Do you have a love for structures, shapes, textures, and unique additions to structures? Do you find that you notice aspects of a building or home that nobody else even realized was there? Do you seem to find beauty in random things that other people just don’t appreciate? Maybe it’s time for you to consider applying these talents and abilities into the field of architecture. As an architect you will be responsible for designing computations, compiling data, and completing architectural assignments that will meet the requests of your clients. You will likely also find yourself preparing project estimates and architectural plans when requested by specific clients or inspecting certain structures that are found in the field. By obtaining your associate's degree in architecture you will be prepared to begin working in this industry, or you can apply these credit hours to further your educational degree. If you are serious about your career then look into your architecture education today! To be eligible to work in the industry of architecture you must at a minimum have an associate’s degree. It is common for students who choose this educational route to choose to pursue an Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science in architectural engineering technology. No matter which of these you choose, you will be learning how to create architectural prints and presentations, how to examine facts and figures, how to proficiently use the computer programs that are necessary in this industry, and how to execute estimates.
Although specific degree programs will vary from one school to another, you can likely expect to be required to complete hands-on experience classes in the field or in the lab. You can expect your coursework to consist of classes such as: structural conceptions, drawing techniques, graphing and measuring, approximating budgets and preparing agreements, methods and practices of architectural designs, CAD, and visual illustrations. Take a few minutes and check out any of the schools on the site that interest you. Any of them will be glad to send you a free information packet detailing what they can offer you! With an associate’s degree in architectural engineering technology it will be possible for you to seek employment as a specification writer, an estimator, an architect assistant, a drafter, or a municipal planner. If you complete your bachelor’s degree program then you will be able to pursue work as a design architect, as an architectural intern, as an architecture project manager, an architectural job captain, or as a senior associate architect. Of course, further job opportunities will be available should you decide to complete your graduate level degree.
An architect is a professional that designs and plans houses, office buildings and other structures. Each passing day people require places to live in, work from, learn from, play in, shop and eat from, this is the responsibility of an architect to design and help construct these places. They are able to design both indoor and outdoor spaces and usually work on both public and private projects. From a single room to a whole complex of buildings, architects can be commissioned to design just about anything. The new Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) have replaced the traditional drafting paper and pencil technique. The CADD has now become the most common method of creating construction drawings and designs, even though hand drawing skill is still required in the field and more especially when it comes to the point when an architect is at a construction site and the conceptual stages of a project, CADD is more convenient, efficient and faster.
Architects typically discuss the requirements, objectives and the budget of projects with their clients and sometimes they might be required to provide predesign services like environmental impact studies, feasibility, cost analyses, site selection and design requirements. They collaborate with professionals in other related occupations such as interior design; landscape architecture, civil engineering, urban and regional planning and drafting come up with successful projects and designs. Architects may sometimes make visits to the building sites as the construction activities are going on to ascertain that the contactor is following the schedule, the design and using the required materials and able to meet standards that are needed for quality work. An architect’s job is never complete unless all the construction is done, construction costs are paid and all the necessary tests ae conducted.
Whenever a client comes up to an architect and asks for help concerning getting construction bids, negotiating construction contracts and selecting contractors, they are at liberty to lend a hand whenever they can. After discussing and eventually agreeing on the original proposal with their clients, architects come up with the final construction plans that show the details of a building’s construction and its appearance. The plans are accompanied by drawings of structural systems, heating systems, air conditioning systems and ventilating systems; communications systems and electrical systems together with the inclusion of plumbing systems and landscape plans at times there are local and state building codes, fire regulations, zoning laws that must be followed by architects in developing designs.
An architect will spend most of their time developing plans in their offices, meeting up with clients and making consultations with other architects and even engineers about different aspects in the field of profession, some co duct their services in their home offices. In addition, they will make visits to construction sites I order to prepare initial drawings and make reviews of the [progress of the ongoing projects to make sure that the objectives of their clients are all achieved, according to the statistics of 2014, about 1 in 5 architects were self-employed. In the same year the number of jobs held by architects was reported to be approximately 112, 600 with almost 60% of them being employed in engineering, architectural and related services. When facing tight deadlines many architects work for additional hours but generally, most of them usually work full time. For the self-employed architects the work schedules are a little bit more flexible compared to the employed architects.
How to Become an Architect
Technically, decisions of an architect usually have some level of impact on the public safety and they therefore have to undergo specialised training in terms of the right education and have the required practical experience first. There may be disparities from place to another but most of the architects around the world are required to register with the suitable jurisdiction. One has to accomplish three steps before they can become a licensed architect, first they have to complete a professional degree in the field of architecture, gain some relevant experience by doing a payed internship and lastly they need to excel in the Architect Registration Examination. An understanding of business, design technical and environmental knowledge, design and construction management are important aspects. Design is however, the driving force behind every project and beyond. An architect coordinates a design team throughout eh project to come up with a design concept that pleases the clients and meets their requirements.
Architecture Education Programs
Every states requires that all aspiring architects take the first step of earning a professional degree in architecture to typically start their journey towards becoming professional architects. Most of the professional degrees are earned through a bachelor of architecture degree program that takes a total of 5 years and is intended for students that have no previous architectural training. The program comprises of courses in architectural history and theory, professional practices, building design accentuating on computer aided design and drafting, construction methods, structures, liberal arts, maths and physical sciences. The design studio is the central aspect to most of architectural programs where students can apply the concepts and skills acquired in the classroom to come up with drawings and three-dimensional (3D) models of the designs they have created. A master’s degree I architecture takes 1 to 5 years to complete that is adding to the time spend earning the bachelor’s degree. The extent of the previous education and training of a student in architecture is what determines the amount of time one will spend to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in architecture. Currently 3 4 states in the united states of America mandate that architects must possess a professional degree in architecture acquired from one of the 123 schools of architecture that are accredited by the national Architectural Accrediting Board. Nonetheless in the remaining sates which do not have this requirement, those applying can be licenced only if they have had 8 to 13 years of work experience that is relate to the field of architecture plus a high school diploma. However, just to be on the safer side, most architects in these states go ahead to acquire a professional degrees in architecture. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards is the body responsible for offering the state licensing requirements. Some architects advance to become architectural and engineering managers after having enough years of work experience, the managers have the responsibilities to coordinate employees’ activities and they usually work on more complex and large construction projects.
Training for architects includes the graduates to complete 3 years of a paid internship that will give them the needed experience before they qualify to sit for the architect registration examination. It is the requirement of all state architectural registration boards. Through the intern development program, most new graduates complete their training period by working at architectural firms; it is a program that is managed by NCARB in guiding students through the entire process of internship. Interns can offer assistance in designing parts of projects and in preparing architectural drawings and documents. They can also build models, research, building codes; prepare construction drawing on CADD, write specifications for building materials quality of finishes, the criteria for installation and anything that is related. The students who complete their internships while still in school can add some of that time to the 3-year training period. There are states that allow a part of architect training to occur in offices of employers in careers related to architecture such as general contractors and engineers. Licensed architects who in turn edit, finalise the plans, sign and seal them take all the documents prepared by interns.
Licenses, Certifications and Registrations
The District of Columbia and all the states in America require all architects to be licensed first before carrying out any professional duties. Other states besides the license require some form of continuing education to keep a license and although requirements differ from one set to the other it usually involves gaining additional education via university classes, conferences, workshops, self-study and other courses. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certification, which most architects voluntarily seek, makes it easy for one to be licensed across states for the reason that it is the key requirement for reciprocity of licensing among the state boards, which are members of the NCARB. About one-third of all architects that are licensed had this certification in 2014.
Salary and job outlook
In May 2016, the median annual salary that architects received was $76, 930. Architect employment is predicted to grow 7% from 2014 up to 2024, which is as fast as the average for all occupations in the US Economy. The number of people applying for the architect positions continues to grow more than the positions available and therefore competition for jobs in this field is expected to be strong for a long time. Architects that are equipped with sustainable experience and up to date skills including a strong understanding of BIM (Building Information Management) and CADD will have an added advantage at landing a well-paying job. Most of the schools districts and universities are expected to either renovate old facilities or build new ones all the same, needing architects to make plans and designs for that renovation and construction of offices, retail stores, homes and any other structures that will need their services. Therefore demand for architects with sustainable design, which emphasises the efficient utilisation of resources like water conservation and energy conservation, environmentally friendly designs, pollution and waste reduction and materials, will be higher. Many buildings are being built using more sustainable designs because of the increased concerns about the environment and the rising costs of energy. There is an expected demand for more healthcare facilities as more people continue to use healthcare because of aging of the baby boomer population. Architects are now more productive because of the use of CADD and the new BIM, which are technologies that allow architects to conduct more work without requiring help from drafters and making it easy to share work with contractors, engineers and clients. The activity in the construction industry is strongly connected to architect employment, whenever the overall level of construction falls or there is a slowdown in requests for new projects, periods of unemployment might be experienced.
Duties of Architects
- Architects normally perform the following duties:
- Arrange meetings with clients and decide on the objectives and requirements of structures.
- Give projected estimates on the cost and the time a construction will take.
- Come up with structure specifications.
- Prepare contract documents for building contractors.
- Give directions to workers preparing drawings and documents
- Design scaled drawings by hand or with the help of computer software.
- Market and give presentations as a way of seeking new work.
- Make visits it the sites of construction to ensure that the architectural plans are being adhered to.
- Take care of construction contracts.
Communication skills for sharing oral presentations and written ideas with their clients and their fellow architects together with workers that aid in preparing drawings. Personations given by architects in explaining their design and idea also need one to have good communication skills. Creativity for the overall designing of buildings and houses among other structures to ensure that the final product looks appealing and fully functional. Analytical skills to enable architects comprehend the design content and the context they are created in. Organisation skills to manage contracts effectively keeping records that are related to details of projects such as the materials used, total costs and the progress of the projects. Visualization skills to see the relationships between different parts of a structure, also, architects have to visualize how the entire building will look like when it is completed. Technical skills to use the CADD technology in relating plans as a part of the Building Information Model.
Architectural Practice: Design, Environmental and Construction Roles.
Whenever a client hires an architect, they are given the responsibility of coming up with a design concept which meets the client’s requirements and gives a suitable facility to the needed use. Because of that, the architect has to meet with the client and ask any questions to make sure they are on the same page first, a process that is usually not entirely completed at the beginning requiring some degree of risk in undertaking the design. The architect could make primary proposals to the client that may revise the terms of the brief, which is vital to produce a fulfilling project. The brief acts as the architect’s guide in creating the design concept. The design proposals are generally expected to be imaginative and practical but with varying nature and extent of expectations designing on the time, culture, the finance, place and the technology and crafts available for the design to take place. A strong degree of precaution is a great requirement in design building as it is a very complex and demanding undertaking however, the scale of a project is. The architecture at this stage of design is necessitated to make consultations with surveyors, engineers and other specialists throughout the design to ensure coordination of aspects like air conditioning elements in the scheme as a whole. Also part of these consultations is the planning of construction costs and the control of the design. Coordinating these aspects requires involvement of high degree specialised communications that includes advanced computer technology like BIM, cloud based technologies and CADD. The architect is supposed to report back to the client at all times in the design because a client at some point might develop new ideas or have reservations leading to introduction of another variable into the design. There are established jurisdictions that require architects to adhere to in order to design and historic preservations guidelines to be followed. Different aspects such as safety risks and health risks from an important part of current design. Design reports and records are needed in many jurisdictions that consist of continuing considerations like waste management and recycling, materials and contaminants, fire safety and traffic control.
A number of variable and issues must be taken into consideration in every early stage of a design concept. Variable such as space qualities, relations, the end use and life cycle of suggested spaces, connections and features between spaces which includes how they are assembled and the effect of proposals on the wider and immediate zone. Additionally, during the early stages in the design, selecting the right technology and materials should be considered, reviewed and tested just to make sure there is no occurrences that might cause delays in future. The site and its surroundings and the history will also have an impact on the design together with the culture of the place; the design must also address any concerns about sustaining the environment. An architect characteristically puts projects to tender with the permission from their client; he or she can advise on the assigning of the project to a general contractor, assist and oversee a contract of agreement that is usually between the contractor and the client. The contract lawfully binds and covers a range of aspects such as stakeholders’ commitments, insurances, the status of the design documents and the provisions for the access of the architect. At times, the architect may need that some elements are covered by a warranty specifying the expected life and other features of the product, material or work.
Detail designs and specifications are made of all elements and components of a building as the design continues to be more advanced. An architect is demanded to ensure that they are up to date with the continually advancing techniques in production. During construction stages, the spectrum of the architect’s services may either be less involving extensive depending on the needs of the client and requirements of the jurisdictions. Most authorities require for a notification should be given to the relevant authorities before the start of any construction on site to give the local authorities notice to go ahead and conduct independent inspections. Later on, in coordination with the local authority, the architect will review and inspect the working progress. Regular inspections of the progress in the work on site is required. This ensures that it is complying with the design and all the relevant permissions and statues considering the fact that many jurisdictions contain an obligatory certification or an assurance of part of work or the completed work, which is a demand that usually involves a high degree of risk.
Increased controls are being placed on current high buildings that are known to emit high level of carbon into the atmosphere. Associated technology is also being incorporated in the buildings to increase energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and use renewable energy sources that may be developed either within the proposed building or through a local, national renewable energy provider. For this reason, an architect has to always be up dated with the current regulations that are constantly tightening and needed to give initiatives in a wide environmental sense like making requirements for low energy transport, natural ventilation in place of air conditioning, natural daylighting in place of artifice lighting using recycled materials and waste management among other.
There has been a rise of specialisation within the field of architecture in the past years, architects and architectural firms are now focusing on certain types of projects such as retail, healthcare, event management and public housing, project delivery methods and technological proficiency. There are those who specialise as building envelope, sustainable design, building code, historic preservation or conversation or technical writing consultants with most electing to move into corporate facilities, real estate development, interior design, and project or construction management. In architecture, there are various titles and job descriptions within the American architectural offices, which are listed below: Senior partner or senior principal who is typically an owner or the majority shareholder of the firm, mid-level principal, junior principal, department head or senior manager, project manager who is a licensed architect with the overall responsibility for various projects, senior architect, first architect, second architect, third architect and finally the architectural intern.