17 Pros and Cons of Being an Architect

If you love buildings and how they are designed, becoming an architect can be a great career for you.

Bringing artistic concepts to life in residential and commercial properties can be extremely rewarding.

You can choose to work for yourself or for a larger firm.

Learning about the various pros and cons will help you determine if it is a desirable career path.

Pros of Being an Architect

There are all sorts of pros to becoming an architect.

You can be your own boss or get involved in a number of passionate projects where your work can be on display for all to see.

1. High Pay

Architects have the ability to earn high pay with just a bachelor’s degree.

The median pay in 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics was $82,320.

The earning opportunities can be even higher depending on the added skills that you have, the industry you are in, and the city in which you live.

2. Be a Part of New Trends

Have you noticed how buildings evolve over time, both in the interior and exterior design?

Architects are the ones responsible for the way in which buildings are created – which means you could be a part of some of the newest trends that emerge within your community and even around the globe.

Some architects are widely known for their contributions to a particular design – and highly sought after for it, too.

3. Express Your Creativity

Architecture is a form of art – and as an architect, you will have the ability to express yourself creatively.

You will be able to bring the visions of your clients to life and show them some of your own ideas, too.

It can be a great way to express yourself and have people listen to your artistic talents on a daily basis.

4. Work with Passionate People

Many people within the world of architecture are passionate.

They love traveling around the world to look at different types of buildings over time and incorporating various details into their own projects.

As such, you will be able to stay enthusiastic on the job because of people who are just as passionate about architecture as you are.

5. Understand the Cities Around You

There are terms for the different aspects of the buildings around you.

As you look around the city you live in, the cities you travel to, and more, you can gain a better understanding of what it is that you are looking at.

You can learn all about what each city has to offer and what makes the architecture unique, which can also make traveling more thrilling.

6. Make an Impact in a Home or Business

Architects get to see projects from beginning to end.

It can be exciting to see the kind of impact your skills have in a home or business.

You draw up the blueprints, create something unique, and watch it be built.

Then, you can talk with the home or business owners to see the positive impact your designs have on the way in which they use the space.

7. Stay Busy Throughout the Week

Architects are busy with computer work, client meetings, construction permits, and all sorts of other things.

You will not find many architects who identify that they are bored throughout the week.

Every day brings about a new challenge, which can keep you energized.

You will stay busy, which allows you to remain productive and also feel accomplished by the time you’re done at the end of every week.

8. Work with a Variety of Different People

You will have the opportunity to work with a wide array of people as an architect – and who those people are will depend on the type of industry you work in.

You may find that you collaborate with interior designers, civil engineers, landscape architects, municipal governments, community developers, and more.

It can lead to an exciting network, too, where you can learn of new opportunities to grow and expand as an architect.

9. Enjoy a Healthy Work-Life Balance

For the most part, architects will work in an office where they set their hours on a Monday through Friday basis.

There may be times when work requires attendance on a Saturday or Sunday due to a meeting or a client demand, but there is plenty of notice.

This allows you to have a set schedule that you can plan around.

It makes it easy to have a life that does not revolve around work at all hours of the day and night.

10. Physical Demands are Low

For the most part, architects are the ones doing the designing and the drafting.

This means that you will spend most of your days working in an office, either at a computer or at a drafting desk.

You will not have to do a lot of heavy lifting.

You will also have the ability to work indoors, in comfortable office environments unless you have a meeting on the ground with a particular project that is being developed.

Cons of Being an Architect

Knowing the cons of being an architect will ensure that you are not unpleasantly surprised by anything.

You can weigh the cons against the pros to see if it is still a career path that you want to go down.

1. You will Need an Advanced Degree

In order to become an architect, you will need to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree.

Additionally, you will need to do a lot of on-the-job training, such as an internship or residency with an architectural or construction firm.

In order to reach some of the higher-paid positions, you may need to get a master’s degree, allowing you to show mastery in such areas as architecture, design, and construction.

2. Breaking into New Industries Can Be Difficult

Many architects are hired by construction firms right out of college.

They are responsible for building new homes or commercial buildings.

Once you are in the construction industry, it can be difficult to expand into a more exciting industry.

It can require building new skills or having an expansive social network.

Knowing what industry you want to be in right away can ensure you do not have to make the switch in the middle of your career.

3. You Are Held Responsible

If things go wrong with a project, you could be held responsible.

There is always going to be a bit of doubt in your mind as to whether the project you work on is perfect – and it can lead to you working harder on projects as you become a perfectionist.

When things go wrong, it can also hurt your reputation within the industry.

4. Work Can Be Stressful

The work can be stressful because architects will often work with tight deadlines.

Regardless of the kind of architecture you work within, you may have a limited time to submit blueprints or make changes based on what a regulatory body is requesting.

You may have to work with a team, which involves collaborating – and everyone may be just as highly opinionated on what should or should not go into a project as you.

Learning how to manage stress will be critical to your success on the job.

5. You Have to Be a People Person

There are going to be a number of instances where you have to hold meetings, explain plans, and stand up for what you want out of a particular project.

As such, you will need to be a people person.

If you do not have the ability to communicate effectively and collaborate with others, you will struggle to have a voice on projects of any size.

When you are unable to have a voice, it can cause you to be passed over for promotions and such.

6. New Trends & Technologies are Always Emerging

New trends and technologies are always emerging, which sounds like a good thing.

The con, though, is that you will need to stay on top of everything.

It will require you to attend workshops and seminars so that you know about what is going on – and this can take both time and money.

Failure to keep up on such things can make it difficult for you to stay relevant within your industry.

7. Regulatory Bodies Can Be a Pain

When you are working as an architect, you will have to be aware of the various laws and regulations that govern building codes within the city, county, and state that you work within.

Depending on whether you work with residential or commercial properties, there may be quite a few regulatory bodies to deal with, which can be stressful.

You may have to deal with them to get licensing, approvals, inspections, and more so that you can proceed with a particular project.

Pros and Cons of Being an Architect – Summary Table

Pros of Being an ArchitectCons of Being an Architect
High PayYou will Need an Advanced Degree
Be a Part of New TrendsBreaking into New Industries Can Be Difficult
Express Your CreativityYou Are Held Responsible
Work with Passionate PeopleWork Can Be Stressful
Understand the Cities Around YouYou Have to Be a People Person
Make an Impact in a Home or BusinessNew Trends & Technologies are Always Emerging
Stay Busy Throughout the WeekRegulatory Bodies Can Be a Pain
Work with a Variety of Different People
Enjoy a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Physical Demands are Low

Should You Become an Architect?

Becoming an architect is an important decision as it will involve enrolling in a college program.

A degree in architecture can lead to a number of professional jobs where you can exercise your creativity on a daily basis.

Get to know the opportunities in your area to decide if being an architect is the right career move for you to make.

Jamie Willis