Convert Ideas into Structures
The profession of architecture involves planning and designing buildings. The first task of architects in the profession is to translate the ideas generated by the clients into real world structures. While architects are expected to know exterior design and interior decoration, they should also be aware of the rules of the construction of buildings. They also need to understand plumbing, electrical supply and other practical aspects. All tasks must be completed within a client's budget.
Architects and Engineers are Different
All architects should also be good at manipulating light, texture, volume and available space to give a good aesthetic feel to the building. This is one aspect that makes architects different from engineers because engineers are only concerned about the feasibility and functionality of designs.
It is helpful if you can decide early about becoming an architect. Meet your guidance counselor in high school to know more about courses to prepare you for a degree in architecture. You may need extra work in science and math. If you don't like math, look for another career.
Find out about admission requirements in college during your high school senior year. The colleges should be approved by NAAB (National Architectural Accrediting Board). The most popular course to take is a five year BA (Bachelor of Architecture) program. You can also go for a two year MA (Master of Architecture) program. Apply to several schools in one go and make sure you have submitted all of the necessary paperwork. If you get your degree with honors, it will be especially helpful while competing with other students for jobs. You will be awarded your architect's license only after you have cleared your ARE (Architect Registration Examination). You will be allowed to appear for ARE only after you have completed three years as an intern.
Become a Licensed Professional
In the United States, you can become a licensed architect in many ways. All architecture programs have the freedom to structure their courses though the minimum conditions set forth by NAAB must be met. There are approximately 125 NAAB accredited architecture programs in the US. Successful students become members of ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) automatically.
Salaries of Architects
The middle level architects earn from $49,000 to $83,000 per year. Those who have just started earn up to $39,000 while higher level architects earn over $100,000 per year. Salaries vary based on the tasks performed, location, and experience and qualification. Those who have their own firm and have established a reputation earn much more.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics claims the employment for architects will increase faster than most industries to the year 2016. Though there are many jobs, competition is still very high. Those with experience will win over those who do not.