Many kids dream of becoming an architect, to design amazing buildings and to leave a legacy of your work behind for posterity. But there are many aspects to an architect’s work, these include designing not just for aesthetic value but also for functionality and within budget. As an architect is involved in every phase of the project you will need a full skill set including understanding of supervisory and management skills, engineering knowledge and good communication skills.
Of course, you will be required to have the correct professional qualifications which normally include a master’s degree which will allow you to begin your career. After that you must undergo specific examinations that the industry demands. These may include industry specific qualifications or a Bachelor/Master of Architecture. So, what are the first steps along the road of becoming an architect?
Prepare at High School
Most students have decided early on in their education to pursue a career as an architect, it is almost a vocational decision. So, start preparing early for your architecture career early in your learning. Select subjects that will be required later such as, algebra, geometry and physics. Develop your skills in mathematics as well as courses in the arts that could help with your aesthetic design. Get confident using things like CAD programs so they become second nature.
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
A Bachelor’s degree will take you through the history of the discipline, and go over design fundamentals and different types of materials. These types of degrees look at interior spaces, proportions, structural elements, building technologies and more importantly these days environmental concepts. An Architectural Bachelor degree will typically take five years to complete, but you must realize these types of qualifications are considered pre-professional, there will be more industry specific exams to be passed later.
Obtain a Master’s Degree
Some budding architects also choose to go on to take a Master’s degree, this is a more technical and theoretical study which looks at history and design processes. It also takes into account much more cultural and environmental issues. It takes into account sustainable building practices, and the preservation of old and heritage listed buildings. It may take only a couple of years to complete a Master’s degree and is highly recommended to supplement a Bachelor’s degree.
Become an Intern
Having obtained your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees it is now time to study under a licensed architect. Most architectural internships can last around three years and during this time you will gain experience and complete industry related examinations.
Get Licensed and Certified
All practicing architects must have a licensed and certified to offer professional services. To apply you must have a relevant degree and prove that you have completed an internship. Then you must pass an Architect Registration Examination, the name of this accreditation differs in different countries. In the USA these exams are run by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, but again this will differ in which geographical location you are in. Finally, after all the study you can now look for a career as an architect, there are a multitude of options open to a newly qualified architect and perhaps to start with go and join an established firm before branching out on your own.