The road to becoming an architect is lengthy but rewarding. All buildings, including offices, homes and commercial structures begins with an architect. Most architects work with other architects in firms, but about 20% of professional architects are self-employed. This could be a great perk of becoming an architect. The wages of architects are also good. The median wage for architects is approximately $70,000 in the United States. Architecture education is required for careers in architecture, and it is a long but rewarding process to become an architect. Here's how to get started:
Requirements to Become an Architect
There are three steps to being an architect. First, an aspiring architect must receive a bachelor's degree or master's degree from an accredited school. Accreditation is given by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. After students receive their architecture degree, they then start an apprenticeship under a professional architect. This apprenticeship usually lasts about three years. The last step to becoming an architect is passing the Architect Registration Examination. After these steps are completed, a person is considered a licensed, professional architect who can either join a firm at top wages, or open their own business.
Although the path to be an architect might seem daunting, it is a worthwhile career to enter. Architects will always be needed because there are always buildings that need to be designed. Becoming an architect means you will have a certain amount of respect in the workforce. Becoming an architect also means that you can command a higher salary than those who are just graduating from college.
Considerations Before Becoming an Architect
Because it will take several years to become an architect, it’s best to plan early if you’re just starting out to become an architect. Sometimes during economic downturns, people stop building out of fear they will not be able to recoup their costs. Architects may also find their businesses suffering during a downturn. However, because architects are skilled in many types of things including design, construction and building codes, architects can easily find work in the public domain.
An important thing to remember about becoming an architect is that architects actually do not do hands-on work during their professional career. They do work with construction during their apprenticeship, but after they become professional architects, they leave the hands-on construction work to the builders. They do, however, often supervise the building being done by visiting construction sites and providing reference to everyone involved in the building process.
People looking to be an architect should look at the National Architectural Accrediting Board to find architecture schools that will provide them with the necessary requirements to become an architect.