Architects design buildings and other structures. Buildings must be not only attractive, but also safe and functional. Architects may be involved in all phases of development, from the first discussion with the client through construction. They may also help the client in getting construction bids and selecting contractors. Architects sometimes specialize in the design of one type of building, such as hospitals or homes.

Working Conditions

Architects work forty-hour weeks, but overtime may be needed at times.


The middle half of architects earn between $37,000 and $70,000. Median salary for partners of firms is around $132,000, with much larger salaries for those with large firms.

Helpful Skills and Subjects to Study

Artistic and drawing ability is very helpful, but not essential. A visual orientation and the ability to understand spatial relationships is very important. Good communication skills, the ability to work alone or as a team and creativity are also important qualities for anyone interested in becoming an architect. Knowledge of CADD and computers is also important. English, mathematics, drafting, history and art are good subjects to take in school.

Related Jobs

Others who design and construct things are landscape architects, building contractors, civil engineers, urban planners, interior designers, industrial designers, and graphic designers.

Education & Training

Most degrees are from five-year Bachelor of Architecture programs.Those with a summer internship and who know CADD technology will have an advantage for a job after graduation from college.

Job Outlook

There will be competition for entry-level jobs. The number of applicants often exceeds the number of available jobs.

Sources for Additional Information

Careers in Architecture Program
The American Institute of Architects
1735 New York Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20006