There’s no denying that architecture is an appealing field for many people. It combines the technical, scientific aspects of things like stress analysis and tensile strength with the aesthetic activity of constructing an appealing building. Much like any field, however, it’s good to be aware of the ins and outs of the architectural industry before making a decision on the matter.
For starters, being an architect is going to require a certain level of education. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the minimum level of education needed to work in the field is a baccalaureate degree; in many cases, a master’s degree will also be very helpful, both in terms of knowledge and in terms of prospective salary. One thing to be mindful of is that many institutions require five years of study to obtain a BA in Architecture, rather than the more common four. The coursework for architectural baccalaureates is, again, far ranging. Obviously, the student will have to take courses dealing in the mathematical and scientific subjects, such as calculus, geometry, and physics, that one will need to have a mastery of in order to construct an adequate building. On the other side, there will also be a good deal of more aesthetically-oriented coursework, such as drafting or design classes, that will prepare the prospective architect to both be able to draft an accurate drawing of a prospective building and to make said building a pleasant one to look at.
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Architecture Career Outlook
Fortunately, the benefits of that education investment have the potential to be substantial. According yet again to the US Bureau of Labor and statistics, the median wage (as of 2010) for architects was $72,550, which works out to approx. $34.88 per hour. This, of course, will vary from place to place. Additionally, the career outlook for architects is surprisingly good. The projected growth rate for architectural positions from 2010-20 is 24%. That means that the increase in jobs between 2010 and 2020 will be a 24% increase. The average projected growth for occupations in general is 14%, so this is a full 10% better than the average.
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
How to Become an Architect?
In order to actually become an architect, there are several steps one will need to go through. The first is getting a professional degree in the field (bachelor’s or master’s degree), which was detailed above. The next is becoming an intern in some architectural firm or company, where one can obtain the requisite on-the-job experience that one will need. Finally, one will need to pass the Architect Registration Exam, which will endow one with an architectural license. From there, now that one has both experience, education, and license, one is more or less prepared to begin one’s career as an architect.
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