities such as hospitals and clinics
- Hospitality structures such as resorts, motels, hotels and restaurants and casinos
- Consumer structures such as supermarkets, theaters and malls
- Public or Government structures such as schools, colleges, universities and other government and military facilities
Apart from residential and commercial architecture, an architect could also look at the following job profiles
- Movie Set designers for a movie or play
- Property assessment consultants
- Landscape Architects
- Urban planners
Quite a few architects go on to start their own firms after working for a while. Your working relationships with clients, the exposure you get, the contacts that you build and your passion will dictate how successful you become working as an architect or starting out on your own.
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