Degree Programs For Architects : Online And Campus Schools
Architects: Career, Salary and Education Information
Career Profile: What do Architects do?
Architects often focus on a certain field, such as housing, hospitals, or schools. Or, they can specialize in one aspect of the building process--pre-design services, for example, or construction management. Architects who advance in the field often do less actual design work as they move into management.
A Day in the Life of an Architect
Architects work individually and in teams to design spaces that are enjoyed by communities, families, and businesses. Customizing the space to the needs of the client is an essential requirement for architects, and those who pair their communication skills with a strong technical ability can see the most success in the industry.
Deadlines are incredibly important to architects. Although a typical 40-hour work week is not uncommon, pending deadlines can keep architects working nights and weekends, exceeding normal working hours. Because of the importance of working under deadlines, architects must cope with stress and pressure in the office. Those who thrive in such conditions should fare well in the career.
Architect Training and Education
Architectural training involves three basic steps. The first is a professional degree--a 5-year bachelor's degree or a bachelor's degree paired with a 2-year master's degree. Second, work experience is gained through an internship. Finally passing the Architect Registration Exam, which results in licensure.
Although the full training program can seem overwhelming, architectural firms often help their employees through the process. Many architectural firms also pay tuition fees toward employee continuing education.
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Architect Employment & Outlook
Architects held about 132,000 jobs in 2006, and most worked in firms with fewer than five workers. About 1 in 5 is self employed. Architects thrive in areas with a high need for urban planning and community growth. Employment need may vary depending on an architect's specialty.
Faster than average job growth is expected for architects through the year 2016. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field is projected to see 23,000 new jobs for a growth of 18 percent. Job prospects are expected to be favorable for architects with a working knowledge of "green" design, building practices seeing gains in popularity.
Typical Architect Salary
In 2007, architects saw mean annual salaries of $73,650, the BLS reports. The vast majority (about 92,000) worked directly in architectural services, but those who worked for the federal government earned $83,360. Architects working in management, scientific, and technical consulting services earned $94,110. Those working in residential building construction earned $69,430.
Architects generally begin their careers with an internship, earning considerably less than national averages for working architects. Post-licensure, architects are typically granted more responsibility and salary.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Architects