Architects are involved in the technical design and planning of buildings, they work with designers, surveyors, engineers and construction workers.

Working closely with users, clients, local authorities and government regulatory bodies, architects ensure that projected building and construction designs match the requirements of all of these groups. Public safety is paramount in the technical designing project of a building. Meaning that health and safety, attention to detail and quality control issues must strictly adhered.

Architect job description 
Initially the architect will meet with their client and review their requirements. This could be topics like how many rooms the building will have, its function and purpose etc. A feasibility study will then be carried out as well as a valuation of how much the whole venture will cost including things like building material and labour costs. These are normally done in partnership with a quantity surveyor. The following health and safety issues will be discussed:

  • Exit capacity
  • Ventilation
  • Lighting
  • Structural strength

More often than not you will be working as part of a team that will include engineers, electricians and builders, so you must have good communication skills. You must also have a good knowledge and understanding of building regulations and safety planning laws as well as health and safety regulations. Arranging for building permits or advising on planning applications to be submitted to local authorities can also be part of any architect jobs.

An architect designer must design the layout of the floor plan, which means basically a view of the building looking down on it. They also work with sizes and scales to produce computer generated diagrams and drawings that are drawn to scale. In the plan they must show doors and also windows and exit points, as well as sewer layouts and electricity points etc.

Other duties and responsibilities include:

  • Advising on the fire resistance of construction materials.
  • Consulting the client on the practicality of their project.
  • Drawing up design proposals.
  • Keeping the project within financial budgets and time deadlines.

An architectural job will also means you having to produce a site plan, which is a drawing on the whole building project including its garden and boundaries, as well as other building that are close by. Site plans can also show streets and the gardens and trees of neighbouring properties as well, if the area is considered relevant to the construction work.

As architecture is such a vast field many technical architect jobs advertised specify that the applicant should specialise in certain fields, for instance the building of public sector office blocks or certain types of care homes.

Once the design work is complete it is passed over to a building contractor so the construction work can begin.

An architect will use a number of engineering tools in the designing process, key among them will be the latest computer software which has made their work a lot easier.

There are many different types of architecture equipment you will be working with including CAAD software which stands for computer aided architectural design, making your job a lot easier than what it was in the old days. Architects also work with drawing boards and drawing tables although this is becoming less so now that CAD is used more widely. If you are looking to purchase a drawing board, look for one that is adjustable to suit your height. Ensure that it has a large footprint for stability, and that the board itself moves smoothly. Other equipment includes scale rules, templates and stencils and T squares etc.

Finding jobs
There are many local authorities that advertise public sector jobs seeking qualified architects as well as trainees. If you are interested in this field then search the specialist related magazines and trade journals as they will advertise architect jobs in private companies as well as positions for those who are newly qualified. If you are self employed they will also list tenders that you could apply for.

Career advice on training and qualifications
To become a architect in the UN normally takes in the region of 7 years. You must attend a school of architecture and study there are university level. The examination process which has 3 stages is the responsibility of the Royal Institute of British Architects. To practise as a architect in the United Kingdom you must be registered with the Architects Registration Board.

Architect salary
The starting salary for someone newly qualified who has completed their studies is in the region of £16,000 – £26,000. Salaries for a senior architect rise according depending on their experience with average salary for them in the UK being in the region of £45,000.

Further information:

Architects Registration Board
8 Weymouth Street
Telephone: 020 7580 5861

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