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Nature of the Work
Requirements, Advancement & Earnings
Architects design buildings and other structures. In addition to considering the way these buildings and structures look, they also make sure they are functional, safe, economical and suit the needs of the people who use them.

Architecture career opportunities are expected to grow faster than average, but scoring a job at one of the most prestigious firms will be tough. A strong portfolio of work demonstrating your creativity can get you in the door. LEED certified architects who can create green designs will have an edge in the job hunt.

On average Architecture careers are associated with salaries in the $53,000 to $92,000 range, but entry-level architects can expect to earn considerably less. With experience and talent, Architecture majors can move into top level and supervisory positions. Jobs are found with architecture firms, engineering services, building construction firms and government agencies. Many architects are self-employed. During a career, architects work with Interior Designers, Landscape Architects, Engineering Managers and Urban and Regional Planners to complete jobs.

Architecture majors learn how to design homes, buildings, hospitals, hotels, rooms, industrial parks and urban centers taking factors like safety, budgets and functionality into account. Students study design, engineering and business to prepare for a career as an architect. In this major you’ll need to be creative, artistic and a good problem solver. For most projects during your career you’ll work with other architects and professionals so you should be a team player.

Typically, Architecture majors enroll in a 5-year bachelors degree programs at a college, university or technical school. Masters degrees are popular for students who already have a bachelors degree. Certificate and associates degrees are also available through technical schools, career colleges, community colleges, online schools, 4-year colleges and universities.

If you’re considering the Architecture major, explore other related majors in the field including Architectural History and Criticism; Architectural Technology/Technician; Architecture (BArch, BA/BS, MArch, MA/MS, PhD); Architecture and Related Services; City/Urban, Community and Regional Planning; Environmental Design/Architecture; General Historic Preservation and Conservation; Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture (BS, BSLA, BLA, MSLA, MLA, PhD).

Employment Facts for Architects:
Architects held about 141,000 jobs in 2008. Most of these jobs were in the architectural, engineering, and related services industry. A small number worked for residential and nonresidential building construction firms and for government agencies. About 21% of all architects was self-employed.

A Day in an Architect's Life:

On a typical day an architect will:
  • Discuss the objectives, requirements, and budget of a project;
  • Provide various predesign services which may include conducting feasibility and environmental impact studies, selecting a site, or specifying the requirements the design must meet;
  • Prepare drawings and present ideas for the client to review;
  • Develop final construction plans that show the building's appearance as well as details for its construction;
  • Follow building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordinances;
  • Make necessary changes throughout the planning process;
Job Outlook for Architects:Employment of architects is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. Prospective architects may face competition for positions at prestigious firms. To increase one's chances of getting an internship after graduation, prospective architects should gain career-related experience in an architectural firm while still in school. Those who know CADD technology will also have an advantage.
Nature of the Work
Requirements, Advancement & Earnings
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