Architecture Jobs - How to Achieve Success in Architecture

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Architecture jobs are one of the best paying jobs in the country with average salaries of $104,000 per year in 2010. For senior architects, the salary can go as high as $122,000 per year, which is only applicable to architects employed by firms. One can just imagine the higher incomes for the likes of star architects I.M. Pei and Frank Gehry, both of whom continue to enjoy stellar architecture careers. We can also be sure that these famous architects underwent architecture internships in their time, which is true for all licensed architects of our time.

So, the question is: How does one become a successful architect in a highly competitive and creative environment? The following are just a few of the tips that pave the way toward being a success in your chosen field of architecture. In the end, your success will be a combination of factors including personal determination, professional competence and creative license.

Undergo Internship, Apprenticeship and Mentor Phases

Virtually all architects in the United States hold a degree in architecture from any one of the schools accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). For graduates of non-accredited degree programs, it is important to ask the state licensing board as the degree may comply with the education requirement of the said state. These degrees in architecture are the first steps toward becoming a successful architect for the simple reason that one cannot be granted the professional license without the necessary educational and internship requirements.

But just because you already have the degree does not necessarily mean that the entry-level architecture jobs are yours for the taking. Keep in mind that your career starts with architecture internships, which will take a minimum of 3 years before the state architectural registration boards will even consider your application for the licensing examination. In fact, many architecture careers start from the internship not only in architectural firms but also in other related professions such as in general contractors and engineers' offices.

How exactly do such internship, apprenticeship and mentor phases affect the success of a career in architecture? Take note that architectural interns assist in the design of projects from the preparation of the documents, designs and drawings to the finishing touches on a building project. Internships are excellent training grounds for ambitious architects especially when an experienced mentor can be found who will provide the insights, advice and guidance for success in the profession.

Develop Excellent Communication Skills

All architecture jobs are social jobs in the sense that the architect must meet with clients, vendors and other professionals from the beginning till the end of the building project, whether it is a residential mansion or a commercial skyscraper. You must then possess excellent communication skills in order to maintain good professional relationships with everybody concerned in the project. Your main thought in this regard is that building anything of wood, stone, steel and glass is a collaborative project involving other architects, engineers, contractors and skilled laborers on one hand as well as clients, vendors and the general public on the other hand.

Indeed, none of the successful architecture careers are successful when the main architect chooses to become a hermit. Most architectural projects, in fact, are won through public biddings, social contacts and professional networks. If you become a recluse, none of these projects will come into your hands. Such excellence in communication skills is true even in your years in architecture internships as you will also be required to face clients, vendors and other professionals.

Hone the Ability to Work with a Team

And because you will be dealing with many professionals during each building project, you must also possess the ability to work with a team. To be more specific, your co-team members include engineers, interior designers, urban planners, landscape architects, and other professionals concerned with the building project from the foundation to the antenna on the roof. You will be spending plenty of time coordinating the work of these professionals in the team.

Be Updated with the Trends in Many Industries

Architectural work may be set in stone but it does not mean that architecture itself is stagnant, and in fact, it is far from it. Professionals with successful architecture careers are always updated on the trends in many areas of society - new construction technologies, new materials, new approaches, new perceptions, and generally just new ideas.

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