Designer or Architect?


Hi, I love architecture (but only houses for some reason) and I'm thinking I don't want to go to Architecture school and do all the stuff it takes to become a licensed Architect. My dad is a residential designer and basically taught himself, and is doing well compared to what I have heard licensed Architects are making money-wise. I, on the other hand, would like to go to post-secondary school. There's a program at TRU (Thompson Rivers University, in BC, Canada; where I am from) that's called Architectural and Engineering Technology. It's a 3 year diploma program, although in 2015 (if the idea passes) the program will become a Bachelor's degree with an added year. I've looked at the courses and it seems very hands-on and useful for the type of work I would want to do. After finishing the program I might work for my dad (which I somehow doubt would work), or I would work for an architectural firm to gain experience before going out on my own as a residential designer. Not an Architect.

So I'm just wondering from the Architects/Designers out there, whether my idea is practical and worth doing. Any advice? If anybody takes a look at TRU's program (, could you let me know what you think? 

Thanks so much for any feedback and advice! :)

Jan 17, 14 11:42 am

That program seems to cover the technical aspects to a degree, but an arch degree would give you more exposure to the soft sciences and art/ history side.  The arch studios would also give you practice which is worth more than info IMO.  I personally can't imagine not having gone to arch school.  Despite what you hear arch school is a good well rounded education even if you are not using it to follow the prescribed path.    

Jan 17, 14 11:59 am

OK, the thing is I'd be spending 10000$ more a year in arch school. So I don't know whether that would be worth the extra art skills... because I am already really good at art and am creative.

Jan 17, 14 10:29 pm

I am not sure it would be worth the extra money if you want to design homes. The universities will still be there several years down the road should you ever want to get a MA. Not only should you factor in the additional school expense, you should compute the lost opportunity costs of the additional years of income forgone while you were in school. In looking at many high end home designs I cannot tell which were designed by architects and which by designers; I have seen good and bad from both.

Jan 20, 14 6:06 pm

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