Architecture is a booming professional field and offers ample job opportunities to budding architects. But, establishing a career in architecture can be a huge ordeal.
Getting a bachelor’s degree in architecture is the primary stepping stone if you want a promising career in this field. Apart from the necessary skill set, your imagination and passion for creativity can become a significant drivers in your journey to becoming a successful architect.
At the same time, choosing the right architecture job can be a pretty daunting task if you’re new to the game. It’s only natural for you to feel lost, confused, and thoroughly overwhelmed.
But we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most promising career ideas and jobs for architects.
So, if you have been dreaming about building a career in architecture, we suggest you dive right in!
Best Jobs For Architects
Even though the field of architecture can be aggressively competitive, it can also be rewarding. After all, as a professional architect, you’ll have the complete freedom to explore your creative potential and discover various job avenues.
The field of architecture has expanded and diversified tremendously over the decade. And in the social media era, contemporary architects are not just about designing and constructing new buildings and real estate properties. They are constantly learning new skills and are more capable of handling various aspects of the field, from project management to art and design development.
And once you receive an architecture degree, you get to explore all these career options before choosing the right job.
Not to mention how the creative aspect is accompanied by the economic aspect when it comes to architecture. With the proper skills and talent, you can establish a lucrative career that offers both creative growth and financial stability.
Simply put, you get to experience the best of both worlds as a successful professional architect.
Careers In Building And Architecture
Traditionally, architecture is defined as the art of designing and constructing buildings. Although the professional field of architecture has dramatically diversified over the years, design and construction are still the primary aspects of architecture.
That said, budding architects have the freedom and liberty to explore different types of architectural jobs that match their preferences. However, it can result in hours and hours of fruitless job-hunting if you don’t know what to look for. So, we’ll help you narrow down the job search by highlighting some of the most popular career paths in the field.
1. Landscape Architecture
Landscape architects are responsible for designing outdoor landscapes that connect our cities with nature. These planned outdoor spaces could include yards, parks, gardens, and so on.
Moreover, landscape architecture deals with sustainable design and construction that can respond to climate change as well as globalization. Indeed, sustainable construction projects form a major aspect of this career path. So, if you are passionate about modern town planning and sustainable architecture, this might be a good fit for your career.
2. Urban And Regional Planner
With the rapid population growth, urbanization, and urban planning have become an integral part of modern architecture. Widespread urbanism has made the job of urban and regional planners that much more exciting and exciting. By using their advanced engineering skills, urban planners contribute significantly to the growth and development of housing and real estate in urban areas.
Furthermore, the urban areas also offer a diverse landscape that makes the work of urban planners even more promising. The dynamic nature of urbanization allows professional architects to nurture their creativity and get their creative juices flowing during urban planning. Hence, if you are looking for a challenging and innovative career in architecture, urban and regional planning can be a good job opportunity.
3. Restoration Architect
If you are a history buff, this job is for you to take.
Almost every city and town is adorned with historical architecture that celebrates the traditions and culture of a place. As the name suggests, restoration or preservation architects are responsible for maintaining and repairing historical remnants so that they do not get lost in time.
Anyhow, working as a restoration architect is a huge honor and responsibility because you will be accessing some of the greatest creations of legendary architects of the past. And of course, you will be responsible for preserving a piece of history.
So, knowledge about the technical aspects of architecture might not be enough. You’ll also need to have an in-depth understanding of the history and culture of the region before starting your career as a restoration architect.
4. Research Architect
Architecture graduates often pursue a master’s degree so that they can contribute their knowledge and skills to the advancement of architectural research. That said, there has been some groundbreaking research in modern architecture with the development of information technology and computer-aided design tools.
Furthermore, civil engineering technicians have been working tirelessly to develop innovative methods of using digital tools to enhance the work of professional designers and builders. If you want a career that focuses on the research and technical aspects of architecture instead of building and designing, this can be an ideal job description for you.
5. Lighting Architect
As a licensed architect, you will be responsible for designing various architectural projects that ensure the health and well-being of the building occupants.
On that note, lighting architects are responsible for designing building projects that celebrate the role of natural and artificial lights in offering a healthy lifestyle. After all, light plays a major role in turning a lifeless mansion into a cozy and comfortable home.
Moreover, lighting architects are responsible for creating a sustainable living space that ensures the physical and mental well-being of the occupants. If you are interested in sustainable architecture and its benefits in construction projects, the job description of a lighting architect might suit your needs.
6. Extreme Architect
With recent challenges regarding climate change and extreme weather conditions, professional architects have been specializing in building projects that can withstand harsh weather conditions. Known as extreme architects, these professionals are essentially responsible for coming up with feasible construction designs for regions that experience extreme weather conditions regularly.
For instance, as an extreme architect, you might need to work in rural regions to develop comfortable residential housing complex designs that can resist heavy rainfall. So, along with creativity and architectural skills, you will also need to hone your knowledge about environmental sustainability and the impact of climate conditions on a construction project.
7. Naval Architect
Naval architecture deals with the design and construction of submarines and other marine vessels. It is a branch of marine engineering that exclusively deals with shipbuilding and maintenance of the naval fleet. It incorporates various aspects of mechanical, electronic, electrical, and software engineering.
As a naval architect, you’ll be responsible for the design, construction, as well as repair of both civil and military-grade boats, yachts, ships, and other marine vessels using your technical skills. So, if you have a knack for marine engineering and want to contribute to the country’s defense system, the job description of a naval architect will be an ideal fit for you.
8. Green Building & Retrofit Architect
When we talk about sustainable architecture, green buildings instantly come to mind. Humans have a close connection with nature, and retrofit architecture emphasizes incorporating the elements of nature into construction projects to enhance the living experience of the building occupants. So, as a retrofit architect, celebrating the natural environment will become the front and center of your job description.
Among famous modern green buildings, One Central Park in Sydney, Australia, is an ideal example of the sheer brilliance of retrofit architecture. The principal architect of the construction project, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, did a tremendous job incorporating natural elements into a modern contemporary building design.
9. Architecture Manager
As a professional architect, you may be responsible for designing blueprints for various construction projects, communicating with clients, and delegating responsibilities to the builders. Hence, the entire architectural project will be based on your vision and guidance.
It is not uncommon for architects to act as project managers in an ongoing construction project as they are responsible for supervising all the building operations. Thus, as an architecture manager, you’ll be working closely with clients as well as the on-site workers. You’ll be responsible for monitoring the inventory, along with all the construction processes of the project.
10. Political Architect
Although it is a comparatively new professional avenue in architecture, it is undoubtedly a promising one. It is easy to get confused about how politics can influence architectural jobs. But, when you think about it closely, professional architects often have to work closely with political leaders and city council members for effective city planning.
While it is true that political views do not impact architecture in any way, architecture can greatly influence city and urban planning, which can affect the political equilibrium in turn. Hence, this job description will entail you working closely with political leaders and their council members to design a city plan that can positively impact their political agendas.
Careers In Art And Design
If you think that traditional architecture which includes constructing buildings isn’t your cup of tea, switching to art and design can be a good option. By establishing a career in art and design, you can freely explore your creative potential without the need to think about visiting construction sites and managing raw materials.
It might not even cross your mind, but architecture is essentially a form of art that intimately depends on creativity and imagination. In a way, you can say that art and design are intrinsic aspects of architecture. So, a career change to art and design after getting your architecture degree isn’t such a far-fetched dream.
In this section, we’ll be discussing some of the most promising job opportunities that you can pursue in art and design if you’re an architect graduate. Let’s look into it!
1. Interior Designer
If you’re a fresh architect graduate, you probably have a good eye for design and decoration. While it is an architect’s job to build a house, an interior designer’s responsibility is to make that house habitable for the occupants. So, interior designers have the job of turning a newly constructed building into a comfortable living space.
Interior designers canvass the interior spaces of a building before developing an interior design to fit all the necessary furnishing elements. The job description of an interior designer will allow you to oversee the entire design process of the building’s interiors. You’ll be responsible for choosing every piece of home furnishing, from the right furniture and curtains to the lights and the wall decor.
Furthermore, you also get to use your creative skills as an architecture student while coming up with an attractive interior house design that can meet clients’ expectations. Hence, this job description can be a good career option if you plan to switch from traditional building architecture to art and design.
2. Industrial Designer
There are various architecture firms that have been venturing into this new and uncharted territory of industrial design. It is very different from mainstream architecture as it focuses on the designing of smaller objects or items for mass production.
Industrial designers create innovative designs for something small instead of working on enormous building projects by utilizing their creative and imaginative skills. The thing that makes industrial design so interesting is that you get to use your knowledge for designing large-scale buildings and transfer it into a small-scale creative design.
So, this industrial design can be a great career path if you’re trying to work your hand in smaller projects instead of handling mainstream architectural construction projects.
3. Graphic Designer
Graphic designers create their own interpretations and version of our natural surroundings using their imagination and creativity. They help us to visualize the world in a new light as we’ve never seen before. In this generation of technology, graphic designing has also become an indispensable mode of communication.
Furthermore, the creative and aesthetic appeal of the job can instantly attract you if you have an imaginative spirit. A course in graphic design, along with an architecture degree, can open up multiple avenues for you that can tickle your creative and innovative mind. So, it can be a great career change from mainstream architecture that’ll help you venture into the field of art and design.
4. Textile Designer
Textile designing, more popularly known as fashion designing, is not something that easily pops up in mind when we talk about architecture majors. But the sense of creativity, color, patterns, forms, and tactility that you develop in architecture school can be easily applied in textile designing.
You can easily incorporate your knowledge of geometric patterns and symmetric architecture designs while creating high-end textile designs. Your sense of form and structure can also help you add an extra dimension to the textile designs. So, if you are into the latest fashion trends and have a knack for high-end fashion, you can definitely give this career path a thought.
5. Video Game Designer
In the modern era of high-tech gadgets and gizmos, concept art has become an exceedingly popular field for tech-savvy young architects. As a video game designer, you’ll be essentially working to create new concept art to make video games more believable and realistic. You can incorporate your knowledge about architectural structures and patterns while designing the entire storyboard in a video game.
Moreover, by applying architecture skills, you’ll also be designing virtual worlds that let your imaginations run wild without any restrictions or boundaries. You don’t need to follow the stringent rules of designing real-life building projects while designing an imaginary virtual environment. So, video game designing can be a fun job opportunity for architecture majors.
Photography is not something that you usually think of when you consider establishing a career in architecture. However, architecture photography has become a widely famous career path for budding architects over the years.
A good photographer needs to have a good eye for composition, colors, patterns, frames, and angles. As an architecture student, you already learn about all these elements in a detailed manner during your course of study. Your keen eye for geometric shapes and patterns can offer an advantage to shine as a successful architecture photographer.
Furthermore, you can also apply your sense of spatial design and composition while pursuing a career in architecture photography. Hence, this can be a unique and exciting job opportunity for any architecture student who has a passion for photography.
7. Production Designer
Have you ever imagined how a film set is designed? With production designing, you get to put your architectural knowledge and skills into designing film sets or stages for a theatre production. Even though it doesn’t involve designing large-scale buildings and high rises like in mainstream architecture, you can get creative in designing sets on a smaller scale.
Also, as a production designer, you’ll be much more focused on telling a story, which offers more creative freedom as compared to traditional architecture. You don’t need to worry about spatial design or lighting in production designs. Hence, it can be an exciting and innovative career path for architecture students that comes without the restrictions and boundaries of mainstream architecture.
If you are still not satisfied with the job options and career paths that we discussed in the previous sections, you’re most probably looking for something entirely outside the box. It’s not unlikely for architecture students to venture completely outside their normal career path and try out something that is entirely new.
There are many examples where architects have made a drastic career change outside the mainstream of architecture, art, and design. So, it’s not entirely unheard of, and you can do it too with a little help and lots of passion and hard work. We’ll be talking about some of the most promising alternative career paths and job descriptions for architects.
1. Teacher Or Professor
Teaching has always been considered a noble profession. Nowadays, many fresh graduates aspire to be teachers or professors, and architecture students are no exception to this. As a teacher, you can impact your knowledge to the younger generation. You can also invest your time in substantial research work if you are a professor at any renowned university.
Moreover, by staying in the academic field, you also get to learn about all the recent developments and discoveries in architectural research across the world. So, by choosing this career path, you not only get to impart knowledge but also gain new and better insights.
Entrepreneurship has become a widely popular career path among young graduates. They are more interested in starting up their own companies than working for someone else. As an architect, you have the skills to solve problems, communicate with others, and think creatively, which can come in handy if you’re planning to be an entrepreneur.
Plus, you also learn about project management and delegating work as a part of your architecture course, which forms a major part of any entrepreneurial startup. So, you can turn the dream of starting a company into a reality by utilizing your architecture skills and with the right go-getter attitude.
With the alarming changes in normal climatic conditions, almost all architecture firms have been focused on promoting sustainable architecture for the conservation of our natural environment. All recent attempts in the field of architecture have fallen short in fighting against climate change and conserving Mother Nature.
As a conservationist, you get to use your knowledge of architecture and spatial structures in developing ideas that promote green buildings and sustainable architecture methods. So, if you’re an environmental activist and want to bring about major changes by developing new sustainable methods of architecture, this can be an ideal job description for your career.
Another exciting and non-traditional job role for budding architects can be that of a digital product designer or tech founder. As an architecture student, you learn about different computer software that can be used as digital designing tools. Hence, by applying your knowledge of existing digital architecture tools, you can come up with new and innovative ideas for other digital products.
There are ample examples of successful tech founders who started their careers as professional architects, like Steven Burns, developer of the project management software ArchiOffice. So, it is evident that professional architects can have a promising career as a tech-founder.
And with that, we come to the end of all our job suggestions. Choosing the right career path can be a daunting task, especially if you are a fresh architecture graduate. There are so many options that it can get a bit overwhelming. We hope our article has helped in shedding some light to lift that dark and depressing cloud of job hunting off your head.
You can either go for mainstream architecture or switch to art and design based on your preferences and skills. You can also try out something entirely new by venturing into a completely different career path than your peers. We suggest you take some time and do some research before finally deciding on your career path.
And on that note, we’ll be signing off. Take care, and we will see you next time!