What does an architect do?

Architects draw on heir knowledge of design principles and use a client brief to create plans for a proposed development, presenting their final design to the client and, in some cases, their construction team. Architects work across a full spectrum of building projects, from private residential commissions to tendering for edificial public works, though many choose to specialise their practice in line with their career interests and strengths as a designer. Architects are responsible for presenting clear, calculated dimensions and aesthetics of a project to builders, planning authorities and clients and, as such, must complete their creative work to a high degree of accuracy. Architects also must be able to present estimated costs, required materials, planning requirements and visualisations of a finished product to a client or investor. 

Tasks:

  • Develop an understanding of a project with clients
  • Provide accurate measurements and specifications
  • Estimate costs and resource requirements
  • Oversee the process of construction
  • Sign off on completed projects

What skills do I need to be an architect?

To be an architect, one must first have an affinity for design. Architects’ work comes from a confluence of creativity and technical design; you have to have confidence in your aesthetic choices and mathematical skills. Architects should be good listeners, as developing an understanding of a client’s desires is essential for producing a good design. Architects can draw up initial sketches by hand, through computer-aided design (CAD) is used for the majority of work. Illustrative talents and technological competency are both highly beneficial. Most importantly, you’ll need to be aware of the planning and safety requirements that apply to a project.

Skills/attributes
  • Creative and design-oriented
  • Precise and technically capable
  • Skilled communicator
  • Experienced with CAD software
  • Mathematically minded

Specialisations

Architects can specialise in multiple areas of their profession. As the job of an architect extends to both creative expression and technical expertise, there is ample room to specialise in either the creative side of things like interior design or the technical side of things like draughtsmanship.

Interior Designer

An interior designer consults with clients as to what they want from their interior spaces. This profession involves working with the structural elements of a room and considering how furnishings, lighting design and colour schemes can achieve an overall aesthetic and improve functionality.

Urban and Regional Planner

A regional planner considers and designs plans relating to urban growth and development. They must consider cultural and environmental contexts of a settlement with the hope of planning the development of a region so that it can cope with growth and economic change.

Landscape Architect

A landscape architect designs the layout of outdoor areas such as gardens and parks. A landscape architect takes into account the slope and aspect of the ground, the surrounding buildings, considers how the green space will be used and how it must be shaped and maintained to create a space that works.

Study pathways for architects

Because it is such a specialised profession, to become an architect you must complete an accredited degree in architecture from a tertiary institution. For your degree to be accredited, you must obtain a Master of Architecture.

Getting Started

Chose courses that will help develop your technical skills and design vocabulary

Skill Building

Find courses in architecture to develop your passion and professional skills

Professional Development

Once you have gained qualifications, you must practise your design and your work ethic to become a confident architect with an individual style and reputation

Industry Recognition

On completion of your studies, you’ll need to apply to the Architects Registration Board for your state in order to practice as a professional architect

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your architecture career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

Employment in architecture has risen strongly in the past five years and is expected to continue growing rapidly to 2019.