Design

Architect

Architects design new buildings and the spaces around them, and work on the restoration and conservation of existing buildings.

Annual Salary

£27,500 to £90,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; occasionally

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

In this role you could :

  • create hand sketches, 3D models and detailed technical plans using computer aided design (CAD) software
  • create a plan, following building laws and safety regulations
  • find cost-effective ways to work within budgets
  • manage construction projects
  • choose or advise on materials
  • visit sites to check building work and progress
  • communicate and share ideas with clients, other architects, and architectural technologists and technicians
  • write reports and job proposals and complete planning applications

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in a creative studio, in an office or visit sites.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
University

You'll need to complete:

  • a degree recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB)
  • a year of practical work experience
  • a further 2 years' full-time university course like BArch, Diploma, MArch
  • a year of practical training
  • a final qualifying exam

Many course providers will also want to see a portfolio of your drawings and sketches.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through an architect degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Work

If you're already working at a high level in an architectural practice but cannot study full time, you could qualify through RIBA Studio.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Royal Institute of British Architects, for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an architect from the Royal Institute of British Architects and Go Construct.

You can also find out more about working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

If you're working for a private architectural firm, you may be able to move up to become a partner or associate.

With experience in public sector roles, you could move into a lead architect job.

You could also work on projects as a freelance consultant, or set up your own business.

You may get opportunities to work overseas.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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