The Steps Involved in Starting an Architecture Career

The Steps Involved in Starting an Architecture Career

As in every profession, there are lots of different steps involved to becoming an architect. There’s a lot of hard work involved, but it can also be a lot of fun to do. Becoming an architect requires a lot of learning and education, experience, and exams. There are several stages that you will need to go through before you can move from being a student to a professional architect.

What is an Architect?

An architect is a professional who designs office buildings, landscapes, buildings, skyscrapers, and other buildings, including entire cities. The services that a licensed architect offers will depend on the type of project that they are developing. A complicated commercial project will usually have a team of architects, while one architect might specialize in just one smaller, residential project. This is usually the case with architects who are just starting out or building their own firm.

Like many professionals, architects may also take on a range of other projects and duties, such as teaching at universities and colleges, organizing, and running professional organizations, and more. They design and plan spaces while considering various factors such as safety and accessibility, aesthetics, combustion materials, functionality, cost, and environmental concerns.

Getting the Right Equipment

Whether you’ve got a place on the architecture degree of your dreams, or you are applying currently, it’s worth making sure that you’re prepared to get started with the right equipment. Architecture involves using a range of powerful software programs such as AutoCAD or Revit, so it’s important that you have a computer that is going to be able to keep up with that.

If you go into your course with a regular laptop, then chances are you are become very frustrated very quickly, as it simply won’t be able to keep up with the software that you are using. To get the best experience when working on projects for your course, you’ll need a powerful laptop with a dedicated graphics card, strong multi-core processor, fast SSD and a lot of RAM at the very least. Check out these Lenovo Laptops for AutoCAD to find one that meets your needs.

Choosing a School

Some people are interested in building and designing things while they are in high school, and this can be a great place to start if you’ve decided that this is a good career path for you. To become an architect, you will need to get a college degree. There are many options to choose from, including becoming an architect with a bachelor’s degree in any other subject, and then getting a master’s degree in architecture.

So, don’t worry if you’ve already been to college and gotten a bachelor’s degree, as you can still go back and switch your career to architecture if that’s what you’ve decided you want. Many schools offer both professional and non-professional degree programs in architecture, with lots of opportunities for both architecture majors and professional architects, so do your research and choose the school and program that fit your needs best.

Getting Experience

Whether you have already graduated or are still a student, getting experience in architecture is crucial to your future career. Many graduates will work for several years in internships from professional architectural firms before taking the licensing exam to become a registered architect. The career center at your college can help you with finding an entry-level position, and your professors can also help with guiding you towards work experience. You will need to have some experience before you can apply to take the test to ultimately become a registered architect and start your professional career.

Licensing Exam

In the US and Canada, you will need to take and pass the Architect Registration Examination to receive a professional architecture license. This is a very rigorous exam, so you may want to consider taking some additional coursework to make sure that you are prepared for it. The tests are completely online, however, you’re not able to use your own computer and will need to take the exam at a Prometric test center. You will usually study for and take the exam during the experience gathering stage of your career.

This can often be one of the most stressful parts of getting into a career as an architect, as you’re not usually being paid very much while you’re working in an internship or entry-level position to build experience and will need to find time to prepare for and take your exams. It can be worth getting extra support from mentors, established architects, and family and friends during this time to help you get through it. Make sure that you have a solid routine in place and have firm boundaries around your time to ensure that you are not heading for burnout.

Building Your Profession

After completing the licensing exam, there will be more options available to you. Some professionals who are in the early stages of their architecture career will find work at the same firms where they have gained experience, while others will seek out employment elsewhere. Don’t forget that working as an architect is not your only option at this point, as there are many other similar careers that you will now be qualified for.

Some architects also decide to become self-employed and start their own firms after getting their license. There are many ways to do this, whether you decide to go at it alone or team up to start a business with other architects and similar professionals such as co-workers and classmates who have similar goals. Building a strong professional network will help you build your pathway towards success as an architect. Many architects will begin their career working in the public sector, with local, state, and federal governments all hire architects.

If you like the idea of spending your career designing buildings and creating impactful things in the world, then becoming an architect might be an ideal career choice for you. From getting the right equipment to choosing the right school, and preparing for the licensing exam, there are lots of factors to consider.

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