You'll work with a variety of people as an architect, so one of the things you'll need to be good at and enjoy doing is working with people. You also need to have a keen eye for detail, be skilled in design, and be able to work within a budget at the same time.
An architect is someone who is "an artist," to be sure, but the architect also works within given parameters to make sure buildings make code for particular areas, that the land buildings are built on hits the building in question and vice versa, what the surrounding buildings, if any, look like, the climate in question, and more. Therefore, as you can see, the architect must indeed be a "jack of all trades" of sorts, when it comes to various jobs in architecture.
Before you embark on formal training
Before you go to formal schooling for architecture jobs, you should first begin in high school by taking courses in physics, art history, mechanical drawing, and mathematics. Some high school students began working as interns or in low-level positions and architectural firms even before they go to college. In fact, many large companies actually recruit students from high schools, and may pay for students' college expenses such as tuition, while students get on-the-job experience working for these firms on a part-time basis.
Once you graduate from high school, you'll need to apply to one of the architectural colleges that have been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. The degree you'll get to pursue jobs in architecture will generally be a five-year program, resulting in a bachelor of architecture degree. While in school, you'll study professional administration, structural theory, building construction, architectural design, engineering, graphic representation, and more. You don't necessarily need to be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, but it is certainly advised. In some cases, you may want or need to get a masters degree in architecture to pursue advanced architecture jobs.
After you graduate, you'll begin an apprenticeship with an architectural firm paired generally calm you'll start as a junior drafter, and will use CADD software (Computer-Assisted Design and Drafting software) in your work. You may work for an architect and make models based on his or her designs. As you become more experienced, your duties, too, will become more advanced. You may become a senior drafter as you continue your career. Once you've worked for about three years, you can take the state licensing examination.
Getting a job
It's a good idea if at all possible to get a part-time job at an architectural firm while you're still in school -- in high school, during college, or both. After you've graduated, your school's placement office or your present employer can help you with job placement, or you can look online or work with recruiters or employment agencies to find work.
Advancement in architecture jobs
Jobs in architecture offer opportunities for advancement as well, or you may decide that you want to hang out your own shingle after you've been employed as an architect for a while. In fact, nearly 25% of architects are self-employed. In addition, you can also advance within an architectural firm. You can become a project manager or supervisor, for example. Government service and construction management are also possibilities.
At present, architects may be having a bit of a tough time finding work, given the recent drop in the construction industry (a main provider of jobs in architecture). However, healthcare facilities and schools are two types of buildings that are slated to increase in number in the near future.
What can you expect to make in jobs in architecture?
As of 2004, architects across all levels of experience made about $60,000 a year. If you're doing an internship or are newly graduated, the amount is significantly less, although many jobs in architecture do provide benefits, including health insurance, sick time and vacation time.