How to become an Architect

Architects use creativity and a practical understanding of structures and materials to develop concepts, plans, specifications and detailed drawings for buildings and other structures. They negotiate with builders and planning authorities, administer building contracts and inspect work that has been carried out.

Personal requirements for an Architect

  • Aptitude for design
  • Creativity
  • Able to analyse problems logically
  • Good communication skills

Education & Training for an Architect

To become an architect you usually have to complete an accredited degree in architecture. This usually consists of a degree in arts or design with a major in architecture, followed by a Master of Architecture. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Applicants may also be required to demonstrate basic freehand drawing ability and computer skills. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Additional information

Architects must also be registered with the Architects Registration Board in the state or territory in which they intend to practise. To apply for registration you must complete an accredited architecture degree, have two years of monitored experience with an architectural firm and sit an examination in architectural practice set by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA).

Duties & Tasks of an Architect

Architects:

  • Meet with clients or builders to discuss their requirements and prepare a design brief
  • Prepare sketches, production drawings and detailed drawings by hand or using computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • Combine structural, mechanical and artistic elements into a building's design, such as decks and atriums, lifts, air conditioning systems and decorative finishes
  • Discuss designs and cost estimates with clients and others involved in the project
  • Obtain necessary approvals from authorities
  • Prepare specifications and contract documents for builders, tradespeople and legal advisers
  • Evaluate projects once they are completed and occupied.

Tasks

  • Writes specifications and contract documents for use by builders and calls tenders on behalf of clients..
  • Obtains advice from clients and management to determine type, style and size of planned buildings and alterations to existing buildings..
  • Inspects construction work in progress to ensure compliance with plans, specifications and quality standards..
  • Provides information regarding designs, materials and estimated building times..
  • Prepares project documentation, including sketches and scale drawings, and integrates structural, mechanical and aesthetic elements in final designs..

Working conditions for an Architect

Architects may also be involved in project feasibility studies, strategic asset investigations, heritage studies, urban planning, interior design or landscape design.


Employment Opportunities for an Architect

Most architects work in architectural firms or for businesses that have large construction programs. Many start their own practice after a few years of experience. Architectural training develops the ability to combine arts, science and technology. This means that architects increasingly find work in areas outside of architecture, such as urban planning and design, property development, construction management, interior design, industrial design, teaching, research and journalism.


Specializations

Architects often specialise in particular types of work, such as domestic, low-rise commercial, high-rise commercial, industrial, conservation and heritage buildings. Architects need to keep up with changing trends in the construction industry and the community. They have considerable contact with the public.


Architect

Architects use creativity and a practical understanding of structures and materials to develop concepts, plans, specifications and detailed drawings for buildings and other structures. They negotiate with builders and planning authorities, administer building contracts and inspect work that has been carried out.

  • Average age
    Average age
    39 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Moderate
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    31% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    45 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $1,674
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    82% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    17,000 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.8%
    NSW: 36.3%
    NT: 0.3%
    QLD: 14.7%
    SA: 5.0%
    TAS: 1.6%
    VIC: 31.7%
    WA: 8.6%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.1%
    20-24: 5.1%
    25-34: 30.8%
    35-44: 26.2%
    45-54: 18.2%
    55-59: 7%
    60-64: 6%
    65 and Over: 6.7%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 4.3%
    Bachelor degree: 56.1%
    Certificate III/IV: 0.4%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 36.4%
    Year 10 and below: 0%
    Year 11: 0.1%
    Year 12: 2.6%
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