If you have happened to read Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” you would know how an architect proves himself to be worthy of his own creations and offers inspirations for other architects or aspiring architects through his own journey. But that’s fiction. And we are talking about the real world. In real world, you need to have tools, techniques and skills in order to succeed. And yes, like Howard Roark in Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” you also need to have individuality in your creation.
If you ever thought to become an architect, you need to view yourself as an artist, a creator of sort and not only a builder of homes. If you have that dream to change lives, transform the way we see ‘building houses and designs’ you are at the right place. In this career guide, you would get to know everything that you need to know about flourishing your career in architecture. You will get the information and direction about how you would shape up your career in architecture field.
In this career guide, you will find the brief meaning of architecture and what it truly means to be an architect; where you should embark on your journey, what areas you should work on in the beginning; how would you get placed as an architect after you complete your degree; what are the options available to you for getting placed in the most suitable company; the top-notch companies in the world where you can begin your career as an architect; the skills and acumens required to succeed in the field of architecture; compensation offered and how much you can expect; and lastly the higher education opportunities available to you.
How do we define Architecture?
When we talk about architecture, the first question that comes in mind is that – Is it possible to build something that is not yet finished in your mind already? If your answer as an aspiring answer is yes, then you need to revisit your thoughts and give yourself some time to ponder. Because, until as an architect you have already finished designing the home in your mind, you cannot design it in reality. Execution of beautiful homes and art forms are a matter of executing them in your mind first.
Thus, if you are budding architects, then your first concern would be how you would build homes in your mind and how can you get better at it?! As an architect, you need to design, engineer & reengineer, manage, supervise and execute everything from the beginning to end. Thus, if you are not very good at details, your chances of succeeding are very meagre.
But like any other home and skill, you can build yourself step by step by being exceedingly well in foundation of architecture and imagining the art forms that don’t even exist right now in reality.
As an architect, you need to design structure, ask for client specification, look for small details, and execute the structure flawlessly. Buildings have their integrity as humans have. You need to make sure that the buildings you build have integrity – in design, in art form, in colour, in significance and in bringing traditions and emotions of people on the surface.
Where to start?
To begin understanding and taking a step ahead toward becoming an architect, you need to be excellent at the basics. Not everyone does architecture with a reason behind it. If money is what you are after, then the success may always elude you. So, in the beginning simply dig deep to understand why you actually would like to become an architect.
It may be because you would like to create art that last even after you pass away as your legacy; or maybe you would like to help a lot of people; or else may be to constantly build homes and structures to be prolific architect in the world. No matter what is your reason of becoming an architect, it should be clear and crystal before even you begin to learn a single thing.
Once you are ready with the reason, now you need to pull up your sleeves and get to work. The first part of any architecture or sort is creative design. What cannot be designed cannot be achieved. If you are not aware how the designs differ in case of home, theatre or for museum then you would face problems while actually building them. You also need to have the knowledge of the locality, the weather, the natural calamity that has happened in the past in the area and build the structure on the basis of this information.
You also need to be a good manager and become flexible in your approach. Because as client specification change, you need to change your plans and build accordingly! Thus even if you have designed in some other way, you need to know how the clients want. Or else if you would like to design your own then you should be given that liberty by the client to act on your own imagination. But chances of that are very rare.
Thus, to begin a successful career in architecture, you need to make sure that you are thorough with the basic and traditional knowledge of architecture and their application; excellent at designing and structuring according to the client specification; and last but not the least rather the most important part is the flawless execution.
How to get recruited during Campus or off Campus Recruitment?
Usually, once you complete the degree course in architecture, you need to do an apprenticeship in an architecture firm to hone your skill as an architect. It’s important for you to realize that everything comes down to one thing and that is passion. If you are passionate about becoming an architect, then wherever you begin that doesn’t matter, you will always reach your destination.
It’s rather better to choose a small or medium firm to begin your apprenticeship so that you can take more responsibility as an aspiring architect. More the responsibility, more are your chances of learning. More you learn, better you become at your field. Then once you are given the opportunity to handle a small project, you would do so well that the structure would breathe passion out of it.
So, if you fail to make it to a top-notch architecture firm, always have the willingness to learn more. If you are willing to be the best at what you do, your possibilities are endless and you won’t get much bothered about top-notch companies, the highest pay packages and biggest deals. Just concentrate on building your craft, one step at a time. You will definitely get places either on campus or by your own effort.
Choosing the perfect company for a bright career
As already mentioned choosing a great company is not a recipe for architectural success. Rather becoming a great architect is. And to do that you need to be aware of two fundamental options. Creative Design: There are a lot of architects who only concentrate on the designing part. As they love drawing, love sketching of future mountaintops, they enjoy the designing part of the structure. If you are one of those, then you would do great in creative designing. But please be reminded that this is not a cup of tea for everyone.
You need to be really good to particularly choose creative design as part of architecture profession. You need to know how you can design the structure of residential, commercial and industrial buildings and the layout. You also need to be aware about the traditional designs and modern designs to become a better designer by yourself.
Managerial: You can also choose a profession of a manager where the basic part of you is to see over how things are going, where the plan needs course-correction and where you can add value to satisfy clients. The people who are good in handling people and business choose this sort of position in architecture field. You may also choose both the creative designing and managerial. However, each needs separate skill sets to succeed and if you can master both of them, you will be renowned architect around the world.
Top Companies which offer jobs for Architecture
There are many top-notch companies where you may dream to work in as an apprentice in the beginning and later continue to become a full time employee.
- Perkins Eastman
- Perkins & Will
- Corgan Associates, Inc.
- HMC Architects
- LPA, Inc.
- Studios Architecture
- Fentress Architects
- TPG Architecture
- Ayers Saint Gross
Skill sets required for getting jobs in Architecture
There are basic skills required for performing exceptionally well in the job of architecture. The following are the comprehensive list of skill sets required for becoming world-class architect.
- Ability to sketch
- Good mathematical ability
- Ability to understand complex legal language in regards to architecture
- Awareness of current social and environmental issues
- Responsibility and ability to take charge of things when things go wrong
- Leadership ability
- Basic foundational knowledge in science
- Patience to handle critical situations
The median salary for an architect in India is US $6,000 in starting. Once you begin to have experience, you would get around US $20,000. In USA and UK, the salary structure is much
Higher education opportunities
If you would like to make your mark, it is prudence to go for a master degree course in architecture. Once you are done with your graduation in architecture, then instead of looking for job directly you can go for master degree course. Other than that, you can also can get Post Graduate Diplomas in designing, Autodesk, 3ds Max, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, Autocad 2000i.