Why, Where and How to Secure Jobs, Architecture-Wise

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Nowadays, the choices in professions are numerous from accountants to zoologists, of which the more well-known is the architect. Although the road to becoming a licensed architect can be extremely hard on the mind and body, not to mention on the pockets, it is still a path taken by over 141,000 professionals. With the excellent prospects for architecture jobs, this should not come as a surprise.

However, before jumping to conclusions about these jobs, architecture is a very demanding profession, a fact that cannot be overemphasized. The duties, responsibilities and functions of architects run the gamut from designing the physical structures according to client specifications, existing building laws and available budget to keeping up with the trends in the field and everything else in between. Still, it is a profession worth considering for its personal and professional benefits.

Why Be an Architect

There are many reasons to consider becoming an architect, of which the most notable are the following motivations provided by seasoned architects:

* The annual salary as well as the perks and benefits of being an employed architect make for a comfortable life. In fact, it is one of the highest paid professions in the world although median annual wages are reported to be only at $70,320 as of May 2008. Take note that this figure only represents basic salary, excluding perks and benefits.
* The power to affect the surrounding environment can be shared with the clients especially where the urban landscape is concerned. As the movement in architecture is going towards green design, it is possible to contribute to a cleaner environment, too.
* It is one of the few professions that ably combine art with science as well as business and the law. In short, an architect will always have challenges to make him grow in the professional and personal aspects.

When one is already engaged in any of the available jobs, architecture takes on a whole new different meaning in the positive direction.

Where to Find the Jobs

Another good thing about architecture jobs is that the employment opportunities can be found in many areas from the public to the private sector. Many architects, about 20 percent of the total number of professionals, have their own private practices, too, instead of seeking employment in other companies. For new graduates, the minimum three-year internship program under a licensed architect is a compulsory requirement for taking the licensure examinations. Said internships do not pay as well as the jobs for licensed architects since one is basically undergoing an on-the-job training. Still, the years spent as an intern will be very useful in the future in terms of skills learned and contacts made.

In the private sector, job opportunities exist in the likes of architectural design firms, engineering and contracting companies, and other organizations with physical planning departments. As for the public sector, employment can be had with local, state and federal agencies engaged in land planning and development as well as preservation of natural resources through the judicious construction of buildings. Think along the lines of the United States Forest Service, National Park Service, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Land Management, and even the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Since we all need shelter to perform our daily activities, be it for work or play, architects will always be in demand. Just remember to strike while the iron is hot as jobs, architecture employment included, can be difficult to land in these equally difficult times.

How to Land the Job

Once the architecture jobs have been identified, it is now necessary to look at the tips that will land the most desirable one where professional criteria are concerned.

* Review the portfolio, which should strike a good balance between practical experience, excellent design and cost efficiency. Thus, the portfolio should contain the cover letter and resume, illustrations in various media, and physical models, all of which should showcase the applicant's architectural abilities and talents.
* Practice the presentation of the portfolio since it is as important as its actual contents. Keep in mind that architects must design, document and then describe the project to many clients at multiple times, thus, the better the presentation, the higher the probabilities of being able to choose from many offers of architecture jobs.
* As with other jobs, architecture positions will often be awarded to individuals who are prompt, polite and honest as well as intelligent, confident and enthusiastic.

Truly, landing a dream job as an architect will be a balance between your personal characteristics and your professional qualifications.
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