What Does An Architect Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Architects

Architects plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, theaters, factories, and other structural property.

Salary
$89470
Becoming One
Hard
Education
Bachelor's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Architects plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, theaters, factories, and other structural property.

  • Prepare scale drawings or architectural designs, using computer-aided design or other tools.
  • Plan or design structures such as residences, office buildings, theatres, factories, or other structural properties in accordance with environmental, safety, or other regulations.
  • Direct activities of technicians engaged in preparing drawings or specification documents.
  • Prepare contract documents for building contractors.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Architects design or plan the construction of green building projects to minimize the adverse environmental impact or conserve energy. They plan or design structures such as residences, office buildings, theatres, factories, or other structural properties in accordance with environmental, safety, or other regulations.

A typical day for an Architect will also include:

  • Design structures that incorporate environmentally friendly building practices or concepts, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
  • Prepare scale drawings or architectural designs, using computer-aided design or other tools.
  • Direct activities of technicians engaged in preparing drawings or specification documents.
  • Integrate engineering elements into unified architectural designs.
  • Administer construction contracts.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Architects also conduct periodic on-site observations of construction work to monitor compliance with plans. They may also meet with clients to review or discuss architectural drawings.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Architects monitor the work of specialists, such as electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, interior designers, or sound specialists to ensure optimal form or function of designs or final structures. They might also calculate potential energy savings by comparing the estimated energy consumption of the proposed design to baseline standards.

In addition, they gather information related to projects’ environmental sustainability or operational efficiency.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them consult with clients to determine functional or spatial requirements of structures.

To some Architects, it is also their responsibility to develop marketing materials, proposals, or presentations to generate new work opportunities.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

High

Is this job meaningful

Average

70% said they were satisfied with their job and 56% said they found their job meaningful.


A private office

As an architect working for a private office, my role included responsibilities such as developing and presenting construction documentation, creating 3D models and presenting them to the client. I also researched materials used for construction and wrote their technical specifications. I usually managed several projects at the same time. Less often, my scope of responsibilities … Read More


Mancini Duffy

I’m the type of person that needs a fair amount of action and variety in my life. While being involved in projects from conception to completion is the primary function of being an architect, I also have incredibly varied experiences from day to day that keep me interested and engaged in my career. While at … Read More


OBM International

Being an architect comes with great responsibility and reward as the design is going to be around for a very long time and it is important to have a holistic approach when designing. Implementing sustainable practices is also an important aspect to ensure the impact on the environment is as minimal as possible. It’s more … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like to work with designs.

Suitable for people who want independence and like to work on their own and make decisions.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$89470 per year

Average hourly wage

$43 per hour

Entry-level Architects with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $49,950 to $63,420 per year or $24 to $30 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $136,310 $66
Senior (Top 25%) $106,680 $51
Median $82,320 $40
Junior (Bottom 25%) $63,420 $30
No experience (Bottom 10%) $49,950 $24

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Architects based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services $121520 $58.42
Land Subdivision $109990 $52.88
Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors $109580 $52.68
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $105710 $50.82
Management of Companies and Enterprises $102300 $49.18
Federal Executive Branch $101870 $48.97
Employment Services $101100 $48.61
Local Government $100810 $48.47
Real Estate $100050 $48.10
Postal Service (Federal Government) $97730 $46.98

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Architects work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Architects including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services 90340 $88660 $42.63
Residential Building Construction 1860 $83410 $40.10
Federal Executive Branch 1460 $101870 $48.97
Nonresidential Building Construction 1120 $93280 $44.84
Specialized Design Services 1110 $91600 $44.04
Local Government 1100 $100810 $48.47
Real Estate 840 $100050 $48.10
State Government 760 $92430 $44.44
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 740 $94480 $45.42
Employment Services 710 $101100 $48.61

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
0%

40 hours
15%

More than 40 hours
85%

Working schedule

70%

30%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
0%

Every day
100%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
11%

Every day
89%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
26%

Every day
70%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
4%

Once a year
26%

Once a month
52%

Once a week
15%

Every day
4%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
0%

Slightly competitive
4%

Moderately competitive
11%

Highly competitive
37%

Extremely competitive
48%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
0%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
7%

Every day
93%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
30%

Once a year or more
41%

Once a month or more
15%

Once a week or more
11%

Every day
4%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
11%

Once a year or more
37%

Once a month or more
33%

Once a week or more
15%

Every day
4%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
4%

Once a year or more
63%

Once a month or more
22%

Once a week or more
7%

Every day
4%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Hard
You will need a considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require a Bachelor’s degree and several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training. Similar careers include Database Administrators, Chemists, Art Directors, and Accountants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
0%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
56%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
7%

Master’s Degree
19%

Post-Master’s Certificate
4%

First Professional Degree
15%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Architecture

A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of architecture and to conduct research in various aspects of the field. Includes instruction in architectural design, history, and theory; building structures and environmental systems; project and site planning; construction; professional responsibilities and standards; and related cultural, social, economic, and environmental issues.

Architectural Design

An advanced program of study for architects and related professionals that focuses on theoretical and practical issues in architecture and integrates digital technologies into architectural design, fabrication, and construction. Includes instruction in architectural history and urban theory, 3-D digital technologies, construction, design and fabrication methods, and sustainable practices in architecture.

Environmental Design/Architecture

A program that prepares individuals to design public and private spaces, indoor and outdoor, for leisure, recreational, commercial, and living purposes, and for professional practice as environmental designers and architects. Includes instruction in the design and planning of public and private open spaces and their relationship to buildings and other aspects of the built environment; facilities management; related aspects of interior design and architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning; and professional responsibilities and standards.


Architectural History and Criticism

A general program that focuses on the aesthetic, technical, and social development of the built environment and the architectural profession from earliest times to the present. Includes instruction in the principles of architecture and related fields; art history; historiography of architecture; architectural theory and criticism; related aspects of the history of technology and social and economic history; and various period, cultural, and stylistic specializations.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
19%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
4%

6 months to 1 year
7%

1 to 2 years
15%

2 to 4 years
30%

4 to 6 years
7%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
4%

Over 10 years
15%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
7%

1 month
11%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
4%

6 months to 1 year
7%

1 to 2 years
19%

2 to 4 years
33%

4 to 10 years
11%

Over 10 years
7%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Artist

People with this personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.

The Builder
57%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
71%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
95%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
24%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
57%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
33%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with forms, designs, and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

They also like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
81%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
79%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
81%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
52%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
62%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
86%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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