For all of the friends that I have that are Architects, I have the same amount of friends that say they wanted to be an Architect when they were younger, but never got around to it or was not the best with math. Many people do not fully understand what it means to be an architect, and this might deter a younger person into steering clear from the profession.
What does a typical day for an architect look like? There is a whole lot of time spent on construction drawings, meetings and then making sure that your staff’s work is up to par, client facing and presenting your ideas for them to opine on, and more! Yes. For part of that time you are designing and drawing pretty pictures, but that only covers a small percentage of the time you are working.
For example, a project can be designed by a couple of top-notch designers sitting at a table for a couple of hours, but the mammoth task that comes after creating the initial design is the managing of so many different moving pieces that are time-sensitive. You have to be able to handle the logistics, but still fine tune the design, create the construction drawings, get the final costs, solve technical and unforeseen issues, get the proper building permits, help the contractor with the information they need, and more. Next thing you know you are already at a year completed and running partially behind.
Architecture is a lot of work and can sometimes be discouraging
Architecture is one of those professions where hard-work really does pay off! As you must be able to multitask in your multi-disciplined firm to be able to keep up! This means your work-life balance might not always be very healthy during the end of projects. You might need to get new licensing, which requires you to study and work at the same time. Again, your time will be taken up by the work and the proejct’s demands.
Architecture is the most amazing profession and super rewarding!
Once you get over the big hills that are overtime work, sometimes low pay, and constant training/learning, you can get over any hill! In all seriousness, once you get past these challenges, architecture is a profession that gives you power through knowledge and understanding past principles.
Architecture gives you the chance to solve problems by looking at the world through a lens of improvement, and it forces everyone to reconsider how we think, live and interact with our environments. Yet the profession is drastically different, almost the opposite of the school experience. Your challenge at a firm is to solve the problem via architecture, but within the confines of budgets, building codes, and expectations.
You have a global industry! One that is expanding!
Imagine being able to work in any part of the world, and every architect understands the language you are speaking. You cannot just call yourself an architect, you must work through the long tests and adhere to the stringent standards to ensure you are making top notch projects.
There are subcategories within Architecture, that allow just about any architect to find their niche. That is the beauty of this profession! You have such variety and vast work that allows for so many different people with interesting skillsets to find a place.
Although the industry is heavily regulated and thus requires a large amount of money and time to license yourself as an architect, it is well worth the pain considering the reward that the profession provides you with!
When considering your next career move, plan proactively and create Portfolios that include your best work. Consider looking into finding a mentor with Architect-US, and improving your Portfolios with our Portfolio Plans and Career Advice Program. We provide coaching and personalized mentorship, so you can have a professional and experienced take on your next steps in your career, as well as a great team to confide in.