Career Advice (architecture jobs outside of architecture firms)


My base is typical high 40's the rest is overtime. Not worth it, I'd rather have a life. I've even been contemplating the great evil. Working for the government. Everyone I know doing it lists just insane perks and benefits. Friday's off, court order to get fired, free health with no deductible, every holiday known to mankind off, 50-100% retirement matching and surprisingly a good salary. I realize I would have no pride in my work whatsoever but man....I'd have a life! But do I really want to become a leech?

Jul 17, 15 3:50 pm  · 

i wonder if you could have pride in government work?

i think the part where you can't get fired creates a culture of bureaucracy, where there are just too make cooks in the kitchen, too many people at meetings and noone wants to make decisions because there are so many people that have to have input.  from what i've seen there seems to be an incentive to do shitty work, and essentially no reward for really caring about the design.

but if you did care about the design, maybe it is possible to put in a little extra effort in a government setting?  do you think there is an actual impediment or barrier to caring, or just an environment that attracts people who don't really care?

Jul 17, 15 4:12 pm  · 

 there seems to be an incentive to do shitty work, and essentially no reward for really caring about the design.

Where do you live, Alabama? We've got competent, intellegent. and responsible people in planning/development around here -- no  more bullshit bureaucracy than you'd find at any large firm, and probably fewer impossibly egocentric assholes to coddle. We've got to get out of the stupid mindset that working in the public interest makes you a leech. Fuck Ayn Rand.

Jul 17, 15 4:46 pm  · 

i figured he meant gsa or similar. 

you're right anon, building department would also be government and sometimes those folks are alright.  also, i don't think working for the public interest makes you a leech (as star suggested above), i'm just expressing concern over mismanagement in those organizations that leads to disincentive.

Jul 17, 15 4:52 pm  · 

I'd recommend design build as Donna said.  It's underrated for obvious reasons but a lot closer to what architects did for two thousand years.  Get in there and learn how it goes together, along with pricing and scheduling.  The design portion is also full of opportunities, if your boss isn't a Neanderthal. 

Jul 18, 15 7:32 am  · 
Chris Alker

Your initial post sounded familiar, but also rendered the two ends of the spectrum.  There is a middle ground. While I think that getting a license and starting your own firm is ideal, and really the best reason to become an architect, there is no reason you can't find work at a decent firm that appreciates good design and requires less than 45 hours a week.  I know, because that is my situation.  I did the burnout skyscraper firm route, then worked for a wannabe starchitect, both were tough for various reasons (including low pay and long hours).  But I have since worked for two firms, one presently, that does solid design and give me respectable hours and pay.  You are finishing your 20's, and will soon be in the best decade to practice architecture, your thirties.  By now you should have the knowledge to pull together drawing sets by yourself, run a meeting, competent to knock out those pesky licensing exams, and can confidently pick up work at any firm without skipping a beat.  I propose you tune up your portfolio and look for a mid sized firm who will appreciate your experience.  The way to get a salary bump and reduce hours over the years is to switch firms every few years until you find the sweet spot.  Making your knowledge indispensable is key; this is job security and the road to independence.  

Jul 24, 15 9:55 am  · 

I need some advice. I am a manager for a paint company, I am also a color consultant, an architectural coatings technologist. I am presently studying nterior decoarting. I am totally under paid. I am I the business for 15 yrs and I have seen designers come into my space but cannot do their job. 

Oct 5, 19 9:38 pm  · 

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