There are different types of architects, so the responsibilities and other aspects can vary from industry to industry.
Generally, architects deal with designing buildings, businesses, networks, and other similar entities.
In the following article, we will cover the job of the landscape and building architect only.
Typically, architects work in an office.
They design plans, communicate with engineers and other architects, and meet with clients.
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In 2014, one in five architects were running their own businesses.
However, others are commonly employed with the architect offices and other firms.
The median salary of an architect was estimated at $76,000 per year by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Along with that, the employment rate is expected to grow by 7% by the year 2024.
With that, the architect job would be in high demand, although it requires artistic vision, talent, and unbridled imagination.
So, let’s talk about the job description of an architect in more detail.
Overview of an Architect Job
Architects work on the initial stages of designing and developing structures such as buildings or houses.
Most of the time, they work directly with a client to implement their ideas and put their vision into practice.
This means that architects should put aside their own vision and work up to the client’s one as much as possible.
While doing so, they still have to follow the protocols.
Mostly, the architects spend their working days in the offices.
However, they often have to visit construction sites to ensure accurate implementation of the design.
Additionally, they work with a range of computer software and have to keep records of the material costs.
An architect should be able to resolve any functionality and design issues that may appear in the process.
Based on the architect job type, tasks and responsibilities can be very different.
However, in this article, we are covering the job of a typical architect, so we are going to focus on the key responsibilities of the one.
Below, we gathered a list of typical responsibilities an architect may encounter:
- Determining the requirements of the client.
- Analyzing the needs, objectives, preferences, methods, and practices of the client.
- Meeting with various focus groups.
- Determining the potential perception of the future project.
- Putting together the architecture-related data.
- Visualizing the architectural scheme, structure, features, and design of the building.
- Preparing data models.
- Planning user scenarios.
- Communicating with builders, engineers, and clients to prepare the project.
- Laying out the plans, specifications, cost estimation of the project.
- Identifying the landscape features and placement of the structure.
- Working with computer programs (CADD) to create a graphic demonstration of the plans.
- Choosing the right materials for landscape design.
- Examining environmental statements.
- Recording different land conditions, such as drainage or energy use.
- Examining the completed landscape work for the project.
- Ensuring that the work doesn’t conflict with the design plan.
- Laying out detailed blueprints.
- Composing detailed measurements instructions.
- Ensuring that deadlines are met, or delays are minimal.
- Ensuring that the project meets the budget limits.
- Efficiently communicating with the construction crew.
- Staying updated and following the latest architectural trends and advancements.
These are responsibilities reported by the architects involved in active projects, so they are quite accurate.
However, depending on the employer, responsibilities, and salary can vary even within the same industry.
The job of an architect implies a wide range of responsibilities, so they need to possess multiple skills and qualities to do their job.
Without them, there are very low chances to be hired, and moreover, to keep the job.
Despite the job they have to perform, whether it’s related to infrastructure, constructing warehouses, etc., an architect should possess the skills listed below.
They are essential for interns, junior, senior workers, or lead engineers.
The essential skills include:
- Highly advanced analytical skills.
- Solid organizational skills.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Great level of creativity.
- Easily directed and highly developed imagination.
- Artistic and stylistic aptitude.
- Superior artistic skills.
- Advanced problem-solving skills.
- Excellent technological and technical skills.
- Advanced knowledge of quality standards and rules, building regulations.
- Proficiency in construction and building protocols.
- Highly detailed-oriented.
- Advanced project management skills.
- Superior visual awareness.
- A passion for architecture.
Education and Training
In the majority of states, architects should be licensed to be able to practice their trade.
The exceptions are Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, and D.C.
With a license, however, architects can acquire more jobs and the “landscape architect” title everywhere, except D.C.
Mostly, architects can acquire L.A.R.E. – based (Landscape Architect Registration Examination) licenses.
L.A.R.E. is sponsored by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards.
The exam for this license takes place several times a year.
Although, there are certain requirements to be met to sit the examination.
First of all, one needs a degree from an accredited school plus four years of experience under supervision.
If the degree is mandatory, but the applicant doesn’t have one, there are other steps towards taking the test.
Usually, in this case, the more extended experience is required.
In thirteen states, besides L.A.R.E., a second state examination is required to be registered.
This examination includes environmental regulations and laws.
Environmental regulations usually focus on climate, soil, plants, and other specific features of the state.
PayScale reports that experience is one of the key factors influencing the salary of an architect.
Initial salary of an architect is usually $49,000, while professionals working for 20+ years in the area can make as much as $85,000 per year.
Additionally, they can benefit from bonuses, overtime, commissions, and profit-sharing.
Architects need a great portfolio demonstrating their artistic skills.
But in addition, most employers require them to have one to four years of supervised experience working under a practicing landscape architect.
Only in certain states and under particular circumstances one can do without this experience.
Career Opportunities and Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the architect employment rate to grow by 7% until 2024.
This is similar to other occupations in the country, which is an average of 8%.
It means that the competition for the job is expected to grow, with more aspiring architects in the area and a steady number of jobs.
Regardless, most architects are passionate about their occupation, and the salary can go beyond $100,000 annually, so the job will remain in high demand.
With one of the most decently paid creative jobs, the architects are professionals having a high level of job satisfaction.
Even though this job can be stressful, great compensation for doing what they love is a great motivation for people to pursue the career of an architect.