project manager vs project architect

Josie Truong

project manager vs. project architect

what is the difference?

Dec 9, 04 3:19 am

A Project Manager is an Architect without design skills.

Dec 9, 04 6:19 am  · 

A Project Architect is a registered architect.

Dec 9, 04 9:27 am  · 

Some of us have no choice but to fill all roles! I am the PM, PA, Designer, Cad Monkey...etc. Not really bad, being the size of co. I work for (lg. corp.)
Bots, I'm not sure I agree with you completely, but yes the PM is typically the paper pusher in the equation (which pretty much puts him/her out of the design equation)
The PA handles more of the Design, drawings, etc. portion of the job.
*all of this of course is in simple terms. Both roles can be include many other things.

Dec 9, 04 9:29 am  · 
Josie Truong

so anyone without a degree but has the experience can be a pm ?

Dec 9, 04 4:53 pm  · 

not likely

Dec 9, 04 6:05 pm  · 
Ms Beary

yes, we call interns who do project management Project Managers. Other firms I know do this as well. Somehow, "intern" never goes over well with clients. They think you're 16. They ask, "so when do you go back to school" or "A high school intern? What?" they might as well ask what I want to be when I grow up.

Dec 9, 04 6:08 pm  · 

well wher i work the heirarchy is like this

Principal in charge
Associate principal
Project Manager
Project Architect

the PM is usually the older more experienced one in charge of the finances and management of a group of projects and the PAs are the immediate ones in charge of designing/drawing and overseeing construction of each project.

like the PM will have 40 projects and under him there will be 4 PAs with 10 projects each

but thats just the case of my office

Dec 10, 04 12:10 am  · 

What is the advantage of having a PA do the design and a PM handle the project management? It seems like the construction phase would go a lot smoother if the architect who designed the project also made sure the project was built correctly. It always seems like the PM never has any idea what is in the contract documents even though his firm created the documents. Hell half the time it would probably protect the architect because a contractor would be less likely to question documents when the architect has a good handle on whats in them.

Dec 10, 04 1:27 am  · 

Not sure about your firm but where I work we talk to each other, which helps avoid these problems.


The advantage to having a PM in large jobs is that they become the first line of defense once the shit starts hitting the fan due to some contractual / construction cock up. Everything you say has some truth in it, and in a way this is the real advantage to the architect. If you back yourself as the Project Architect and use the PM as the shield to deflect and deal with the monotony of the business of contract and construction while you can be free to explore the creative side of the process. Invariably you find that you know everything the PM knows and more (because you wrote the spec and did the drawings and communicated the design intention etc from the beginning).

Due to the size of the jobs in our office PM’s are always appointed. I always let them run with things until it starts to go wrong. Then you help them sort it out and they are your best friend.

Dec 10, 04 4:08 am  · 
1  · 

Can a project architect become a project manager after getting experience and knowledge?

Sep 10, 20 5:19 am  · 

Sure, but the focus is different. I enjoy being a Project Architect, the technical aspects particularly really works for me, taking a project from a planning approved design and delivering to site with the technical design resolution and coordination required is something I find immensely satisfying for all I find it at times frustrating dealing with others (and I'm not good dealing with clients :(  )

I am however Aspergers (see my separate threat re: Research recruitment), so that Architecture-Engineering side is a good fit for me, as long as I am kept away from some people.

Being a PM however requires considerably more social skills as it deal with a wider variety of people, while staying out of the technical stuff that other people are paid to do and responsible for, so that really is not a good fit for me.

I guess it depends on what your strengths are and what you enjoy.

2  · 

Thanks for showing that I'm no on my own in the world. Regardless being a PM myself (as a post graduate course with he background of designing and delivering many works from inception to completion) I completely hate dealing with people. I rather be in charge of designing a full package and do renderings and specifications than managing people which I find always frustrating as patience is a skill that I'm still working on.


I have a doubt i don't know if it sounds lame but I need some help. I just got graduated from college completing my B.Arch and as I did an internship in a small firm I learned and had an experience as a Project Architect. I loved my work and want to explore more in a firm with a designation for the same. I really want to know that how should I make my portfolio and express my interest instead of just writing in the CV. I want to understand the process to reach and apply at that job.

Sep 11, 20 9:22 pm  · 

Sharing my experience when I decided to move on in my career by challenging myself in another country and culture: Nowadays if you have domain of BIM and good presentation skills it will take you almost anywhere. M
odeling and rendering nowadays is a must

1  · 

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