5 Great Careers in Architecture

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Architecture Careers

  • Architectural Manager
  • Architect
  • Drafter
  • Urban Planner
  • Landscape Architect

Architecture is a compelling subject to explore. It's a specialization that offers detail-oriented individuals a number of lucrative career opportunities. Let's explore five worthwhile careers in the fascinating field of architecture.

1. Architectural Manager

The role of architectural manager is a senior-level supervisory position typically requiring a bachelor's degree, significant work experience and a complex skill set, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job description usually consists of tasks such as recruiting and training new architects and other employees; budgeting for new building projects; planning and scheduling the firm's workload; assigning employees to work on each project the firm has in development; overseeing the work in progress; troubleshooting problems that arise; evaluating employees' performance; promoting or terminating employees as appropriate; and checking subordinates' work for safety and accuracy. At smaller firms, in addition to managing the team, architectural managers might also work in a prominent role on the firm's projects in development.

2. Architect

Architects use their artistic, creative and technical abilities to conceptualize new buildings. Typically, they do this at the request of a paying client who needs a new building for a specific purpose. It might be a place of business, a new residence or a government facility. Many architects are capable of drafting, budgeting, conducting site evaluations and performing studies to evaluate environmental impacts.

3. Drafter

Drafters are detail-oriented individuals who need to possess outstanding visual and verbal communication skills. Their daily job responsibilities consist of translating architects' ideas into tangible, accurate and workable sets of plans that builders, construction workers and other team members can work from. Currently, most drafters accomplish these goals by utilizing CAD software. Many drafters are also proficient at using building information modeling (BIM) software systems.

4. Urban Planner

Urban planners work to keep cities thriving and ensure the relevance of public spaces within the city. They focus their talents on preventing urban spaces from becoming chaotic as their populations grow, change and add new construction. They are the gatekeepers who have the power to approve or deny new building projects. They use this power for the benefit of the local environment as well as all the city's inhabitants, both present and future. If a proposed project threatens the local environment or the health and safety of the local populations, the planner's job is to reject the proposal, even if it would be beneficial for the city in other ways.

To become an urban planner, you'll need at least a master's degree in a relevant field. While architecture experience isn't a strict necessity for all urban planning jobs, it can give you an edge when applying to some of them. There are employers who require their urban planners to have both urban planning expertise and work experience in the field of architecture.

5. Landscape Architect

If you have an architect's skill set but you prefer outdoor spaces to indoor ones, perhaps a career as a landscape architect might be worthwhile for you to pursue. Landscape architects are the innovators who design private and public outdoor recreational spaces including parks, university campuses, botanical gardens and corporate office parks. Knowledge of architectural principles, environmental impacts, horticulture, conservation techniques and hydrology are all assets to landscape architects.

Related Resource: What is a Structural Engineer?

Studying architecture in college can help to prepare you for a broad variety of fulfilling careers. If you have a strong mix of creative and practical skills plus an appreciation for innovative construction materials, you might enjoy any of the careers mentioned above, according to the National Architectural Accrediting Board. You'll have the option to pursue any of these five great careers in architecture after your successful completion of a relevant accredited degree program and acquisition of the other credentials that employers in your preferred specialization require.