Do you often admire the way things are built? Are you mesmerized by beautiful buildings, parks, and business centers? Do you often think about your environment and think about ways to improve it, make it prettier and more functional? If so, maybe you should think about building a career in architecture.
So, how to be a good architect?
Most importantly, you need to have a strong passion for the profession. It takes a strong dedication to become a professional architect, but it also takes a lot of focus to work as one – at last successfully. Having a strong passion for building things will make your path to becoming a successful architect a lot easier. It will help you grow and watch your career blossom.
An architect has to have an eye for detail because small things matter a lot in architecture. Training your brain into holistically thinking is also important. Moreover, an architect should communicate their ideas clearly to any colleague, associate, or client. Communication is a huge part of the profession, and it’s hard to be successful at architecture without the right conversation skills.
How To Become an Architect?
You need a license to practice the profession, and at least a bachelor’s in architecture from a school with all the necessary accreditations.
Most architects in the U.S. enroll in a program accredited by the NAAB (National Architectural Accrediting Board.) It’s a five-year bachelor of architecture and while there are many programs across the country, in most schools, you must be accepted into the architecture program. To be accepted in the program, you don’t necessarily have to be brilliant at math, but your grades still need to be good and you need high ACT or SAT scores. Having taken a design or physics class in high school also improves your chances.
Once you enroll in your desired college, you will attend classes such as architectural theory, building structures, and construction technology. Some schools also feature classes in visual arts, art theory, and architectural history. Computer-aided design and drafting is also a part of the junior classes in college.
Students have to show the skills they’ve learned about by being a part of a design studio and building and designing models. To get the most of the programs, you will need a lot of discipline and dedication.
You may also enroll in a one-year program for a master’s degree in architecture after earning a bachelor’s. The alternative is enrolling in a three-year master’s program, after which you become a licensed architect. To pass the Architect Registration Exam and get your architect certification you first must work 5,000 hours under a certified architect doing the specific type of work for which you require the license.
What is it Actually Like To Be An Architect?
Once you get all your degrees and licenses, working in the real world as an architect is challenging and very rewarding.
The day in the life of an architect depends largely on the type of work he does and on the type of company in which he or she takes part. There’s a big difference between architects working in big companies and those working in small firms.
In a large firm, you are most likely to specialize in a specific part of the architectural process. On the other hand, in a small firm, you may participate in more than one stage of the project. Having a small team means there will be more work for everyone.
Again, there is a difference between working in a private and public sector. Also, working on commercial projects is very different than working on residential projects.
Some architects specialize in certain areas such as engineering systems, sustainability, building materials, detailing, etc. You can always be a generalist and know a little about various aspects of different projects and always have an exciting day at work.
Finding new creative ways to solve problems is one of the most important aspects of working as an architect. The main thing an architect should master is getting every project finished and solving any problems as they come up along the way.
Architects say their work is all-consuming, engaging, exciting, unpredictable, and sometimes even infuriating. However, each agrees it’s a profession like no other and they wouldn’t change it for the world.
Balancing a good salary with a job you love doing is one of the most important things in life. After all, as an architect, you’ll be working a lot, you will use all of your brain cells and expect a good salary. A successful architect makes a good living. While salaries depend on your area of specialization, and they may be lower in the beginning, experience and knowledge are everything in architecture. As an experienced professional familiar with important processes and knows how to run a project successfully, you will get good pay, whether you work at a large company, a small firm, or own your private practice.