An architecture graduate career not only involves the design of new buildings and the surrounding areas, but an architect also works on the restoration and conservation of existing buildings. They are responsible for managing projects from its earliest stages, right through to completion. This includes managing the construction process, controlling budgets and dealing with planning issues.
In today's rapidly changing world, architects are an important part of shaping change. If you're the kind of person who is interested in learning how to improve the every day surroundings that people come into contact with, then you could be a person that would enjoy being an architect. As an architect you would have the power and the responsibility to shape the environments in which people spend their daily lives.
Average Architecture Graduate Salary
Architecture Graduate Career Path
The title of an architect is protected by law, so that the public can always be sure that you are qualified. A career in architecture is serious, and therefore your training and education reflects this. You will have to train for a minimum of seven years, which normally involves:
- Undertaking a 5-year degree programme that is recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB).
- You will then require a minimum of 2 years professional experience in an architects' company or equivalent.
- This is followed by the RIBA Part 3 examination in "Professional Practice and Management."
Having gained these qualifications you can register as an architect with the ARB and can apply to become a chartered member of the RIBA.
Architects are at the forefront of designing the built environment that will surround us in the 21st Century. As professional experts in the field of building design and construction, architects use their unique creative skills to advise individuals, property owners and developers, community groups, local authorities and commercial organisations on the design and construction of new buildings, the reuse of existing buildings and the spaces which surround them in our towns and cities.
The work of architects influences every aspect of our built environment, from the design of energy efficient buildings to the integration of new buildings in sensitive contexts. Because of their ability to design and their extensive knowledge of construction, architects' skills are in demand in all areas of property, construction and design. Architects' expertise is invaluable when there is a need to conserve old buildings, redevelop parts of towns and cities, understand the impact of a development on a local community, manage a construction programme or need advice on the use and maintenance of an existing building. These reasons are among many that mean pursuing an architecture graduate career is very attractive to students and graduates.
Architects work closely with other members of the construction industry including engineers, builders, surveyors, local authority planners and building control officers. Much of their time will be spent visiting sites in the UK and abroad, assessing the feasibility of a project, inspecting building work or managing the construction process. They will also spend time researching old records and drawings, and testing new ideas and construction techniques.
Society looks to architects to define new ways of living and working, to develop innovative ways of using existing buildings and creating new ones. We need architects' understanding of the complex process of design and construction to build socially and ecologically sustainable cities and communities. Architects can be extremely influential as well as being admired for their imagination and creative skills.
Qualifications and Skills Needed
The proportion of candidates as a percent we place into Architecture graduate careers and the typical qualities graduate employers look for.
GRB Placements for Architecture by Degree
Typical Candidate Attributes
An architect not only designs buildings but also co-ordinates the project from start to finish, whether it is a new development or the renovation of an existing one. Their role within a practice will be to consult with clients to establish their needs and produce drawings from which costings can be made. Negotiating with contractors and other professionals will also be an integral part of the work. The job requires a great deal of flexibility and compromise, as creativity may have to be tempered to meet budget requirements and deadlines. A great deal of vision is also needed to create an environment in which others will live or work.
Entry is almost always at graduate level and you must have studied architecture. After university you will need to gain experience and pass professional exams. There is not really an alternative method of entry.
- An interest in buildings and their uses
- Practical and scientific skills
- A methodical, logical and analytical approach
- Design and CAD skills
- Strong mathematical ability
- Good business awareness
- Strong communication and negotiating skills
- The ability to manage and lead a team
- The ability to work under pressure to deadlines
- An awareness of the social and environmental impact of your work.
In addition to gaining a degree you will ideally need to meet these requirements:
Sources for Further Information
Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists ciat.org.uk
Sonia, Kingston University
"My first graduate job was at a large architecture firm in Weybridge. After getting settled into the office I was plunged into a large residential project along the River Thames, working within a team of 6-7 people we organised and distributed work amongst ourselves and worked on various types of drawings such as plans, elevations and sections on AutoCAD and also lots of hand sketches when designing flat layouts. The work involved effectively communicating ideas amongst each other and also engaging closely with the clients during weekly meetings and on email or telephone. As well as liaising with clients, it is crucial to interact with other teams within the office, such as the landscape designers and engineers. As the project progressed I went to site visits in order to contribute to the project most effectively.
Despite my two hour commute to work, within my first year at my first graduate job, I learnt many aspects of architecture which you do not learn at university, such as legal building requirements etc. Throughout the first year I worked on two main projects only as completing projects, depending on the scale, take years to complete, some going on for over ten years! Working with a project leader who led the projects gave structure to our working system and allowed us to meet deadlines and targets for each project. I enjoy this career as its exciting, with new tasks to solve everyday rather than repetitive tasks in most careers. But the best thing about architecture is seeing the final product being built!"