Last Updated on January 18, 2023
Continue reading to learn about non-architecture jobs for architects, jobs you can get with an architecture degree, list of careers in architecture and highest paying architecture firms in the world.
Find out more about jobs you can get with a masters in architecture on infolearners.
About Non Architecture Jobs for Architects
Starting off with the most obvious architecture career, a role as a fully qualified architect is likely to be challenging, fascinating and inspirational – putting you at the forefront of new technology to improve people’s lives while exercising your creativity. As an architect, you’ll work closely with clients and users to design new buildings or complete extensions or alterations to existing ones, ensuring that they are safe, cost-effective and functional.
Architecture careers are more diverse than you might think, including:
Building architecture – designing new buildings, or adapting existing ones.
Landscape architecture – planning, designing and managing open spaces, including both natural and urban areas.
Naval architecture – the architecture of ships and marine vessels.
Typical responsibilities of architects include supervising the construction process, resolving any planning issues, managing the environmental impact of projects, consulting other design professionals and sticking to financial budgets.
To become an architect, you’ll typically need to have completed a degree accredited by a statutory body such as the UK’s Architects Registration Board (ARB). Having prior experience in an architectural, design or construction environment is very useful and desirable to employers, and you should try to keep up to date with the latest trends in architecture and design. You should also try and make contacts in the industry, which can be gained from work experience, university departments or by joining a professional body in architecture.
Also referred to as architectural technicians, in this architecture career you’ll use your science and engineering skills and knowledge to create tough, resilient and sustainable constructions and refurbishments. Using both computer-aided design (CAD) and traditional drawing techniques, you’ll prepare and present design proposals and advise clients on technical matters. Again, work experience is extremely useful when applying for jobs in this area, and will enable you to build your understanding of how architecture projects are handled.
Jobs you Can Get with a Masters in Architecture
Interior and spatial designer
Interior and spatial designers design or renovate internal spaces, fixtures and fittings, using their architectural, creative design and project management skills to ensure that spaces are both attractive and efficient (although some designers will focus exclusively on the appearance rather than the structure of interior spaces). You might work in a variety of commercial, domestic or leisure settings, in every case understanding the needs of your client while obtaining materials and products and keeping to budgets.
Concerned with conserving, modifying, fixing, renovating and restoring existing buildings, a role as a building surveyor would suit you if you enjoy problem solving and have a strong interest in the design and construction of buildings. Building surveyors are also often involved with taking precautionary measures to keep buildings in good condition, as well as to make them more sustainable. Again, pre-entry work experience is highly recommended, giving you insight into how ideas are adapted in the real world, and perhaps even leading to paid jobs through the contacts you’d make.
Graduates with an interest in development, regeneration and sustainability might be interested in a career as a town planner, in which you’ll manage and develop the countryside, towns, cities and villages. Working on behalf of everyone in the area and alongside other professionals such as architects, you will aim to balance the conflicting needs of the local environment, population and economy and think of innovative, sustainable solutions for developments. To become a town planner, you’ll need strong multitasking skills, commercial awareness, attention to detail, and be confident in listening to and negotiating with a diverse range of people.
Continuing our look at what you can you with an architecture degree, a role as a production designer on the set of films, television programs and theater shows would be ideal for graduates with an interest in the entertainment industry. As a production designer, you’ll work closely with the producer and director and use your creative flair to develop a complete visual outline for the production they’re working on. Some production designers are entirely focused on theater and stage design, or there could be an overlap between media forms. This is not an entry-level role, so you’ll need to work your way up, for example starting as a runner in the film industry. You could also get involved with student theater groups and internships.
Historic buildings inspector
Also known as conservation officers, historic building inspectors work to promote the conservation of the historic environment and help to protect and enhance buildings with historical, architectural or cultural significance. In this role you’ll visit historic sites to inspect and survey them, advise on the best preservation methods, and take part in regeneration projects to benefit the community, economy or environment. Although it’s not essential, a postgraduate degree can be very beneficial for increasing your prospects in this specialist, competitive field. You’ll need to demonstrate a strong interest in (and knowledge of) historic architecture and the relevant legislation in buildings and conservation.
Like architects, structural engineers are creative innovators, using maths and science to plan, design and oversee structures which will withstand the pressures of human and environmental wear and tear. As a structural engineer you’ll work in partnership with other engineers and architects to design aesthetically pleasing and safe structures, and will be responsible for choosing the right materials to meet design specifications. You might also be involved in examining existing buildings to ensure that they are structurally secure and up to standard. To become a chartered structural engineer, you will most likely need a postgraduate degree, depending on the typical entry requirements in your country.
Finding work experience or an industrial placement will be beneficial. These types of opportunities help you to develop an understanding of architectural practices and the industry from the inside. You’ll make important contacts and build your confidence, as well as your skill set. Completing work experience also demonstrates to potential employers that you’re hardworking, reliable and motivated.
If you intend on qualifying as an architect, approach practices directly in search of work experience. Try architectural, design or construction firms. Many offer internships over the summer.
Related areas such as landscape design, the built environment and other design practices also provide good opportunities to build your experience. Practice your drawing and model-making skills and keep up to date with current trends in the industry.
Find out more about work experience and internships.
Non Architecture Jobs for Architects
Architects work in a range of establishments. Graduates may be employed by small firms with fewer than ten employees or larger practices that incorporate other areas such as planning, urban design or construction.
Public sector employers, such as local authorities and housing associations, employ a significant proportion of the profession in their planning departments, while some large organisations, such as banks and supermarkets, may have in-house architectural teams.
Find information on employers in property and construction, engineering and manufacturing, and other job sectors.
Skills for your CV
While studying architecture, you’ll develop specific skills plus a range of transferable core skills that include:
numeracy, design and drawing
IT skills, e.g. computer-aided design (CAD)
project management skills
the ability to solve problems in an analytical, logical way
the ability to work as part of a team
written and oral communication in various settings
decision making ability
adaptability and flexibility for dealing with unexpected situations where necessary
the ability to reflect on, and improve, your professional performance.
No matter how many buildings get built, somehow humanity keeps finding a need for more of them. That’s where architects come in — with a strong background in mathematics, engineering, and drafting, architects design buildings for companies, the government, and private citizens alike.
Although the primary industry that those with architecture degrees enter into is that of architecture itself, there are often jobs in related fields that architecture students find play more to their skillsets. But even in the field itself, there are tons of different kinds of architecture, and it can often be difficult for workers to decide exactly which way to apply their expertise within the job market.
Well, that’s where we come in. We literally created a map, just for Architecture Majors such as yourself, to navigate your way through the choppy waters of recent graduation.
Feel free to focus on the map alone — it’s pretty cool, if we do say so ourselves. But for those of you who prefer step by step navigation on your path, keep reading. We’ll give you the rundown on:
What skills you’ll need
How to begin
What jobs you can expect to find as an Architecture Major
Some quick interview tips
Consider graduate school
First thing’s first: what skills you’ll need to get started.
- SKILLS FOR ARCHITECTURE MAJORS
Skills in the field of Architecture are highly technical, including full knowledge of all drafting and design programs as well as a decent understanding of local building codes. Research skills are helpful, given the necessity of looking up these codes when an architect isn’t totally sure they remember all of them, or when certain knowledge of the materials involved with the structure is required.
But creativity plays an important factor as well. Architects are faced with dozens of new problems every day when trying to design a building, and the ability to solve these problems safely and effectively often requires architects to come up with new and creative ways to make some wild design actually work.
Let’s take a closer look at what this means for Architecture in particular:
Architects design the overall look of houses, buildings, and other structures. Therefore, the final product should be attractive and functional.
Architects often manage contracts. Therefore, they must keep records related to the details of a project, including total cost, materials used, and progress.
Architects need to use CADD technology to create plans as part of building information modeling (BIM).
- WHERE TO BEGIN YOUR CAREER AFTER GETTING AN ARCHITECTURE DEGREE
Internships are an excellent way to start accumulating experience in any discipline, gaining valuable resume cache while also helping you start your network of industry contacts.
For Architecture Majors, interns typically find positions with larger engineering or architecture firms, both in the public and private sector. Internships are required for Architecture Majors and last around 2-3 years — only after completing these are you able to take the ARE (Architecture Registration Examination), which qualifies you to practice architecture.
Highest Paying Architecture Firms in the World
Much of your work as an intern will be assisting more experienced architects, often researching obscure building codes, double checking documents, and helping create some of the various mock-ups and models used during the design process.
Before you settle on an internship or placement, though, you’ll want to make sure it’s the right fit for you. Ask yourself these questions:
Where (in the state/the country/the world) do you want to work?
What size and type of organization do you want to work for?
Do you need compensation in an internship, or might you be able to consider alternative compensation (experience, work samples, references, networking, etc.)
Is relocation an option?
- AVAILABLE JOBS FOR ARCHITECTURE MAJORS
The obvious path for an Architecture Major to take is to go into architecture, which is still great work if you can get it. But a number of other options also exist for someone with an architecture skillset.
Design jobs on a smaller scale, such as furniture or industrial design, are common choices, and affecting cities on a larger scale by going into urban planning is also an option. Another option is to work with local government to write and update existing building codes, or to enter one of any number of specialized branches of architecture (such as light architecture or sustainable design).
With our map, you can click the Job Titles and learn more specific information for each position (what their responsibilities are, how much they get paid, etc.) But here, we wanted to call out some of the most common jobs for recent Architecture Major grads.
Here are a few of the most interesting jobs for recent grads such as yourself:
Architects plan and design houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures. To do this, they typically meet with clients, give cost estimates, prepare drawings, and research local building codes.
Urban Planners use their architecture skills to help design cities and urban spaces in a way that’s sustainable and green. Given the encroaching threat of global warming along with continuing population growth, Urban Planners are needed more and more to help design new city spaces or responsibly expand existing ones.
Industrial Designers work similarly to architects, except that rather focus on large-scale buildings and structures, industrial designers create (relatively) smaller items that can be mass-produced.
- SOME QUICK JOB SEARCH TIPS FOR ARCHITECTURE MAJORS
Look For Internships
When you’re struggling to find experience in architecture, internships are an excellent place to get started. Even if you’ve already had an internship, it can still be to your benefit to assist a larger (or smaller) firm in your spare time.
Internships in architecture are often paid, which makes it an easier pill to swallow to suggest going after one, but even those that aren’t paid carry with them a degree of dedication and even prestige. If a firm doesn’t have any positions available, it might even be worth it to volunteer your time for free — as long as it’s a final resort.
Make a Killer Portfolio (And Keep Track of Your Experience!)
One of the best things you can do to help you find a job in architecture is to keep track of everything you’ve ever done and put that work into some kind of readable form. Most engineers have some sort of professional portfolio, but not everyone remembers that the person reading it might not be as instinctively aware of the importance of certain pieces of it as you are.
Make sure everything in the portfolio is legible and, above all, pretty. When a potential employer looks at it, you want their first impression to be great.
And if you can, keep a solid record of all the projects you’ve ever worked on and all the hard skills you’ve ever learned. In a field like architecture, it’s useful when someone asks what you’re capable of to be able to give them a pretty thorough answer.
- CONTINUING EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATIONS IN ARCHITECTURE
PURSUING AN ADVANCED DEGREE
Obtaining a graduate degree in your course of study can serve as an excellent way to separate you from the herd – but you must first decide whether it’s worth your time.
A Master’s in Architecture is more-or-less required for architects, something that is fairly unique to this major. The reason for this is that the Master’s is a professional degree, meaning that the designation conferred by the degree is required in order to practice architecture. For this reason, going after a M.Arch. is entirely practical, since the other methods of becoming qualified involve some kind of alternative schooling (such as 4+2 programs, or 5 year architecture programs).
PhDs, on the other hand, tend to be for those interested in the theory and history of Architecture rather than its practice. PhDs spend most of their time researching or writing, working to expand the field of architectural knowledge as much as they can.
Here are common advanced degrees that people with an Architecture degree normally consider:
M.Arch. (Master’s in Architecture)
Primarily geared toward getting students to be a little more confident in a particular skill or specialization, many Master’s degrees are also designed so that graduates will also leave with teaching certifications.
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture)
PhDs in Architecture focus on conducting research, writing papers, and teaching college students about the field of Architecture.
- EXTERNAL RESOURCES
If you’re still not sure what to do with your degree here are some external sites, to help you with your decision:
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
A professioanl organization dedicated to promoting the field of architecture, the AIA offers continuing educations, industry publications, networking opportunities, and other membership benefits.
National Architecture Accreditation Board (NAAB)
The NAAB is an accrediting organization that provides accreditation to academic programs related to architectural studies.
Enter “[blank]” into the search bar and you can get a sense of what kind of government jobs are available to Visual and Performing Arts Majors. Find a job title you like and come back here to learn more about it.