How Hard Is It To Become An Architect?

How-Hard-Is-It-To-Become-An-Architect

If you find yourself looking up at some of the most gorgeous buildings and structures in the world and wondering how they could have been built by human hands, then you’re not alone.

Impressive architecture has impressed generations of humans throughout our history, and over time the capability and complexity of those who design them have only improved.

People who design these buildings are what we call architects, one of the coolest and most creative engineering jobs out there. 

So, you’re considering a career in architecture. This is great! It’s an amazing profession that is both extremely important in needed in society – both to make cities and other urban areas look good, but also to ensure they are structurally sound and efficiently planned.

But as with any important profession, it looks like it’s going to be a long journey to get there.

Well, the truth is – becoming an architect is hard, but that’s not to say it’s impossible! If you are seriously considering it as your future profession, this article has been written for you!

We will break down each stage of the journey that a regular, budding architect might go through in order to get their dream job – from the kind of education and knowledge you’ll need, all the way to internships, freelance work, and eventual long-term employment.

What Is An Architect?

Before we can begin to look at the journey a person must take to become an architect, let’s first consider what it is that they do. Architecture refers to the field and art of designing man-made structures. It is different from construction because of the physical processes involved.

Architects take a more general approach to designing something, considering the practicality of a building, the aesthetic of it, and also the impact that the building will have on its citizens, workers, and surrounding area. 

Architecture has a rich history, even if you trace it back to ancient times when buildings and great structures were designed through nothing but math, logic, and the materials available.

In the modern-day, architects work with specific, tried, and true formulas and techniques to bring creative ideas of buildings to life. It’s worth noting that not every architecture is out there designing skyscrapers – quite the opposite.

Only the greatest architects in the world get the backing to design the most impressive buildings, and there is a wide array of different architects who design different kinds of buildings and settlements.

It’s also worth noting that architects often work in teams if the project is large enough – the ultimate look of a building might be the result of the combined visions of several architects. 

Why Architecture?

So now that we’ve defined what, exactly, an architect is, let’s consider why someone might consider it as their career path. First off, perhaps you really love buildings.

If you are a person that is obsessed with buildings and their inner workings – mesmerized by the idea that humans as small as us can create structures so tall and complex – then architecture might be a natural profession for you to get into.

Architecture as a career mixes a lot of different skill sets – it is one of the clearer cross-overs between creativity and science. Architects often have skills in drawing and art, as well as scientific knowledge to know if something is going to work.

It’s worth noting that architecture is a difficult profession with a high amount of responsibility. You would often be in charge of large projects that have a lot of money invested in them.

Any time a person is responsible for large sums of money, as well as the safety of others due to the design of a building, it is sure to come with a certain amount of stress. 

Ultimately, the main reason why someone might want to become an architect is the wonder of seeing something you envisioned to become a reality.

You will be able to dream buildings into the world – to change cities and the world around you for years to come. It’s also a profession that will allow you to directly affect people’s lives, which is a good thing to consider after a hard day of work! 

The main skills needed to become an architect are generally: planning and organization, artistic, scientific, engineering, managing, timekeeping, and coordination. 

The entry-level pay of an average junior architect in the USA will settle around $50,000 per year. 

Should I Take A Degree In Architecture? 

So, it might seem simple – you take a degree in architecture and it is sure to prepare you for a future job in the field. Well, yes and no. Let’s take some time to examine architecture degrees, and whether or not it is the right choice for your future!

Architecture degrees are generally a great way to get your foot in the door. They will cover the basic skills and knowledge that you will need to begin your career.

But that’s not to say that an architecture degree is an automatic ticket to a job as soon as you’re out of college. As with any job, networking and ensuring you are competent in your field are as important if not more important than the written qualification! 

If you are serious about architecture, then taking a degree program is probably a good idea to ensure your future career, but it’s not the most important thing. Students with other degrees can also become architects. 

Would It Be Hard For Me To Be An Architect?

So, the answer to this question is not easy and depends on a lot of factors. It mostly depends on your strengths. Are you a person who has similar skills in art, science, and management?

You need to be quite multifaceted to be an architect, but that’s not to say you have to be naturally good at all of these from the jump. 

Let’s say you’re a great artist, but not so great at the science and math side of the profession. This is okay! You can achieve anything through hard work, it might just take you a little longer, or feel a little more difficult than others around you! 

If you’re serious about architecture as a career, then it is best to cultivate the skills you will need within yourself before starting your education or early job roles.

If you’re still in school, we recommend you focus on the subjects that you will need to have skill in, in order to become an architect. Often, if you take these skills seriously at an early point in your career, you will find yourself much more capable as the years go by and your career flourishes. 

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article has given you some insight into how difficult it is to become an architect.

Choosing architecture as your career path can be a daunting prospect – it’s a competitive, competence-based profession that requires a lot of know-how and people skills – but that’s not to say it’s impossible.

With these kinds of careers, the most important thing is to put yourself in positions where you can gain the experience and competency necessary to flourish.

We wish you the best of luck in your future career, and hope to see your buildings on city streets sometime in the near future! 

Jamie Willis