Changing careers? Depressed with architecture.


Hi everyone, I'd love to have your thoughts on this. Or maybe I just sort want to know I am not the only one in this situation. 

My background: I went to school in Business and Architecture, so I got a bachelor's degree in Business admin, another one in architecture and I also did my M.Arch. I spent 5 yrs studying architecture, been working in architecture for almost 3 yrs. And to be honest I am totally depressed. I have worked for 3 different companies that go from small studios with 15 employees to companies with 400 people in just one office. I worked in Canada and USA and I speak English, French and Spanish. I can say in general I am pretty well educated human being. Now, to be honest from the first day of work with the very first company, I was feeling depressed, but I guess the excitement of having a job with pretty well known company made me forget how shitty I was feeling so I just continued the "fake it 'til you make it". Long story short, after almost 3 years I feel unsatisfied with architecture, I think it is sad how people are willing to work for long hours a week having such a low salary ( compared to other professions).  It is impossible not to compare myself with other friends who went to school in something else and work half of the time I work and make at least 30% more compared to any salary in architecture. And don't get me wrong I have done my job/research and I have a pretty good salary compared to other people in the same field with my experience. Prior to working in architecture I was working for a telecommunications company and I was working no more than 40hrs/week and having a OK salary that allowed me to have a happy healthy life. So after 8 years of architecture (school and work) I am tired/depressed. I feel like I have wasted my life in something I love but doesn't not give me the satisfaction I need. I think If I were to spend the same amount of hours I spend weekly working in architecture doing something else ( maybe software dep) would be in a totally different situation. Last job I got from day 2 I was feeling stressed, cold hands, felt like I wanted to vomit and that was like that for 1 week, after 1 week I left the job. I need to mention I came crying everyday after work.

Now... I have more interviews in the next days, but I think that no matter which company I work for or what the project is, I will just be miserable in architecture. I know that no job is easy, and in any company and profession we will find crazy and stupid people that will make our life more difficult but that isn't the problem here.

So at these point I feel so miserable in architecture that I feel I need to just change my career in go back into business and just forget about architecture. I see architecture as that love of my life that is just never gonna give me what I want/need. It is sort of like a love hate situation and I always end up with my heart broken and poor.

So apart from expressing my negative feelings towards architecture (sorry). I wanted to know if it would be crazy to change careers at my age ( 29). I just think that If I do I will have a better work/life balance and a better salary and I will be happier. I also want to know if I am the only one who is depressed with architecture and are thinking of changing careers or that have changed careers and if they have done it successfully and if i can get any tips or piece of advice.

Thank you!

Aug 30, 17 6:35 pm

Yeah, a lot of people feel the same way. It's a dream career that becomes a nightmare for many.

I'd say you should look at what in architecture actually makes you happy, what is something you actually enjoy doing. And along the lines of the above post, go to a career counselor. Maybe you don't need to do full testing, but just talk, and talk about what gets you excited.

I would also reach out to any old career connections you have, people you went to school with, people you worked for, and so on and see what they are doing and if they have found a better path.

I myself learned a while back that pure architecture isn't for me. Now I work with a company that builds thrill rides and I integrate them into buildings, new and existing. I've used my creative skills and a few of the practical things ( not many ) that I learned in architecture school and I truly enjoy what I do. 

Forget the title of architect. The title only impresses people at dinner parties. Instead, think about tasks you enjoy. Go from there. 

Aug 30, 17 7:21 pm

Just now reading this thread, but this sounds freaking awesome.


Forget the title and think about tasks... This is really good advice. and imho the key to finding happiness in this work. take it one task at a time, find the reward in that task even just the satisfaction of speedy completion and move on. The accumulation of numerous completed tasks that you are able to take pride in forms the creation of a meaningful career not the other way around as so many expect when they first look for a title. They don't really teach that is school.


Maybe try a small design-build firm where you can wear many hats? A bad day in the field is better than a good day at the office.

Aug 30, 17 7:40 pm

"A bad day in the field is better than a good day at the office" That one is going on my very short list of quotes above my desk.


My dad has multiple degrees but was a farmer - that was his motto.

Don't hesitate to change your path. If you can leverage your education and experience all the better. But if your rant is half-true get the hell out and do something that allows you to have a life you enjoy. Time is short and accelerates rapidly. Don't look back.

Aug 30, 17 7:53 pm

 I feel like I have wasted my life in something I love but doesn't not give me the satisfaction I need

Seems contradictory.  Why do you love it if it's not satisfying? Is it because the hours are too long, or the money is too short?  Which bothers you more?  There are trade offs in every decision.

You still young enough to do it, but get busy. 

Aug 30, 17 9:44 pm

I don't think the problem is architecture per se, but you comparing yourself constantly to other people doing other jobs. So what that your friends make more money working less hours, if you do what you love that's all that matters. You don't mention that you don't like what you do but more that you somehow can't manage it. Also your anxiety, stress and vomiting don't indicate a problem with the job, but more a problem within you. What if it's just the pressure of work, any kind of work and the responsibilities that come with adult life that make you feel like that? Did you also have anxiety and stress issues while studying architecture? I have a friend and she just can't deal with the pressure of professional work and being held accountable for her decisions, she hopped jobs and studies all the time. She quit after one day of work at one time and put more effort in her Facebook post explaining/excusing herself to all her friends  than in the job she had for that one full day and now she does volunteer work only, it's just not for her.  Try something else and see where that gets you, you can always come back if you miss it too much, you're not even thirty.

Aug 30, 17 10:49 pm
Hanna Ddk

I think this answer is not far from the truth either..!


I've been struggling with this for a while, how do you even approach leaving for another career? It feels like a small box without a open top at the moment.

Sep 1, 17 2:03 am

mindfulness and get rid of the phone. cut your FB to only those who are your face to face friends.

Sep 1, 17 6:20 am
Depends if you're trying to get out of the entire AEC industry into something totally unrelated or if you're interested in an adjacent career. Either way your experience both as an architect and with the business degree is transferable and it's definitely not too late. Search archinects out of the box series and these forums for advice on other career paths. Whatever you do avoid additional school debt unless it's for an MBA.
Sep 1, 17 9:04 am

I agree with archinine. While technical (occupation specific) skills of architecture is difficult to translate to many occupations but some of it can be with some adjustments. 3d modeling and rendering could be translated over to other occupations that uses those skills but you might have to make adjustments to different 3d modeling/rendering programs. So instead of working in Autocad, you might work in Unity/Unreal game engine for video game industry. 

It all depends on the field. Business degree will likely transfer to almost any kind of business but you may have to apply what you learned in a different context to that of running an architecture business (service oriented/consulting)  to a different kind of business (say, a product manufacturing business).


At 3 years of experience you are still a Bambi caught in the headlights. Sure, you are useful contributor but replaceable as well. At this point in your career you should really be focusing on absorbing all the knowledge around you, and making yourself a key contributor.

I have seen it play out in opposite directions. I have seen young, driven, inexperienced professionals stand up, and take it in the chin from the profession, and get really good at what they do. Really fast. Along the way they get registered, and now they are an associate running their own projects. Beautiful to see.

On the other hand, I have seen completely disinterested youngins just kind of drift out of the profession as well. It really wasn't for them. 

To be fair I have also seen really bright talent get burned out, and do a career side step into related construction field. But this doesn't apply at 3 year mark.

But that's what all professions rely on. Certain people need to drift out, because there is not enough room up the pyramid. 

When it comes to architecture, hard work, sacrifice, and strong curiosity about everything are fundamental requirements for success. It's not for everyone.

Sep 1, 17 10:20 am

Not crazy to change careers at 29. I left architecture at 31. Never thought I would return but I did... at 37. Now I am self-employed in two amazing careers. Definitely not the plan I had going in but I wouldn't give it up for anything. 

(I live near a new Google campus and was checking out the job listings just for fun - they are hiring like crazy if you are interested. There are so many places that would value you!)

Edit to add: Or consider that you could be running your own firm someday. Once you get past the beginning stages of the architecture career, it gets easier. You find a groove and if you can make people happy you can get jobs. Lots of architects get fired for being assholes to their clients and you can swoop up these jobs and take care of them. 

Sep 1, 17 11:18 am

tintt, what are your two careers if you don't mind sharing? I am looking to switch into real estate by going back to school and I am curious how you made a successful transition.


Educational therapy, teaching math and reading to kids with disabilities. When I was laid off from architecture for an enitre year with no hope I would go to my husband's work place often just to get out and talk to people and I started talking to his boss and well eventually, she offered to sell us the business because she lived 40 miles away and had another business to run and couldn't do both. I trained on the job and took classes online at night and weekends, as an owner I was also an administrator and I learned accounting, business, marketing, etc to run the business, then turned around and applied that knowledge of running the business to architecture while my husband and our employees run the learning center, I am scarcely needed there anymore but am still involved. The second career is as an architect. I came back to it and got my license. Although since I got licensed I'm mostly working on work that doesn't require a license, interiors and SFR. 

I am 29 in a fee months, with about three years experience in ny. I am also working to change my career. Not many architecture professionals around me are happy. Im not afraid to change.
Sep 1, 17 11:32 am
Where's Abracadabra when you need him?
Sep 1, 17 1:46 pm

I’m 27 and I’m not happy with my profession either (architect), I have been trying to see what I strongly want and maybe do a second career, but I feel insecure to do it, I had invest so much time, effort and money in architecture that’s feels a waste to drop out all of it, so... you are not alone here, I wish you the best and you be able to reach happiness. 

Sep 21, 17 11:18 pm

I hear ya. It's been a slow process because like you said, once you invested a lot of time, money, effort, etc. to learned "architecture" (as a field of knowledge and skills) and then quitting it can be a very difficult decision that is not just about the logical numbers but the emotional investment. Can you just change careers overnight like any ol' job? Probably not because people naturally become emotionally invested because of the great commitment you made and performed to get where you are in the profession because switching careers is often starting at square one and you have to do a lot to get into that new career.

It's a lot harder in reality to change careers further from the field than those that are much closer related. 

If you are on the wrong path every step is a waste of time.


Generally, living your life waiting for the salary at the end of each month is a shitty way to live.   

Sep 22, 17 2:49 am

I am 37 and changing to this career. I wish I was 29. If you aint happy, get out. You are plenty young enough to change direction. 

Sep 22, 17 4:47 am

Bloody hell 29 is nothing - make a change now if you are unhappy. I am 50 and still thinking about it - wish I had done it years ago. Its not the great career its cracked up to be.

Sep 22, 17 5:12 am

maybe do a second career, but I feel insecure to do it, I had invest so much time, effort and money in architecture that’s feels a waste to drop out all of it

The time and money already invested is a sunk cost.  It is irrelevant.  You can't get it back.  Start today with the attitude that you have a clean slate.

Sep 22, 17 10:33 am

Yeah, architecture sure isn't the same as what they show in the brochure..I've been in it for 22 years. First thing you have to do is realize that all the romance, glamour and fun designy stuff is largely a thing of the past. Unless you are well connected, wealthy and willing to give it 100% to do things on your terms it is a job. If you are passionate, this industry will offer frustration. Come to terms with realistic expectations and find and cultivate your passion for architecture in other ways, away from the office.

Marry for money is my second piece of advice.

Sep 22, 17 12:40 pm

if you marry for money you will surely earn it.

Sep 22, 17 12:52 pm
won and done williams

Ha ha, well said.


 If you are passionate, this industry will offer frustration. 

No sir, I am only passionate about making more dollars

 fresh graduate, 

Sep 22, 17 1:23 pm

You obviously never read any books on philosophy.  Many people never find happiness.  Some don't find it until they are 40, 50 or 60.  Look at Frank Lloyd Wright, completely hated by most of society, but the greatest architect who ever lived.  Your generation has been taught little more than to drink Starbucks coffee and worship money.  This is the result.  Weak people who are not willing to suffer.  If World War 2 started tomorrow we'd all be dead or speaking German in 5 years.  Buck up or get out.  I had to accept the profession is full of assholes over 20 years ago.  Just promise yourself to never be like them and be happy inside, not from EXTERNAL SOURCES OF VALIDATION... and you will be just fine, no matter what job you have or what size your paycheck is.  Remember, suffering builds character, and hopefully a sense of humor.

Sep 24, 17 6:12 pm

So because some people never find happiness it's okay to be unhappy? What a load of bs, if you're unhappy try to do something about it. Suffering builds character builds depression. Life's too short to be around assholes all the time if you don't want to be or if you aren't one of the assholes yourself. Keep telling yourself that your suffering is worth it...and people who want to be happy are weak. If the generation who fought the Nazis knew that it would only lead to more suffering and that suffering is supposed to be something to strive for and not happiness, you think they would have gone and made those sacrifices? They made the sacrifices so we could be free and happy, you're kind of tarnishing their efforts by accepting the assholes. They didn't accept the assholes, they fought them and beat them!


I'd welcome my german overlords, maybe my zinc panels in the US would finally be installed correctly.

I guess what I was getting at is that everyone has a different "constitution". It's not just a stat in D&D or RPG video games. For example, would any of us really survive if we lived in Puerto Rico right now after Hurricane Maria? Now might be a good time to appreciate how good we have it. Comparison might be poison, but no food, clothing, shelter, or water would REALLY suck. Tough day / Tough decade at the office? Not so bad.


"Your generation this, your generation that,.." Give it a break. The poster have clearly endured years of education and work experience, and what did they get out of that? Depression. Yes, a decent salary, but they are just simply unsatisfied. They realized how unhappy they've become with the amount of effort and time they've invested in the field, and now they're considering a change. If anything, depression builds character. Not suffering. That would just lead to you being miserable the rest of your life. It's your choice to work in a profession full of assholes for years. But there are options for this person, they are still young. So no, one can't just sit idly by and promise themselves they'll just BE happy on the inside when they could be out there seeking for something better, something that actually makes them happy. It's not a crime wanting to be happy, and it's most definitely not weak of a character for wanting to pursue whatever is better for them. 



Absolutely - Go read Brian Tracy's "No excuses" He will square you away - I read Frank Lloyd Wright - it's about doing what  it takes - only you can make it happen "adapt, Improvise, Overcome" 

Sep 24, 17 6:24 pm

To gilo:

I hear ya. It's been a slow process because like you said, once you invested a lot of time, money, effort, etc. to learned "architecture" (as a field of knowledge and skills) and then quitting it can be a very difficult decision that is not just about the logical numbers but the emotional investment. Can you just change careers overnight like any ol' job? Probably not because people naturally become emotionally invested because of the great commitment you made and performed to get where you are in the profession because switching careers is often starting at square one and you have to do a lot to get into that new career.

It's a lot harder in reality to change careers further from the field than those that are much closer related. 

Sep 25, 17 4:18 am

my 2 cents suggestion to you is explore the field of architecture, interior, engineering and construction....most probably the position you held was working in auto cad the whole day that is the reason you got sick on it....most engineering company give better remuneration than architectural company (paid overtime :-))

Oct 2, 17 3:31 pm

Prior to working in architecture I was working for a telecommunications company and I was working no more than 40hrs/week and having a OK salary that allowed me to have a happy healthy life.

^ This

Oct 3, 17 8:17 am

Try pooping more on company time, I find it helps.

Oct 3, 17 9:31 am
Non Sequitur

for the win.


I always try to get paid to poop.

Emma Ding

I knew I wanted to be a designer (originally architect) as a kid. I chose my major as urban planning in undergrad (a compromise between my family and me) and gained three year work experience working as urban designer, but I felt that I did not get to design anything. So I pursued a three year master program in landscape architecture and dreamed of working at a prestigious design firm/studio after graduation.

In 2016, I got an email from a dream design firm which admitted me as an intern for that summer, I was very excited about my new job and had high expectations.

This three-month internship completely changed my life. I started to feel that I had no motivation to go to work - the work is repetitive not even mention the low pay and long work hours. I just forced myself to go there. After my job and on the weekend I didn’t want to do anything, but just stay at home and be in bed. I didn’t feel happy and alive. Also, none of the senior designers - neither architects nor landscape architects - are happy with their jobs.

I realized that this industry wasn’t for me.

I had then squeezed every minute I can to learn everything about designers to change their career paths and I now work as a data scientist (completely changed my career I know!). I love my job due to its flexibility and there are lots of interesting projects to work on as well as opportunities for growth. During my career change, I learned a lot about different fields and changing a career in general, so I wonder if anyone is seriously considering a career change? if yes you can PM me and I’d love to help.

Mar 9, 18 1:56 pm

Hi Emma,


A data scientist sounds like exactly what I want to look at. I will PM you!


Hi Emma, how can I contact you please?


hi Emma, I like to talk to you about that, how do I contact you?


Hi Emma please let me know how do I contact you


Love this!!!


Hi Emma! I would like to know about doing a full career change. How do I contact you?


Hi Patrache, 

I'm sorry to hear that you have anxiety about architecture and that it was/is effecting you daily. You are not alone! It sounds as if your resilience (and hence self-belief) is down also. Has anything changed in the last few months since you wrote this post? 

Of course it's not to late to change your career. It's important to get back to your values - what makes you happy? - and give yourself - your career -  the space and time it deserves, to think it over carefully. 

Let me know if you need any help - get in touch for a chat if you like (I'm an executive coach and I work solely with architects and designers. I changed my career from CAD/BIM consultant to coach in my 40's so I know it's never too late to find the right career path!)


Mar 28, 18 9:07 am

How Can i PM you Karen ? Thanks


Hi Karen, how can I contact you ? I feel stuck in getting job opportunities in UK as I have an Indian experience in I feel that I am more happy to work on managing the architectural or construction projects rather than designing or drafting.


Hi Karen, I was wondering what is the best way to contact you!


Definitely know how you feel. Except that I am 35, and looking into starting an MBA now, as a first step towards trying to change careers. I do feel miserable in the career, even though I work for a top firm and have a decent salary within the field.   I have applied to jobs in other fields and it has been very challenging to find one that employers feel will translate well.  I wish there was better direction out there, but I have yet to find any good source. 

Apr 1, 18 11:48 pm

Before you start spending the time and money on the MBA, get it firmly fixed in your mind how it will specifically advance your goal, and whether you really need it.  Otherwise, you run the risk of just getting a useless piece of paper. At your age, it is possible to change careers, but you shouldn't kid yourself that it will be easy. Time is not your friend. Age discrimination is there. Schools will always make it sound like their curriculum is the magic carpet to a great new life, but remember, they want your money. You have to kick the tires before buying.


Also, you sound a little up in the air about what path you want to take, other than just any path out of architecture. You sound eerily like me when I was in my thirties. Believe me, I know how you feel. Just be sure to use your age and maturity to your advantage in assessing your options. Don't let those battle scars go to waste.


I am a architecture bachelors student now. I don't want to continue with this degree anymore. Most of my classmates are here out of passion but me, I'm here just to keep the family name. Honestly I hadn't had much clue on architecture itself, just checked some books and magazines during college application and they made it look so interesting. So I happily applied for the bachelors degree in architecture. But now after two years of study I'm really stressed and depressed. So depressed that it's showing on my face. I don't have time to eat or time to sleep. I am thinking of switching to an engineering degree. But I don't want the two years I've spent here to go to waste. Is there any engineering or STEM degrees I can transfer some of my architecture credit to? It will be a huge help.

Apr 4, 18 7:55 am

Non major courses and structure classes if you took them are transferable to architectural engineering major. But two years is not that long if you consider your career life span to be decades long. So don't let that two years hold you back or think of it as wasted.


I felt the way you did when I was two years in. Transfer. I’m 30 now and looking at related careers wishing I’d quit way back then. If you think two years is a waste try 11. Don’t just drop out blindly but do make a plan and execute a way out. It only gets worse and harder when those people with passion are willing to take jobs for nothing or willing to work every weekend for the cause.


if you aren't sure yet...

Apr 6, 18 9:28 pm

You can make $300k driving for Lyft?!


No only the morons are doing that. The programmers are making the money.


I’ve recently made a switch as well to a much higher paying industry. I’m also interacting with a lot of tech and medical businesses. So in response to the above comment. I had no idea what I was missing out on in terms of work place environment. On top of the obvious bonuses and better benefits, there’s a happiness and hopefulness for the future in everyone I interact with at a level I never encountered in architecture. That alone makes working SO much better. Advice to a younger self and others would be target an industry that’s growing and flush with investment why the hell would you slog along in an outdated and slowly dying sector with shrinking margins and worry of every economic hiccup. 

Jun 18, 18 9:49 pm

Yes, trying to maintain "passion" in a profession you hate is like staying in an abusive relationship. It's not noble. It's sick. It's a lot easier to love a job when you aren't seeing a chump in the mirror every morning. Glad you escaped. Now ditch the prison stripes before the sheriff catches up and drags you back to your cell.


Congrats! What line of field are you in now?


CM, it’s funny I’ve seen the argument posted on here that you won’t be doing creative work if you leave architecture but close to 10 years experience and a license and I still had to get direction from the senior designer on such things as minuscule as concrete control joint spacing in a sidewalk, I then made more creative decisions and independent direction in one day than my entire architectural career in CM. I sometimes deal with roadblock personalities but everyone laughs everyone is good humored, I haven’t experienced anything even close to the various egotistical/insulting/humiliating/demeaning personalities dealt with on a daily basis within

' target an industry that’s growing and flush with investment why the hell would you slog along in an outdated and slowly dying sector with shrinking margins and worry of every economic hiccup'


I work in Silicon Valley, the only way you can get a big dollar tech job, is to be a real hot shoe programmer straight out of school - what they don't tell you, is that 90% of those tech jobs become obsolete in 5 years, and you are out the door, nobody will hire you - architecture may be tough, but you can build a long career in it. Tech is like football - too many blows to the head, and you're done. 

Jun 19, 18 11:47 am

Not exactly. What you say is partially true. What you need to do is not be the programmer unless you are the owner or something. You need to move up beyond the programming. The reason for short lives in programming jobs is because of continual new scripting technology. You need to keep up with the so-called "cutting edge" but keep in mind that you have to keep yourself relevant. Sillycon valley is inflated salaries but that comes with inflated cost of everything in the area. Don't fall for the trap because sillycon valley isn't everything. When it comes to game design, the people that have more lasting career are managing/directors and those involved in the lead level of creative game design. Yes, you mentioned that 90% of those tech jobs become obsolete in 5 years. 

Do you actually have scientifically sound data research collection and analysis to support the claim? I would agree that a lot of the jobs becomes obsolete over time but usually in 5 years, you move up to the next step in the ladder. You don't want to be a daily programming grinder because over time, you burn out. Usually, when you reach 40 years of age, you'd be expected to be in a managing role and leave the grunt work and grinding to the young kids while you oversee the work done and give direction. 

The ability to continue to produce money generating software/games will tend to improve your situation and relevancy so your risk of being cut in the next round of layoffs being lower. As long as what you do can be directly attributed to a money maker work you produced, you would lower your chances of being given the boot. If you get entrepreneurial, start your own business, you will likely be immune from being fired but you can be out of business.

Interesting post and pass life lession/experience.

Please carry on and do not let RickB- make last comment and ruin this tread too. :)
Jun 23, 18 10:20 am
Ps. Sometimes I find that it is not the career and more the project, people and/or the structure of the firm that makes it depressing...
Jun 23, 18 10:22 am

well put


just a rant: 8 years in industry after grad, 5 different firms, there’s no direction to go except spending MORE TIME devoted to this loser of a profession . I could have skipped school, esp masters, student loan debt, all the unpaid overtime, struggle to find a professional mentor, wasted hours studying/taking AREs, AIA trying to take my money for non sense. The monotony is hell creating drawing sets only to re-do them over and over because of lack of info, client whims, or sub-par managers who call this a ‘design precess’. Your creative spirit will ache over the years, if you still have one. (It may be advantageous to not have one at all). If you get tingles making ADA bathrooms and parking lots without an inch of extra space, drawing floor plans from clients Pinterest account, then congrats you’ve found your career, you’re a ‘designer.’ Every colleague that has spent this amount of time on ANY other career is better compensated, rewarded with job satisfaction , and fewer school years to get there.(blanket statement : but true) This ‘compromise, sacrifice all for your architecture passion’ is a super dangerous one, (thanks idleaistic studio professors who never grinded it out in an office) , that implies hard work is rewarded in this industry. A difficult struggle doesn’t automatically imply it’s a necessary or healthy one that’s going to produce satisfaction down the road. Every firm I’ve ever joined has the “unusually high volume of work to be done, with little time to do it Syndrome. With revit we produce more drawings , faster , and more accurately and somehow the hours stretch further into the night regardless of tech advances. I’m seeking a new job, career as hard as I can. 

Thankful for the experience but I don’t want to be an angry old man architect with no family and/or drinking problems trying to justify all of this for my whole career. 

Most people who persue arch are wildly intelligent, diverse, interesting people and to watch them dry up in this profession is a detriment to their talent and potential. If I could hire you all and compensate you appropriately I would. 

Jun 29, 18 1:54 pm

wow it's like I wrote this, amazing.


Damn, I think you spoke for a lot of people I know.



Is there another area of architecture that you might enjoy besides the practice itself? Consider your interests, and follow them. It might be that you could look into theater/film and set design, or historic preservation/Main Street, HABS-HAER, Planning, or Academia - even Architectural Illustration/Model Building. 

I know your feeling because I got to the point where I just hated doing working drawings, and changing them, and being overuled by the principal without knowing about his verbal changes in the field and then getting blamed for his mistakes......You obviously have something inside that wants to express itself through architecture - give it some thought......if you really are interested in Banking, running a Pro-Shop, or owning a Food Truck, do whatever makes you happy. The money will follow when you follow what you really are interested in and passionate about. 

Wishing you the best of success.

Jun 30, 18 12:46 am

You should always do what you love and whatever makes you happy. Control yor job, don't let it be the other way around.

Jul 2, 18 3:56 am
Lone star you’ve hit the nail on the head.
Aug 5, 18 9:50 pm

Really this is very informative to me too. Thanks for sharing with us

Sep 13, 18 8:12 am

Sorry that you are having a hard time- just consider that comparison kills and Ego is the Enemy.  This book has been super helpful to me as I try to figure the next season of my life. Also, consider not putting all your hopes and dreams on your JOB giving you fulfillment- do you really want your gravestone to say “Here lies XXX, he was a great architect”?

Sep 13, 18 8:51 pm

I briefly skimmed through this book as well couple days ago and looks like it will be helpful for me to plan my next move as well.


the real question is, did you press the pause button on the image.


I was in interior design classes before life changed direction on me, got married and got my LVN lic. After a divorce years back and being extremely tired of nursing the last 20 years, I'm back in school for my associate's. I'm trying to figure out what bachelor to get. I love architectural history and preservation. I've been told two different ways, get my bach of arch with a specialty in historical or Bach of art history, what do yall think? I have thought about trying to get on with the Texas historical commission, I'm not head strong on one specific job but just want to enjoy going to work and not pull a Thelma & Louise. Any advice would be so helpful. 

Oct 2, 18 12:00 pm

wow! I've been out of architecture for 6 years doing my own thing and was starting to miss architecture and planning to transition back.  Reading this thread is depressing. haha

Oct 14, 18 2:55 am

this is the 12th year of my professional career, I really don't want to change my career, cuz I spent too much effort of shaping my knowledge, experience, etc.. this profession is so crazy cuz not many people will really appreciate what architects do. My friend is a graphic designer, he had a side job to design a logo for a restaurant, he's pretty good at it, normal price would be $1500, if the whole set of UI system, would be another prox. 5000. there will be differentiation from different designers, but wouldn't be that much of difference. and the job will be done in 2 weeks at that size of restaurant. I looked at the" House plan "website, similar idea for architects selling WHOLE SET of drawings, for just about 1500-2000, i am not sure how long it takes for the architect to do it, but i am sure if the client bought your set, you still need to answer questions during the construction, if you can finish a deal within 2 months, i think that would be a blessed, which i don't think is possible. what is wrong with this profession!? I am trying to raise my family, 10 years ago, when I only had two years experience I was paid 50k a year, 10 years from now , I looked up the position with now my experience worth only 80k!!!! how  can I feed my family with that? how can I present the suitable dignity as an architect'?  I can't even afford to rent a okish 2 bedrooms apartment in seattle. If that is how AIA trying to build, congrats, they made it, they ribbed you off since you were a student, telling you should learn this and that softwares and take this and that exams, you paid with all your money then eventually what you got is this misarable life. Stop talking about code of ethic, cuz AIA does not have one in it, as an union, they didn't do anything to make it better except charging you money. I really step forward to changing my career, I hope anyone who has done it successfully give me some hints. I am very appreciate it from here.

Oct 17, 18 6:18 am

Honestly, if you have the relevent skills you could be making much more in construction.


One hint, don't use 'cuz' in correspondence

hahaha you never fail to amuse me.


Mmmmm.....And how long have you had these feelings of inadequacy? 

Mmmmm...I see, and how does that make you feel?

Mmmmm...I see, and for how long have you felt this need to pour out your soul in the pages of a semi-public blog to virtual strangers? 

Mmmmmm...And how does that make you feel?

Jan 19, 19 8:39 am

And what if one of these virtual strangers gives you bad advice?

Jan 19, 19 9:09 am


My ADVICE:  attend CAREFULLY to these sites  below  & above , and  ONLY  AFTER THAT, come back to yours OLD  considerations... IF you STILL  NEED ...

• 30X40 Studio

__    " A Choice to Make  "

__    " Quitting Architecture..."

• Karen

          (in) 01/20/2019

Jan 21, 19 2:24 pm

LOL, damn really enjoying reading these replies.  I've found some down time and been spending more time than usual on Arhcinect.  While lurking on the forum it really puts a perspective on how certain generations or personalities reflect on this profession.  

I've been known to be a masochist, so experiencing what most have in effort to become an architect or endure this profession, is as I expected it to be; really difficult.  If it was easy we would probably have an excessive amount of architects roaming the world building more crap.

OP, please take no offense, but if you're not happy wasting your life on something which does not bring bliss to your life don't do it.  

Follow Your Bliss      

Jan 21, 19 3:46 pm

I've been doing this architecture thing for 25 years now. I've quit ... as in, quit the job and walked entirely away from the profession in disgust ... twice in that period. In both cases, after about a year I found I couldn't stay out and had to go back (you'd think I could find a cheaper, less dangerous crystal meth). But the situations around those periods of professional darkness did reinforce to me that I had definitely been "doing it wrong", and that's why it had made me miserable.

Going back, and in the intervening career paths taken since, I've changed my priorities, decision-making, and how I do the job quite significantly in order to avoid a lot of the negative things written about in this thread.

I guess my advice here is: if you're going to do it, do it on your own terms. You'll be happier, healthier, and probably a lot more successful.

Jan 21, 19 5:59 pm

On purpose of __" ... more Architects building more crap " ( or something like that ), read CAREFULLY the two following articles:

Why You Hate Contemporary Architecture - And if you don’t, why you should…
by Brianna Rennix & Nathan J. Robinson

WHY it's time to GIVE UP on PREFAB

Jan 21, 19 7:53 pm

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