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What is this job like? | How do you get ready? | How much does this job pay? | How many jobs are there? | What about the future? | Are there other jobs like this? | Where can you find more information?
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What is this job like? Back to Top Back to Top

Architects design houses and buildings. They plan offices and apartments. They design schools, churches, and airport terminals. Their plans involve far more than a building's looks. They must ensure that buildings are safe and strong and that they suit the needs of the people who use them.

The architect and client first discuss what the client wants. The architect sometimes helps decide if a project would work at all or if it would harm the environment. The architect then creates drawings for the client to review. They may be involved in all stages of the construction of a building.

If the ideas are OK, the architect draws up the final plans. These plans show how the building will look and how to build it. The drawings show the beams that hold up the building. They show the air-conditioner, furnace, and ventilating systems. The drawings show how the electricity and plumbing work. Architects used to use pencil and paper to draw their plan, but today most architects use computers. Architects generally work in comfortable conditions because they spend most of their time in offices. However, they spend some time at building sites to see how projects are going.

Architects may feel stressed sometimes. Most architects work 40 hours a week, but they may need to work nights and weekends in order to meet deadlines.

How do you get ready? Back to Top Back to Top

Architects must be licensed before they can practice. In order to get a license you need a degree in architecture. Courses include architectural theory, building design, math, and science. Then, you must finish an internship. Finally, you must pass all sections of a license exam. Architects sometimes take new classes to keep their skills fresh.

Architects must be able to visualize things and communicate well visually. Art classes are very helpful in doing this. Speaking, writing, and creativity are also important. Architects should be computer literate.

How much does this job pay? Back to Top Back to Top

The average yearly wages of architects were $76,750 in May 2008.

How many jobs are there? Back to Top Back to Top

Architects held about 141,200 jobs in 2008. Most jobs were in small architecture firms. About 1 in 5 was self-employed. This means they practiced as partners in a firm or on their own. Some worked for builders or government agencies.

What about the future? Back to Top Back to Top

Jobs for architects are expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. For example, there will be many new jobs designing environmentally-friendly buildings. Despite this growth, however, new architects face competition. This job attracts many people, so there are lots of applicants for openings. Applicants who gained experience working for an architectural firm while in school have a competitive advantage.

Are there other jobs like this? Back to Top Back to Top

Where can you find more information? Back to Top Back to Top

More BLS information about architects can be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The Handbook also shows where to find out even more about this job.



Last Modified Date: March 19, 2010