People need places to live, work, play, learn, worship, meet, govern, shop, and eat. Architects, which transform these needs into concepts and then develop the concepts into building images and plans that can be constructed by others, are licensed professionals trained in the art and science of building design. Architecture interests me the most because it gives me the ability to express my imagination.
The type of education that will prepare me for a job in architecture is a Professional Degree in Architecture, which must come from one of the 111 schools of architecture with degree programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board “NAAB”. I will also need to attend and achieve a five-year Bachelor of Architecture programs intended for students, like myself, entering from high school or with no previous architectural training. In addition to that, a number of schools offer a two-year Master of Architecture program for students with a professional undergraduate degree in architecture or a related area, or a three to four-year Master of Architecture program for students with a degree in another discipline.
Many schools of architecture also offer post-professional degrees for those who already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in architecture or other areas. Other abilities may include artistic, drawing ability, and good communication skills will help with the presentations that you will have to do for you clients to sell your ideas. You should also have the ability to work independently or as a team, creativity, computer aided design and drafting “CADD”,and computer literacy (two and three dimensional drafting, and financial management). All States and the District of Columbia require individuals to be registered before they may call themselves architects.
Employment of architects is strongly tied to the level of local construction, particularly nonresidential structures such as office buildings, shopping centers, schools, and health care facilities. Because construction-particularly office and retail-is sensitive to cyclical changes in the economy, architects will face particularly strong competition for jobs of clients during recessions, and layoffs may occur. Those involved in the design of institutional buildings will be less affected by fluctuations in the economy. Architects who are licensed to practice in one state must meet the licensing requirements of other states before practicing elsewhere. Obtaining licensure in other states, after initially receiving licensure in one state, is known as “reciprocity”, and is much easier if an architect has received certification from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.
The median annual earnings of architects were $52,510 in 2000. The middle 50% earned between $41,060 and $67,720. The lowest 10% earned less than $32,540 and the highest 10% earned more than $85,670. Earning in different architectural firms may vary because of changing business conditions. Some architects may have some difficulty beginning their own practices and may go through a period when their expenses are greater than their income, requiring great financial resources.
Architects usually work in a comfortable environment. Most of their time is spent in offices consulting with clients, developing reports and drawings, and working with other architects and engineers. However, they often visit the construction sites to review the progress of projects. They may occasionally be under stress, with working nights and weekends, trying to make deadlines. In 2000, almost half of all architects worked more than 40 hours a week, in comparison to about 1 in 4 workers in all occupations combined.
The field of architecture interests me because I love to draw and it will allow me to express myself in a way that everyone will notice no matter what project I work on. I also love to work with computers so I will have no problem understanding any of the programs used to draft and draw on the computer with programs such as CAD. I also like to build models of things that may someday become a building. That is why the field of architecture interests me.