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Career profile Architect

Also known as Architect, Design Architect, Principal Architect, Project Architect, Senior Architect/Design Manager, Senior Architectural Designer, Senior Planner, Specifications Writer

Architect

Also known as Architect, Design Architect, Principal Architect

Interests Profile
  • Artistic
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$49,950 - $136,310 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Speaking
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Public Safety and Security
Core tasks
  • Develop final construction plans that include aesthetic representations of the structure or details for its construction.
  • Prepare scale drawings or architectural designs, using computer-aided design or other tools.
  • Prepare information regarding design, structure specifications, materials, color, equipment, estimated costs, or construction time.
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What does an Architect do?

Architects plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, theaters, factories, and other structural property.

What kind of tasks does an Architect perform regularly?

Architects are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Develop final construction plans that include aesthetic representations of the structure or details for its construction.
  • Prepare scale drawings or architectural designs, using computer-aided design or other tools.
  • Prepare information regarding design, structure specifications, materials, color, equipment, estimated costs, or construction time.
  • Consult with clients to determine functional or spatial requirements of structures.
  • Meet with clients to review or discuss architectural drawings.
  • Monitor the work of specialists, such as electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, interior designers, or sound specialists to ensure optimal form or function of designs or final structures.
  • Integrate engineering elements into unified architectural designs.
  • Plan layouts of structural architectural projects.
  • Conduct periodic on-site observations of construction work to monitor compliance with plans.
  • Prepare contract documents for building contractors.
  • Plan or design structures such as residences, office buildings, theatres, factories, or other structural properties in accordance with environmental, safety, or other regulations.
  • Direct activities of technicians engaged in preparing drawings or specification documents.
  • Administer construction contracts.
  • Create three-dimensional or interactive representations of designs, using computer-assisted design software.
  • Represent clients in obtaining bids or awarding construction contracts.
  • Develop marketing materials, proposals, or presentations to generate new work opportunities.
  • Perform predesign services, such as feasibility or environmental impact studies.
  • Design structures that incorporate environmentally friendly building practices or concepts, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
  • Design or plan construction of green building projects to minimize adverse environmental impact or conserve energy.

The above responsibilities are specific to Architects. More generally, Architects are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is an Architect salary?

The median salary for an Architect is $82,320, and the average salary is $89,470. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Architect salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Architects earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Architects earn less than $49,950 per year, 25% earn less than $63,420, 75% earn less than $106,680, and 90% earn less than $136,310.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Architects is expected to change by 3.2%, and there should be roughly 9,400 open positions for Architects every year.

Median annual salary
$82,320
Typical salary range
$49,950 - $136,310
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
3.2%

What personality traits are common among Architects?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Architect are usually higher in their Artistic, Investigative, and Realistic interests.

Architects typically have very strong Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Also, Architects typically have strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Architects typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Architects typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Architect tend to value Independence, Achievement, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Architects very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Architects strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Architects strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Architects must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, cooperation, and analytical thinking.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Architects, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

What education and training do Architects need?

Many Architects have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Architects may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Architects

  • 0.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 1.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 4.0% completed some college coursework
  • 2.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 45.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 37.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 8.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Architects

Architects may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as design, building and construction, or public safety and security knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Architects might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Architects

Architects must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Architects need abilities such as visualization, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Architects, ranked by their relative importance.

Visualization
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Architects

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Architects frequently use skills like reading comprehension, speaking, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Architects, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Operations Analysis
Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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