How to become an architect

Have a passion for design and would love for your work to be viewed by the masses? Then read our guide on starting a business in architecture...

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What is an architect and who is the position suited to?

It’s said that every man (or woman) is the architect of their own fortune, so if you have a strong penchant for design, drawing and innovation then owning your own architecture firm could help you build an esteemed career.

An architect’s main role is to plan, design and oversee building projects for clients from start to finish.

As you’ll be required to use maths, design software, and be able to physically sketch and draw plans and designs, architecture is generally suited to someone with a methodical, logical approach to working and someone who possesses great analytical and communication skills.

While the average architect will generally work between 35-40 hours a week Monday to Friday, the industry is incredibly competitive and has become synonymous with later working hours in recent years. Day-to-day tasks vary from creating detailed technical plans, ensuring projects follow building laws and safety regulations, managing budgets, choosing materials and checking building work and progress.

Finbar Bradley, an architectural assistant at Innes Associates, says that, above all else, you need to have a genuine interest and passion in architecture:

“The architect stereotype is an introverted perfectionist, however it is a profession that has scope for a lot of different personalities. Most important is [that you have] an attention to detail and a true passion for the subject.

“It is said that an engineer knows a lot about one thing and an architect knows something about everything. I suppose it is the jack of all trades really, and it needs to be in order to coordinate information from the other, more specific professions.

“This is what makes an architect unique to these other professions, as the architect is the person who can bring together all of these thoughts into a seamless and concise end product.”

Combining art, science, mathematics and tech with office work and trips to buildings sites and projects, the route to become an architect is one of intense study and lots of continuous learning, so those allergic to education should best stay away.

If, however, you relish the opportunity to constantly learn new things then becoming an architect should be an attractive option.

Simon Skeffington, director and main architect for ArchitecturAll, says “There’s huge rewards, and much better job satisfaction [compared to other areas] on a very personal level.”

Have designs on a career in architecture? Well read on to find out what you need to put in your business plan!