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Is Architecture Worth it?

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Kraye

Hi,

I am very young person (15) who aspires to become an architect. I practice my ideas via doodles, drawings, observing, Minecraft (don't judge.), SketchUp, and inspiration from places such as my own area, major cities and sometimes internationally (SK, England, Japan, etc.) But I've been reading some of the pros and cons of Architecture and it's making my possible decision debatable. 

 I've seen a lot more cons recently than pros, and I'd like to hear from people who are a) In university/college right now and how their experiences are, b) in the profession already, c) or have gone internationally and been in different firms around the world. Also for what classes I should do before college in Junior and Senior year to prepare for the worst and best.

I'm already going to attempt to get more experience in the summer by taking architecture camps that universities offer around the US, when able, do visual arts and design at school, and plan to double up in Math to get Trig and Pre-Calc done side by side since Math isn't hard. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you have some feedback for a possible future architect :)

- Kraye

 
Mar 16, 18 6:42 pm
McTaco

Yo Kraye... Don’t want to crush your dreams kid... but choose a different career path that pays money. I regret becoming an architect to be honest with you. My wife makes double what I make with a freaking associates degree! Anyways alittle bit about me... I went to a highly regarded university for 6 years ... masters... finished my IDP hours managing huge projects making 7.25 an hour at a star architect office. Ive traveled all over Europe visiting firms and they barely paid. Everything about architecture is romantic, it sounds beautiful, you want to change the world... blah blah blah... then reality kicks you in the balls when you are detailing washrooms for Taco Bells. Internships anywhere barely pay a living wage... and I am barely getting by as a licensed architect with over the years experience. If your not from a wealthy family I recommend not getting in this profession at all. Run kid! Run! 

Mar 16, 18 8:24 pm
McTaco

*ten years experience

Non Sequitur

I received a living wage 2 weeks following graduation. Not everyone ends up like you.

Kraye

Hm. You must've had a hard time but I know it's hard to be a "Good" architect unless you can think outside of the normal and make it look good or do something not everyone else is doing. Hopefully you can go choose a new career (it's never too late to try managing)

McTaco

Not everyone ends up like me? How much are you making? I’m sure it’s no where near 100k a year... and what is a living wage for you NS? I’m not trying to be a dick here but that means many things to many people. For example in Canada a living wage is considered $15 an hour the national minimum wage. The fact is that historically if you take the traditional path through this profession you are fucked. Plan and simple. I am not going to lead a kid down a shitty path where so much energy and effort does not pay out to what you will ultimately be making. You will have to pay your dues before making a decent living. You are not going to be rolling down the road with a Benz. This whole bullshit to follow your dreams ... it’s bullshit. Try to support a family of 3 and barely being home with your family. Missing your kids soccer game cause you have to work unpaid overtime. Be stresssed to your wits with contractors cutting every possible corner and looking for every error and omission on your drawings to fuck you. I can go on and on and on. It’s not a glamorous job and I will not sugar coat it. Kraye can take this advice or he can learn the hard way like many of us have...

McTaco

Being good does

Non Sequitur

Lost, I’m in Canada too. Started making $45k per year 10y ago and moved up steadily from there. I’ve got great flexibility for my family, freedom to work how I please and plenty of large projects under my belt. I’m now considered “senior” and although there still the washroom or shitty fit up gigs, there are plenty of
interesting challenges.

Kraye

Architecture is defiantly not a glamorous job, but it's unique. But who knows I may end up hating it and doing something else or enjoy it and keep going with high pay or decent pay (aka like Idk what's "Decent" but I assume ~60-70k) 100k is hard to get and not everyone will ever. get to it.

geezertect

Be aware: If you think 60-70K is decent after six years of college, IDP, licensing exam, student debt, etc., your standards are waaayyyy too low. You can deliver packages for FedEx and make more.  And most architecture jobs are in larger, expensive cities.  100K a year in Dubuque, Iowa may be good money, but you'll be living in a cardboard box if you're in San Fran.

tduds

I'm happy at my job and I can afford the things I need to maintain a pleasurable lifestyle. Who gives a fuck about anything more than that? If the FedEx driver makes more, that's great for them!

tduds

I've always felt that if your ultimate goal is money, best case scenario is you end up a miserable rich person.

Non Sequitur

Kraye, pay little attention to the above.  Granted plenty of folks are dumb enough to work unpaid internships and stay in bad environments, but most move on and build careers.  Sure there are the typical dead ends of interchangeable CAD / 3D staff, but plenty more get to play architect and mange construction projects.

What you need to think about is: Do you actually like to think about buildings... and not just in broad design strokes but actually how pieces go together.  You'll need to get a good grasp of construction techniques, budget and time management, in addition to creative problem solving before you think about the superficial.

It's a long and difficult path but there are rewards if you make the most of it instead of crying foul because your expensive school did not turn you into a rockstar.

Mar 16, 18 8:36 pm
Kraye

Yeah I've seen 50/50 on Architects and I'm not sure what people consider "Low pay", what areas they are doing, etc. And atm yes I do, I live in a place where new architecture is being made everyday while the old is still loved by many (100 yr + homes). I've realized that I shouldn't design big homes or stuff but instead make reasonable sized apartments or homes or if I want to go broad create something like idk.. a museum shell. I'm still not sure what college to go to for architecture because two of my top choices for college have a gap in price of 50k with a supposed difference of income with the 70k (USC) making 1k more than the 20k (Cali Poly Tech).

McTaco

Dumb? Oh fuck off NS... you are like many other dreamers I went to school with. I never wanted to be a rockstar... just make a decent living, support a family, and have a good work life balance. That’s all.

Kraye

I mean being optimistic can help push through stress even now, but I know it won't go far enough. As long as I can make a decent living, support a family, and have a good work life balance, I'll be satisfied through the salary aspect. It's more my worry I'll not have the proper style for the current time whenever or if I should try to either "modernize old styles" or make something way new.

geezertect

^  What LOST said times ten!  It's a terrible profession.  Low pay.  Long hours.  High legal liability.  Poor job security.  No respect from the rest of the construction industry, or from most clients.  Don't listen to the follow-your-dream bullshit, unless your dream is to always be the poor boy in your social circle.  You may not think you care now, but the constant reminders of how under paid you are will really eat on you, particularly when "everybody" seems to be doing better than you.

Don't say we didn't warn you.



Mar 16, 18 8:38 pm
Kraye

I'd like to know what do you consider "Low pay", I know the long hours, well yes there's alot of things you're liable for, the career is wonky and have it's ups and downs, how bad have you experienced (also are you male or female because there may be a sexism issue), and I'll still probably be the poor boy in the social circle since all my friends want to be lawyers or doctors etc. And time will tell :)

McTaco

Just to add to geezers comments... you are also at the mercy of the economy. I survived the Great Recession of 2017 and a lot of my colleagues were not so lucky. Right now the profession is rolling along nicely... but it’s all a big cycle. wait till the next economic crash which is more than likely the time have a use you might be entering.

McTaco

*2007... it’s past my bedtime

Kraye

2007 was a rough time for anyone, Idk how the industry will be like when I would conceivably graduate college in 2025 or 2026.

geezertect

After six years of higher ed., possibly even an Ivy degree(s), you should expect to make what other professionals with similar credentials make. You won't. Check out median earnings of dentists, CPA's, corporate middle managers, etc. They will be way ahead of you.

geezertect

As for the economy, it will always be cyclical. And real estate/construction will always get hit harder than most because it runs on borrowed money. Unemployment offices will always look and smell the same.

LITS4FormZ

Go to salaries.archinect.com for an honest look at compensation. Pick a city where you think you’d like to work and if there are entries you’ll see what architects generally earn. 


Architects compare themselves to engineers, lawyers and doctors because they go through many years of college education, internships and exams. Not exactly apples to apples comparison but that’s how they view themselves. 


All of the posts above show real perspectives. Yes you can carve out a nice living in this profession if you’re willing to take some chances and expand your skill set outside of “architecture.”


That being said, there are a lot of people who struggle and often through no fault of their own in the profession. As has been mentioned above, everything is cyclical. Boom and bust periods will happen and how you make it through the slow times will define your career and livelihood. 







Mar 17, 18 2:24 am
Kraye

I have for a few places I want to possibly go and my own area.. And in what way do you mean "expand" also yes it's very wonky of a business where crashes will break people and their jobs.

ahmad4343

if you are after money then it is not worth it because there are other professions who make double salary than architecture. if you are after your passion then it is worth it. 
however you could consider related professions like project management,  construction management who pays higher than architecture  or bachelor of architecture and master of construction management.  

Mar 17, 18 3:47 am
Kraye

Not bc of money don't worry. I like managing but I'm not sure.. hmmm.

Sir Apple Chrissy

the main thing to keep in mind its a lot of work and don't get sidetracked with the delusion that being really smart will avoid the work. Also don't buy into the religion of "design" it is part of architecture but not the whole thing.  If you dont mind waiting sometimes years for an idea to be fabricated then its not that bad.  Patience is key.


Goos luck

Mar 17, 18 7:29 am
Kraye

Thanks for the goos luck, and ok. I know there's a lot more than simply drawing a "house" sketch and hope the construction workers know what it is. How long has projects taken you approx Pete?

Projects depend on the scope, a retail tenant build out takes a few weeks to a few months from design to finished construction. a restaurant takes longer. The hospital I was working on was 12 year project. It is like a huge game of chess and you have to imagine the future and plan for and around it.

Whether or not it is worth it is only a judgement that you can make. 

Some people invest heavily in education and spend a long time in shitty underpaid jobs trying to pay down big loans. Some easily afford the best schools and don't really need to make money in the profession. Intelligence and ambition are good but no matter how good you are a lot depends on luck. 

An important thing to recognize from the start is that the education is shit in that it does not prepare you to do anything other than enter the workforce as a peon. As such I would advise a non-traditional path that maximizes your experience and practical knowledge before going to arch school. 

You should work construction to see first-hand how buildings are built. You should take life drawing classes and draw every day. You should select architecture schools based on their technical programs, I'm a few decades out but it used to be that a 2 year BS that focused on the technical aspects of architecture was much better than a 4-5 year "arty" education at some fancy design school. The best educational path now seems to be undergrad in a quasi-related area and a masters in Arch. 

There is a significant amount of liability and legal BS attached to a license, and the reality of the regulatory environment often makes the job largely administrative (this is the part I hate). Then there are the kinds of projects available and by extension the kinds of clients. You can read about that here with some searching.

I've barely touched the issues, there is a great deal more than this to learn and the only way you will learn it is by doing it. Keep in mind that you don't have to be licensed or even have an arch degree to design buildings, you just have to a client and put together the team of people necessary to accomplish the necessary responsibilities. 

There is no one path. What matters is that your heart is on the path you're on. If it's not your life will be miserable and you should switch paths immediately. In the end there is nowhere to get to, it's all just a journey.

Mar 17, 18 10:22 am
geezertect

^ Great post.

tintt

See if you can go visit or better yet work in an architect's office this summer. Work construction for at least a summer too. 

Mar 17, 18 12:01 pm
joseffischer

Does anyone's firm actually do this? The only times I've seen a highschooler at the firms I've worked at is when the kid was one of the partners' children/neices/nephews. They never touched redlines or software of any kind. They did grunt work for the admin assistants and got coffee, etc. The ones who would listen or had their eyes open recognized that at a highschool level, they could perform what interns with 4-year bachelors were doing, and connected the dots to understand that the 4-year bachelor interns were being paid highschool level wages. They either recognized that they'd run the company one day because of their name, or recognized that there was no reason to stick around or go into the profession.

tintt

Great response jose. You either figure out if you are privileged enough or that you'd never want to work in an architecture firm. I grew up 90 miles from any sizable city so I never got to see much of anything as a high schooler much less a professional office. Hence the advice (don't do what I did.)

BulgarBlogger

Everyone bitches about money... I once dated a doctor who was bitching that her salary was too low compared to other doctors. She worked at a non profit earning $220k a year and she said many of her peer doctors earned $400k+ a year in the private sector. So its all relative... 

That aside, there are a few different reasons for why most people dont earn that 100k...

1. They are not technically experienced enough. So many people believe that school/college is supposed to teach you enough about everything... wrong! You have to do a lot of self study instead of just making babies and "relaxing" on the weekends.

2. Most people do not understand the importance of making a profit for a business. A professional, by definition is someone who learns a trade so he can make a living off of that trade, be it architecture, law, medicine, engineering, etc. I can't tell you how many people start detailing cabinetry to a level that shop drawings would usually be detailed at. Architects are generally inefficient because many don't understand their contractual obligation. They tend to "overdo" because they think that by "overdoing" they will be limiting their professional liability. Doing enlarged plans showing stud layouts etc. for example is a waste of time and greatly impacts efficiency. Means and methods are the contractor's responsibility!

3. Many people "wing" their software skills while at a firm. They claim to be X on their resume, but they are Y in reality. By the time the firm realizes the employee is "Y" they either can't afford to fire them or they are willing to live or "Get-by" with a sub-par employee- usually blaming it on age...

4. Clients with a lot of money usually don't want to entrust their real estate investment to younger people because they view inexperience as a risk. Therefore, those who are able to bring in work or maintain good relationship and thereby bring in repeat clients are the older staff, and those older staff members are the ones who get paid the "big bucks".


Mar 17, 18 12:31 pm
joseffischer

Shrug, we've got a lot of slow people in the office, and that's a problem. Still, overall, unless you're a PA, I'd expect you to be detailing and setting up sheets according to the firm's standards and the PA's guidelines, and I'd expect the firm to be able to make money off of you. I agree we show way too much, but I've not been sued yet, nor have I had to stand in front of a jury trying to explain my specs and drawings to prove that it wasn't a design flaw. *shrug* I've heard that architects are billed out at $120 and interns at $85. I've also heard that excepting extenuating circumstances, highest ups are billed at $225. These numbers are way lower than billings for doctors, lawyers, etc... so there's only so much efficiency you can squeeze out of those numbers. You're not going to make the formula work out paying a PA $200k and billing him at $150, for instance.

Kraye

I've been looking around (for like months when I have the time) and I'm also wondering, besides all of the moving and citizenship issues, is it worth it trying to move to another country for architecture? 

There's a few countries I have in mind that if I have the opportunity, to try to move to another country. 

If not, is it worth going to like the top top architecture schools (like ivy status) or should I just be looking at pretty good schools (by many standards)  that sometimes won't be costing me tens of thousands of dollars?

Mar 17, 18 3:13 pm
archinine
No. It isn’t. If you like buildings and ever want a normal life go into development, engineering or construction. If you like art and need a living wage and decent career path with options go into graphic design marketing or fashion. Any of those and plenty more pay substantially more than architecture with way less liability, schooling and licensing requirements.
Mar 17, 18 3:58 pm

Honestly, outside of maybe helping you land a job when you get out of school the name of the school doesn't help much. Get as much as you can out of whatever school you end up attending. Honestly this profession is what you make of it. Sure, some are stuck in underpaying jobs and are miserable - yet do nothing about it besides bitch on internet message boards. But others are in jobs they really love, working on projects they really enjoy and making decent money. And, truth be told, architecture does underpay a bit - but that seems to be changing. 50k starting salaries are starting to become the norm, at least in Chicago (based on what I've heard recently). That said, a recession could come and completely wipe that out.

Architecture is what you make of it. You can sell out and make money "designing" Wal-Marts and McDonalds where you are just churning and burning the same sets over and over. You can work for a contractor or on the owner side of things. You can aim to be the designer and work in a boutique firm (these firms are historically known to underpay because of the name on the door - it is a "privilege" to work there kind of thing), but you may be happy working there. It really depends on what you want to do. Personally, I have a decent salary that lets me pay off my bills and save up without being hampered by my student loans, and I enjoy the projects I work on. While I do wish I could work on some of the cool stuff that gets published everywhere, the work I do has a tangible impact on people's lives and that is more important to me. Plus I side-hustle some too. I have a decent work-life balance that allows me to paint (and I make money off my paintings), volunteer with a local neighborhood group, and I also coach Emerging Professionals through the ARE, and I'm involved with the local AIA Chapter. That just barely scratches the surface of what you can do in the profession.

Do I dislike architecture sometimes? Yeah, we all do. Door Hardware schedules suck. Sometimes the GC can really piss you off. Sometimes you're stuck in administrative hell. But.... then you see one of your designs/something you helped design be completed and be an actual, real, tangible building. That part makes all the bad parts worth it. I've had ups and downs in my 6 years post graduation in this profession. I've had times where I didn't want to go to work, and I've had times where I was ready to go because I thought of a great idea the night before and wanted to test it out. I can go on and on, but overall I love what I do and I can't imagine being in any other profession.

TL;DR - don't listen to everything you read on the internet, because it tends to be negative. 

Mar 17, 18 4:03 pm
Kraye

So it’s not 100% worth trying to get into an expensive af college just to say you went there and get the supposedly best architecture education? Also I know no job is overall “ideal” and ensures wealth forever. What style of Architecture do you do that is making you feel mostly good but also can feel annoyed at times?

Go to a school that is teaching and whose student portfolios look like the architecture you are interested in. Many state schools are very good, if you do the 4 +2 route you can get a perspective from two different programs. Take time to figure this out as it is your career and it is worth taking all the time you need to make an informed decision.

joseffischer

The 5 year professional route is really nice for a number of reasons surrounding the scholarship money on the table for undergrads compared to grads, the 1 year less of tuition, and the cost difference for graduate programs vs undergrads. I went to Georgia Tech 4+2 and at the time, didn't even know about Auburn's 5 year professional program. I didn't even decide on architecture until my freshman orientation program. My family is in the construction trades (laborers... first to go to college) and many of the engineering options sounded quite boring. $$ wise, if I wanted to do it over again and stay on the design side, I should have chosen Electrical Engineering, though most programs, gatech included, teach micro electrical engineering (computers) way more than your basics. Also, many EEs end up working for the local power company, designing power stations, etc. In fact, word on the street is your structural engineer, civil engineer, EE, ME, and PE are all basically the C students in school who couldn't get a better/more mainstream roll in their respective trades. YMMV

jamesaleisterbarcelona

What Miles said ^

Go pursue architecture if it's really what you're passionate about. But also be open to pursue other activities that can help you earn extra. I think with the turn of our global economy today, working and earning from one job is somehow not enough. I have colleagues who have moved overseas for bigger salaries, but it's still not enough for them so they put some of it into investments (land, small commercial building projects, stocks, businesses, venture into construction, etc.) while some want to hone their other skills so they take on side jobs different from what they normally do. Also, with bigger salaries come bigger challenges, responsibilities, stress levels, taxes, etc. What's important for them was, with what they earned, their money was growing and moving. We need money to live, but you shouldn't make it the central priority of choosing what you want to do with your life. There are other professions that will let you earn more compared to architecture, but take note all professions succumb to their own (and sometimes shared) hardships so you have to prepare yourself for that as well. In the end, only you can carve your own journey and outcome in this profession. 

Mar 17, 18 4:23 pm
Kraye

Alrightly, I’m thinking on minoring in some business field to be able to eventually make a firm, is that a good idea even if the whole architect job doesn’t go well? One of my family members went to college for Engineering and now is a manager of a big for its purpose place and does fine I think.

jamesaleisterbarcelona

Yes. Taking business subjects or exposing yourself to business/management is always a good route. It's something you're not really exposed to in academe: the business of architecture, whether it's running a firm, real estate, etc. These are things you'll essentially need to know later on. It can help you run a firm, but more so it can help you (knowledgeably) with taking on other ventures as well.

What is "It"?

Mar 17, 18 7:09 pm
geezertect

The sacrifice.

archeyarch

architecture is a fascinating field, but not necessarily one that you would want to make a living from.  Ideally one could could be involved in it for personal enrichment and derive their living from another field, but when you become tied down with crazy deadlines, long hours, lacking pay, then you begin to question it. 

Mar 17, 18 10:57 pm
Kraye

Is is worse than high school stress? (I haven’t had a “breakdown” yet but ppl get very stressful) What is (in your mind) an ideal wage?

geezertect

Yes.  Not that high school is always a day at the beach, but adult stress goes on and on.

Kraye

Ah okk. I also Heard your social skills help a lot if you don’t make good impressions in stuff, you’ll struggle more even if you’re the best designer in town

A lot of people without any talent, skill or much intelligence make it on social skills alone. Reread this entire thread, and do it without looking for answers that reinforce your beliefs.

Volunteer

Do what you like to do, what you can do, and what someone will pay you to do. Fifteen is far too young to zero in on anything. I have been advising somewhat older students to consider civil engineering. It has better pay, more job security, a wider range of specialties, and a more collegial workplace environment.

Mar 18, 18 2:13 pm
geezertect

And more relevance to the real world.  Not just a bunch of architectural cliches that will look dumb, hokey and dated in a few years when the current idioms fall from favor, as they inevitably do.



Kraye

Looked into that too last year we’ll see how it all turns out also geezertect Wdum with your second sentence?

geezertect

Civil engineering involves providing sanitation facilities, potable drinking water, safe bridges, efficient infrastructure, etc. Most of your architectural education will be some type of aesthetic theorizing, which doesn't do the vast majority of people any good. Just a little artsy game. The real world of practice is somewhat more relevant, but a lot of the most important practical things have been farmed out to consultants, because the architects have been brainwashed that anything other than art is just too pedestrian and beneath them. You get this mindset in school and some folks never outgrow it.

joseffischer

I thought we were brainwashed into fearing responsibility and risk. My wife, a civil eng, went the transit route, and except for our conversations, has no idea how buildings/bridges/roads/culverts/etc (transit related or otherwise) work. Instead she can tell you about airport traffic control related issues, bus timing and bus/transit mapping systems, etc. She has fancy charts and specialized software (partly designed by her) to tell her the whens, hows, whys, what-to-dos, etc surrounding any hiccup in a system, say a late or broken down bus, repair schedules on any given plane, etc.

JawkneeMusic

my advice is to find a school in a city that you can get to a community college & learn trades & welding at the same time.

Mar 18, 18 4:44 pm
JawkneeMusic

in addition to arch

JawkneeMusic

It's sad, but there's a law in USA you must have 3 years working for someone when you HAVE a degree, longer if you haven't.

Kraye

Alright I dont Plan to go to community college but instead university. I’ll look into trades and welding possibly
. City is what I aim for because more experience nearby and opportunities for anything

BulgarBlogger

Fifteen is far too young to zero in on anything.

I wholeheartedly disagree. The earlier you learn a trade, the more-likely you'll master it earlier. Otherwise you'll be stuck with a $200k+ debt for a college education you probably won't learn much from and then realize that it is not something you'd want to do for the rest of your life. Get started on something early; don't wait till you're 30 when you'd want to start a family that you'll need to support without knowing what you want to do in life. Promoting this idea that "its too early" bullshit is bullshit. This is why we have lost souls in this country who are still living in daddy's basement.

Mar 18, 18 4:44 pm
Volunteer

I am just saying the poster should consider civil engineering. He can go to the best state schools for $10,000 to $14,000 a year if he is an in-state student. These are schools like Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Purdue University, University of Texas, Texas A&M, University of Wisconsin, ect. Those schools are ranked far higher in engineering than the Ivy's that charge $60,000 at up. Students the poster's age have a variety of interests and abilities they should explore. Pigeonholing himself into a slot as severely-indebted architect cad-monkey is not very wise. Those are precisely the poor graduates who are in their parents' basement.

Kraye

1) I’m a she

Kraye

2) I just Went on a college “road trip” and saw 12 colleges from sunday to today and creating pros and cons. I have time to figure out what exactly but architecture is my start and I know You can do more can just architecture with it if you do it right. But yes it’s true I could Either try for a really expensive school (like USC with a 72k yr cost) or cheaper (public universities or Cali Poly tech ~27k a year? Cost) and could get the exact same education. Als
o ivy in my mind is overrated.

geezertect

$72K a year for an architecture degree is certifiable lunacy. Don't do it.

tintt

Cal poly at Obispo is a good school. Learn as much as you can OUTSIDE of school though too.

Kraye

Yep i know Cal Poly Tech is what I want to get into #1 choice. The average GPA is really high though considering it's over 4.0 and my school doesn't do weighed GPAs.

kraye, we need you in the profession. Period. Full stop. I want to see what you do with Minecraft, in fact I'm excited to see what you do with it, because I've been telling everyone I know, that the Minecraft generation of architects are going to be doing things that no one is thinking about today.


Keep rocking on, rocking out, and take names along the way.

Mar 23, 18 4:27 pm
b3tadine[sutures]

Code like your life depends on it.

Kraye

I go on. creatice servers and build and not many have said that they rlly want to be architects but MC really helps me visualize my build ideas. I draw A front view, and simple floor plans. Build the front and build the outlines for the build and then go from there and try to build something cool. Then if Id want to, redraw the full thing from MC and see how it looks again on drawing. Minecraft is underrated but building on it helps so much despite the blocky limits.

RickB-Astoria

I'm with what Miles said. Remember, there are always people envious of what someone else makes in other occupations that they feel slighted and are pissed they aren't making more money than any person that happened to spent less college to get where they are. They'd be pissed about every person who makes millions of dollars while being a high school drop out. That's their envy and inferiority complex speaking. So take it with a grain of salt. They have an ax to grind and while in part may have been justified by their own experience, it isn't a reflection of every case. Everyone lives a unique life.


Mar 23, 18 5:25 pm
geezertect

But everybody has to eat.

RickB-Astoria

Yeah. However, if you can design to this quality (below), I don't think you should have any problem finding clients willing to pay you what you think you are worth:

I think our problem is we have a lot of garbage but little real skill to design with finesse. Don't design like the Home Depot software. Design like you really give a damn !!!!


accesskb

Seriously, iIf you're already thinking about whether this career is worth it or not and having doubts, I'd say no.  I think one should be extremely passionate about it and have no doubts especially so early on to survive.  Looking back to when I decided to study architecture, I don't think what anyone said or what stats I saw would've changed my mind about going to study architecture.  Money didn't even cross my mind. :D  I was just fascinated by how buildings are constructed and the potential of built structures to enhance human experience and life. My advice - go travel and experience some historic cities if you haven't.  See if that inspires you first.

Mar 23, 18 6:28 pm
Kraye

Oh I’ve been reading all these msgs and the bad rllydont get to me and I’ve heard worse and I’ve seen the best my mind still hasn’t changed my mind on not doing it. But Id like to thank everyone in the thread with their viewpoint on Architecture so I see The best worse happiest and saddest etc. seeing other points of views have helped me a lot and my mind Is still the same. All now is for me to decide my style and on this trip seeing the college architecture styles I’ve seen what I like, dislike and now trying to think of “styles” to I guess “Master” to make me unique to other architects

RickB-Astoria

accesskb, this is the 21st century with so many different occupational tracks that exist. Several dozen were created in the last 40 years with the advent of microcomputers. I maybe understating it. Therefore, there is going to be doubt because every 15 year old will have a generic set of skills and yet also have multiple interests that they may pursue. I can guarantee you that at least half the architects and designers here have had multiple interests which they can have seen themselves doing as a career. At some point, you had to choose. I can guarantee you that 3/4 of the people saying they always knew they'll be an architect as a child isn't being completely honest. They always knew they wanted to be numerous professions as children. They always knew they wanted to be a police man. They always knew they wanted to be a judge.... a lawyer, a doctor, ..... the list goes on. It is the whole journey that lead you into a direction.... eventually, you have to pick a career..... pick major.... pick a college/university, and so on. It was a journey of decisions made not something you through precognition and a crystal ball knew what you'll be. If you had that precognitive power, you might have chosen a better paying job or career.

Kraye

Fate, luck, others, and your own choosing help shape your path. I didnt even know Architecture was a huge career till 2 years ago when my friends parent mentioned they hired an architect to make their incredible house (and really expensive). And there’s some clues in photos of my interests in design and buildings. But I’ve always wanted something related to STEM and technically architecture if you look at it properly is a STEAM.

geezertect

Architecture is a Steam? You mean it's vaporous. I agree.

TrogIodytarum

Architecture is technically a STEM designated degree. Whether or not it deserves such a designation is up for debate... but if you're going to say "technically" it is not a STEM.. well, you're just plain wrong.

Kraye

STEAM = Science Technology Engineering (Art) and Mathematics. I said STEAM since there's some art aspect in it.

accesskb

If STEM is what you're interested in, make sure you pick the right school. Sure, most architecture schools involve STEM to some degree but its very basic. Engineers would think its a joke. Not to say there aren't architectural school that aren't heavily STEM focused.

TrogIodytarum

That's great that you decided that Architecture is STEAM. But according to the US government Architecture is TECHNICALLY a STEM degree. Go look it up you bloody imbecile.

Kraye

Alright it's STEM. Some camps have called it STEAM so I assumed. And yeah some schools are more design focused than the actual structure being stable.

jla-x

It’s impossible to ask others if something is “worth” it, and also impossible to know enough about yourself at your age to determine that.  My advice to any young person, go to undergrad and get a degree in something that is relevant to other fields, then if you still want to do architecture enroll in a 3 year masters program.  Along the way, shadow an architect for a few weeks, read all that you can, take some art classes, some arch electives, and THINK about what you want out of life.  Money is important, but not enough.  Happiness is not enough either.  Think about what will fulfill you, give your life purpose, and provide the stability or flexibility to do the things that you want.   Fulfillment and Purpose are the things that keep you going as life shits on you over and over again....

Mar 24, 18 11:11 am
BulgarBlogger

Read a book called “Mastery” by Robert Greene

Mar 24, 18 11:40 am
Kraye

I'll look it up

Sean!

I think architecture is great major. I also think the design and construction industry is full of great professional opportunities. 


Keep in mind if you choose to take the traditional architecture path there are a lot of choices. You can work for a big global firm or a small firm, you can do core and shell, houses, or interior fit-outs and everything in between. Also there’s a lot of diversity in roles, you can do design work, you can do more technical roles. You can work out in the field with the contractors. 


But there are a lot of other “non-traditional” paths you can choose. You can work for: 
A developer 
As an owners rep
For an engineering firm
For a specialty consultant 
For a construction firm 
A strategy consulting firm 
The government 
For a start up
Also, almost every Fortune 500 company has a in-house design and construction department. I could keep going...


I really enjoy what I do. I found the career path that works best for me. But no matter what career you choose here’s some advice:
Build a solid network and cultivate it.
Find people in roles/ jobs that you’re interested and ask how they got there.
Keep a positive attitude and have fun.


Good luck! 

Mar 24, 18 12:33 pm
Kraye

Also one random question: I'm thinking of learning a language or two to be able to at least carry out a conversation. I'm going to learn Korean and maybe re-pick up Spanish. What else should I maybe look into and would it benefit me in the field to know other languages if I were to try to go global?

Mar 24, 18 3:12 pm
tintt

Yes. There are good opportunities for western trained architects in other countries.

randomised

Seems like you've got a plan and are preparing yourself. Just go for it, give it a try, life's too short to only work for the money, let's say you'll be working 40 hrs a week for 40 years among people that you despise doing something you hate just because of the pay, I'd shoot myself.  My god, you're already thinking about specific subjects etc. you don't want to know what I was doing at your age. Godspeed! Oh and travel, travel as much as possible!

Mar 24, 18 3:21 pm
Kraye

Been starting one since about last year. But I'm only a freshman right now so I have time to get stuff set up to tackle the world. Stuff may change by then but young age is still a thing, so I must wait and only practice, watch, and do camps if anything.

the question is:


Is your life worth architecture?

Mar 25, 18 8:58 am
Rusty!

If I had a 15 year old child that wanted to go into Architecture, I would work really hard with them to figure out what exceptional talents and interests they have and push them into that direction. Away from Architecture, of course.

But if they showed basic competence and interest in a bunch of things while not being great at any single one of them, then yes. Architecture is a feasible path.

Architecture will pay well and will be a rewarding profession for 'master of none' types. Just be competent in a whole bunch of things. Sounds easy, but is hard.

Barely competent people who are self aware will work hard for everything until they are totally meeting basic threshold of competency. This is what makes for a good architect these days.

Mar 25, 18 2:52 pm
Kraye

So it's better to be an "Overall" architect than a "Specialized mostly to one style" one?

"Basic threshold of competency" - something around the level of being able to dress yourself. A bonus it you can tie your own shoes.

"""1991"

Architecture isn't about "style"



tintt

Architecture school is just the A. You have to bring the STEM. 

Mar 25, 18 8:02 pm
Kraye

So my plan of taking more STEM camps instead of design camps is a good plan? I also do robotics at my school and has helped my building, design, and electronics abilities.

tintt

What is design camp? Robotics is good. Learning to think is good.

Kraye

there's design camps offered for high schoolers where you learn color schemes and stuff. It sounded something I could do on my own so I chose an actual STEM camp instead with design challenges using STEM and I've done them since I was in about 3rd grade

tintt

Like I said, visit an architect’s office if you are serious about it. And work construction for at least one summer. Get a job to help pay for college, build a work history and work ethic.

YourYoureYore

if you are willing to endure a lifelong delusion that idealism is worth completely sacrificing your own subsistence, go for it.


My old friends that dicked around in high school and schlubbed thru the next 6 years now have 10x nicer homes and cars and will actually retire one day. If that sounds fun to you, have at it.



Mar 25, 18 9:34 pm
Kraye

Can you rephrase this comment? I'm confused.

Sir Apple Chrissy

Dont believe the "design" hype...

Kraye

Oh ok. I knew that

RickB-Astoria

Why are you in this profession YourYoureYore? The reason they make more money is they are in a job that moves more capital and generates far larger account receivables than what you are doing. Does your work bring in $100 Million in account receivables a quarter? Are you financially valuable? No. Then maybe it is the nature of your work. You are a in a professional service establishment not a commodity (product) manufacturing and sales business. In other words, you are in the wrong kind of business if making a million dollar salary is what you want to make. The reason they can get this is their job and occupation is capitalized. It is probably because they are in a job or occupation that is directly capitalized by venture capitalism and they are directly connected to venture capitalists and investors. When was the last time you connected with venture capitalists? Never? Probably why. Your firm probably never been associated with venture capitalist except via through your firm's client. You aren't developing. You are just a pawn position is the development cycle. It is like being a software architect or senior programmer vs being the owner of a large software development company. You're just a pawn but it is the developer (the owners of the development company) that makes the money. They have the financial skin in the game of the development. You are just a hired goon to draw the pictures. Do note that in this age with tech industry, real estate development is not as attractive for investment by VCs as technology. The ROI cycle is longer than desired because the shorter the cycle, the happier VCs are because they make in return what they put in sooner and get more financial value because over time, every dollar invested loses its value due to inflation and in turn what they could buy for what they initially invested diminishes. 1950s, you can by a candy bar for 5 cents. Now, you would have to pay $1.00 for the same candy bar. Tech industry tends to make more than double the original investment value in the same or less time frame it takes to break even on real estate development. It is for these kinds of reason that person is able to afford such a nice home and cars because they are in such a position in an occupation that puts them closer to the big money business. If you aren't then you are not that important and therefore not financially valued because you aren't producing money for the business. You're just an expense to them or at least your firm is. Therefore, you are just a temp expense and your firm isn't going to have any real leverage to get more pay and in turn you aren't going to be able to be paid luxurious pay. You knew this coming in or early on. Therefore, why on Earth are you in this profession if you are more concerned about being able to afford a yacht, Kardashian scale homes, and luxury cars? If that is what you wanted, this is not that kind of profession. It is not financially valued. Well to do is possible but becoming a Rockefeller by being an architect..... good luck. It's not the norm. If you want to earn millions of dollars, choose something else. 

I think Kraye should have this understood by now with what is said. Maybe not understand everything I am saying here but understand the basics that architecture is not typically a business that is high on the financial tier and tends to not result in huge revenues. High million dollar salaries is not normal in this field that is not typically of international scale corporations. They are usually smaller local to regional and maybe national scale businesses. They are usually not producing products so there isn't a lot of venture capitalist investment into architectural services or any service oriented business. There has to be a product. VCs/Investors are interested in a product.... a commodity. Be it a smart phone, a computer, a software, or a building (land development). We maybe a business that facilitates parts of land development but often we are not the developer business. We are just a contracted agent to the developer. The investors invests in the developer not the developer's contracted agent. It is the business model structural differences and how the cash flows from the rich people with money through investment to generate money. Rich people with money are looking to turn over the money they invested to earn even more money. Investment in a development is determined by a process called pro forma. If the pro forma 'pencils out', they invest otherwise, they put that investment elsewhere. No one is doing this just to make back what they invested. No sense in tying up that money for years unless you make back more.... hence the reward.

YourYoureYore

You just typed a whole load of nonsense. No where did I mention wanting to make a million dollars. I said if you want to be able to retire and not live in a shanty (unless your partner makes money), don't become an architect.

Kraye

Rick’s paragraph is confusing because well of course architects aren’t making millions. Lawyers and doctors and successful business owners do. There’s the top in every career that make tons while others don’t pay well. Area does vary and since architecture is mainly in the city the costs are more expensive. I know this stuff. If anything it takes time to get high salaries. Also sclubbed? Is that work their butts off in college?

randomised
FEATURED COMMENT

"Rick’s paragraph is confusing"
randomised

;)

RickB-Astoria

Lawyers keeps their clients from going to prison or otherwise save their client a lot of money when they are being sued. Doctors keep their patients alive (if they can). Aside from the very first two actual legally protected professions in the history of the United States, the rest of us aren't that important because we are not the top of the totem pole when it comes to life, liberty, and property. Doctors and Lawyers are top of the totem pole in at least life, liberty and property. As for us, we are for luxury and vanity and not any particular necessity. People don't absolutely need buildings. Humans lived 2 Million years and over 1.8 Million years, humans have done so without buildings or any kind of monument. Our profession began with civilization and the rise of kings (or similar roles)..... okay... eccentric rulers that wanted edifices as monuments in their name whether it be for a pyramid or some other edifice. Then sometime later, the United States came to being where the people are the kings and queens and all wanted to edifices in their name and a birth of architectural profession as we know it today as began to take place in the U.S. Of course, it began a little earlier but not too far back. Architects were traditionally a servant of the ruler. Youryoureyore, you are too concerned about what others are making in other profession. That's envy.... a form of greed. You want more and more but it is implied that these people are making like millions. Maybe, if you stop being a pawn of a pawn, you might actually earn some money. Fix your situation. If you don't want to do that in architecture, change career.

YourYoureYore

A. Lawyers don't make millions. I doubt even partners do. Associates might make $100-150k. Graduates are barely getting hired. B. If you are in the business of just making pretty things you are an absolutely crappy architect. Gehry and Zaha (RIP) fit in this category. Good architects protect quite a few lives. C. I'm not going to argue with you that we may not be needed, but to say humans don't need buildings is one of the dumbest sentences I've ever read. Buildings would rank in the top 3 of things humans need. Food and water being the first two. Humans don't need iPhone but people developing them and selling them are quite wealthy. Humans don't need facebook. Humans don't need cars. Should I go on? Left outside of the supervision of an architect you get shitty unsafe buildings that may or may not function as intended. You know how many contractors truly care about code violations if they can get away with it? You know how many inspectors actually inspect? You know how many engineers give a damn about the design outside of thwir own incredibly specific role? RickB is the utter definition of what is wrong with the profession. He's reduced us to pretty picture drawers. If we could force his kind out of the profession (if he is ev
en actually a licensed architect ) we would be much better off.

Kraye

Ok that’s makes way more sense and more logical. Also compared to many counties people are very money driven in the US. From what I’ve seen, Architecture makes a great salary average for a single person, but for a family of four ~75k isn’t that good. As long as I’m able to have a liveable salary, I’m down for architecture.

RickB-Astoria

True.... most lawyers don't make millions of dollars. It's really an exception but the point is you want to be paid equally but you are not that important. The fact is people in general view architects as just picture drawers because you don't build the building. You hand off a stack of 24x36 construction documents (mostly technical drawings with specifications) but you don't actually partake in putting the building together. At least the software guys produce a product. What is your product? People don't want drawings. They want buildings. That is why you are not valued. You aren't the guy that delivers what the client wants. You are just an inconvenience they have to spend money on to get the permit. Why? They rather just put their money in the building not paying some person $100K+ just for drawings. You know the paper is cheap compared to the building. To them, they just don't get why they should be spending 7% or so of the project cost on a person whose end product is drawings. That is how clients view it. I'm presenting the perspective of the client. How do you respond to a client who views you as nothing more than a picture drawer. If the answer you given is what you give a client then it is no wonder why you don't get paid well or the client walks and leaves you hanging. Buildings are not human 'needs'. They are human desires. You don't need buildings for classrooms. You don't need buildings to live in. It's a luxury that your "entitlement" attitude mistakes a desire that has always been a desire for 2 MILLION years. Buildings are just artificial shelters so you can get out of the rain and inclement weather that have been made use of for being an indoor space for activities that can just as well be outdoor. Houses aren't absolute needs. People can live and in apartments, caves, etc. They been living in natural shelters for over 1 million years before there was ever a building built by human hands. Yes, humans don't need iphone, facebook, and anything else that is artificial. If it is man-made, it is a luxury. Humans spent over a million years living in natural shelters before they began building permanent or long-term structures to reside in. People weren't building permanent structures until they started forming civilizations instead of being hunters & gatherers on the constant move following the migration of the animals they ate. Long before there was architects, people built their own structures. Vernacular. Architect as an occupation began as a pawn of rulers to make edifices. In the early days, architect was an experience builder. Basically, it meant master builder or chielf-builder. Usually a highly experienced craftsman of multiple disciplines of crafts who understood how to coordinate a team of craftsmen. They were the design-builder. It wasn't until the Renaissance time frame when architects began to divorce their builder side to be a separate "design" profession instead of one that was of the crafts trade. Eventually, we have artists not real architects. A real architect is a builder not just an artist. If you can build and use the art and science of architecture as well as the hands on craft of architecture..... then you really are an architect.

YourYoureYore

RickB, I hate to say this (actually I don't) but you are nothing more than a long winded buffoon. Society ceases to exist as we know it without buildings. A lot of my clients couldn't even figure out a 13x20 room renovation without an architect. Sure the contractor could come in and give them 1/4 of what they needed, but who wants that? Again, only bad architects aren't involved in the construction phase. Most contractors are barely anymore either. They are brokers. You know who is actually doing the construction? A guy getting paid minimum wage or the minimum amount the government says he is allowed on a scale job. THOSE are the dudes we need to be praising. I mean... they're building the building. Let's give them all the credit. Furthermore, nobody bats an eye at paying realtors 6%. F***ING realtors. Somebody that an Internet search and $500 contractual attorney fee should have put out of business 20 years ago but they still make bank. Your ramblings are nonsensical. You seem to have little grasp of the profession or the construction industry in general. The only thing you have going for you is hopefully you are discouraging this poor teenage soul to avoid this doomed profession like the plague. Now get lost.

RickB-Astoria

Society: So what? What good is it? 13 x 20 Room Renovation: Architects aren't usually involved in construction phase on SFR projects. A) The liability insurance cost, B) the headache, C) It isn't required, and D) Clients aren't willing to pay for $250/hr. for doing that when they are already paying a contractor to do so. In Oregon, it isn't required and clients don't pay for it. When was the last time you framed a wall, install insulation, nail plywood or other sheathing to the building, or any other part of construction, yourself. Because the realtor is the agent for sale and purchase of real estate. In other words, the job directly produces a tangible result that their client wants. You're real estate agent argument is really a red herring. No one really wants a bunch of construction documents. It's not wanted or desired that the home, the building. People aren't interested in a bunch of drawings which is the only tangible part of your service for a service. Why don't you get your contractor's license and build it. BTW: I know many of the contractors (the guy with the construction contractor license) are not experienced with construction. Many are just business people or 'brokers' as you say or a CM. They are not the 'bags on' contractor. Usually the handyman and specialty contractors are more hands on. How about be the GC in addition to your basic architect license and have actual control over the trades and the outcome but that means you have to be on site more frequently than is typical for an architect. Architects aren't usually there on a daily or near daily basis except maybe a bigger campus project. If you are a GC, you probably need to be on-site on a near daily basis even for a residential project.

RickB-Astoria

Construction observation visit is not taking responsible charge of construction. You're there maybe less often than the building inspectors from the city. https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=191830 ---- Oregon architects are not required to observe the construction of single-family residential projects. Observation is not construction supervision. Those terms have been removed over the years. Observing construction means general administration of contracts and interpretation of the construction documents (example: Contractor calls, what does this mean on the drawing, you explain it), review shop drawings, samples, and other submittals. That is is they submit them to you to review. Then run a punch-list to determine substantial completion. By that time, a lot can be enclosed and sealed up so you can't really check every stud, joist, nail fastening, and so forth (the list is too long). There just isn't actual construction supervision done by architects in Oregon. You're not there supervising the construction crew. You're not there supervising every stud, nail, header, sill plate, anchor bolt, rafter, ceiling and floor joists, collar tie, and so forth during framing. You're not supervising the installation of plumbing. You're not supervising the electrical installation. There is so much, you really aren't doing. This is why the term construction supervision was dropped and terms like construction observation and contract administration is used. It's not the same as construction supervision. Architects used to do that, literally because Architect was the GC as well. There wasn't a separate Architect & GC profession. Architects were in charge of both the design and the construction of buildings. They brought together the trades be it masons, rough & finish carpenters, etc. The trades were sub-contracted to the Architect. The Architect wasn't just a designer but also what we call a contractor these days. You formed the construction team. You coordinated the work done in a systematic & methodical order. You did all that. Construction observation is a joke compared to what it used to be.

SpontaneousCombustion

Periodic observation and contract administration are two different things, per AIA contract definitions. You're throwing a lot of CA tasks into the Balkins definition of "observation". Just be aware that the Balkins definition doesn't equal the AIA definition, and you're the only one using the former.

RickB-Astoria

AIA contracts are not statutory or regulatory requirements. Architects don't usually use AIA contracts for single family residential projects and remodels of rooms within such buildings. The AIA contract terminology is not law or administrative rule of the licensing board. Contract Administration is not what Oregon Administrative rules uses. OAR is what Oregon architects are required to do. AIA contracts are not a required contract to be used by architects on SFRs. Most clients for small projects don't even stipulate the kind of contract to use.

AIA contracts only dates after 1853. The current version isn't even a century old. 


Kraye

Ok let's not fight thanks. But Rick, what you're saying SEEMS like you either aren't an architect or just hate the profession. You seem to support with government names and numbers. Maybe Oregon has a different way and don't make as much as other states do. But, thanks for a viewpoint with statics (that I don't know where they came from).

RickB-Astoria

I'm not a licensed architect. I am a building designer that offers architectural services in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark and "building design" services in the United States. Those countries don't have the licensing boards that we have in the United States. Most states do have exemption from licensing requirements for residential projects and in some states, they also exempt small commercial projects. The statistics comes from a variety of sources so it's ballparked or rounded off. What you make depends on what kind of projects that you work on. Residential projects tends to pay less than commercial projects. The operative word is 'tend' in that it isn't an absolute. Location will also effect your clientele and what they are able to afford. Don't kid yourself, I don't hate the profession. If I did, I wouldn't be in this business. I do hate the attitude of some licensed architects have against building designers. You might wonder what is an architect vs a building designer and the rift. This is a long story spanning decades and multiple generations. They both provide very similar services which are nearly identical when it comes to projects that both can legally do. Colloquially, you might say a building designer is sort of an "unlicensed architect". Those of us who does it legally do not use the architect title except where it is legal to use. You have to know how the nuance of law and jurisdictions begin and end and word things very carefully. If not, you can get into a tricky situation with licensing boards. Building designers do have the burden of being careful about use of title. Since architects and building designers can often work on similar projects, especially architects that focuses on residential projects and building designers (sometimes called residential designers or home designers).... due to this overlap, there is often a rift and animosity between the two professions. These two professions sort of hate each other... well sort of. Especially during big recessions like what we experienced not that many years ago. It's still fresh in our memories.

jla-x

Kraye, ever see The Goonies? Rick is from that town.

YourYoureYore

Good Lord. We have a guy without a license and probably without a traditional architectural educational track trying to define the profession. Like I said earlier, get lost. You are nothing but hot air and bulls***

kjdt

Kraye: Richard is only a "building designer" in his imagination. He is 36 years old, now in his 18th year of community college, and has never designed any building that has been built.

jla-x

He went looking for the pirate treasure when he was a kid and fell down a well. He’s never been right since.

Kraye

Let's not cyberbully here please, do that in the DMs if anything. But Rick, great summary of something I've never heard of. Glad for YoureYoureYore and Rick's POV on the idea and career of architecture.

RickB-Astoria

kjdt, The projects I work on mostly are involves existing buildings so it's involves additions, accessory structures, and renovation type work. A lot of the work is interior work. What do you expect in an area that is predominately about historic preservation. People don't move to Astoria to build new buildings. It is not the kind of architectural / building design services they want. Get with it. People don't want Frank Gehry's kind of crap here. That is what you're taught to design.

RickB-Astoria

While my house may have an assessed value of around $200K but if you were to have a new house designed and built with the craftsmanship of my house, it would be north of $1 million. Possibly over $2 Million. It's kind of hard to get that kind of craftsmanship these day and get people willing to put that kind of money. In the 1870s, some of the wood work was mass milled but these days we don't have those production mills so it has to be custom made from scratch. That's comes with a premium price. In order to do balloon frame, I would be calling for 4x6 not 2x6 because the lumber from the lumber yard comes from 50 year old tree not the 500+ year old trees. The lumber does not have the tight high straight grains hence the tend to warp down the length. It's not good for balloon frame construction. 4x members is think enough to keep the studs straight over a 16- to 20-ft. length. This could mean the building would come at a higher cost to frame in material cost than 2x members. Construction of this craftsmanship level is built to last 100 years not 20 or 30 years. When a client only has

tintt

You know what’s a goog job? A locksmith. $75 for 9 seconds of work.


Mar 26, 18 7:00 am
randomised

Wow that's 30,000 per hr!

Non Sequitur

60 million a year. Ain't bad work if you can get it.

RickB-Astoria

It's probably $75 an hour (the billed hour) and they get paid in whole hourly units of time even if the job took less than an hour. Kind of like the engineers. They aren't dicing up the hourly pay to the seconds or minutes. They appoint an hour in case the job took longer. It's like the computer guy bills you an hour even if the job at hand was only a 2 to 3 minute fix to the computer. 

Kraye

Aha I’ll just profession in locks and work every single second on locks. Love the humor

joseffischer

Hardware specifier. I meet maybe 1 out of every 100 architects who know how to do hardware specs and don't want to blow their brains out afterwards. I happen to like them, but our firm refuses to allow it done in-house.

tintt

Anything specialized makes good money. Being a generalist is fun but you pay for the privilege.

Kraye, I think the best thing to do now is for you to take a day and shadow an architect (not a firm leader but a mid level person) and see if what they do on a typical day is something you can see yourself doing. 

As for the career choice, the pay is not huge but we get paid and if you are in someplace with reasonable housing cost, like Chicago and not a coastal city you can have a decent life new car and a home on an architect's salary. This may not be so easy in New York or San Francisco but it is possible, and you don't have to be pigeonholed. But a lot of our day to day work, is for some, boring and we have to ultimately fulfill a client's needs which can be frustrating at times. The work I do in architecture is mostly solving  a series of problems to meet code and budget budget constraints I make enough money to have a new car, and a condo in the city a few block from the lake on the far north side. When I'm working on a design problem, crawling around an old warehouse to figure out how our design team can convert it to a clinic I lose track of time and have so much fun figuring out the complex 3d 4d puzzle that is a design project.

Any local AIA chapter can help you arrange a job shadow or at least give you a few names and an introduction.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Mar 26, 18 9:51 am
Kraye

Thanks great summary with the pros and cons. I hope To shadow sometime before senior year. Maybe like 3 people would be the best to see different perspectives of the top middle and right out of school

b3tadine[sutures]

I'm going to advise NOT shadowing an architect. It'll suck the life out of you.

RickB-Astoria

The person is 15 so a summer job shadow between 2-3 architects might be okay.... not unpaid internship. Advice to Kraye, don't do unpaid internship unless it is college academic assignment to fulfill a degree requirement (if there are any such requirement) for a term. Do NOT accept unpaid internship.... otherwise. It is just a con job to basically get slave labor because there is so many firms who really do violate the law because you would actually be doing something that otherwise would be assigned to employees to do. IN SHORT, UNLESS FOR A SPECIFIC DEGREE REQUIREMENT, DO NOT ACCEPT OFFERS TO DO UNPAID INTERNSHIP. You are worth too much for that. This is something to watch out for. Others have complained about it here and it is something that I don't recall being mentioned but it is worth letting you know now and be cautious about if you make a career in architecture.

Kraye

Why would people accept unpaid internships, they need to pay for college. I guess some just are so eager to get a job ASAP instead of researching more. Also, I've already had 1 person who's an architect asked if I wanted to see a daily life of theirs, which I haven't done, but I might ask my parents about it to do this summer when I have the time.

RickB-Astoria

Spot on... Kraye.... as long as it is very contained to a defined duration. A couple hours or so a week seeing different aspect with only minor moments of assisting. For example, the architect is going to present at a town hall meeting, helping out setting up the poster boards and tripod and what not is okay. It's just helping where you can. Lets say the architect is going to the job site to measure, it is okay to help measure by holding one end of the measuring tape at a particular spot. Momentary assistance while job shadowing is a non-issue and really just being a cool person instead of being just an observer. While job shadowing is primarily observing how the job or career is done but do be willing to lend a hand when it can be useful or helpful. You're not really there to 'work' but helping or lending an hand when it can be helpful is just being a decent person. It can be as simple as opening the door ahead seeing the architects hands are full.

BulgarBlogger

People get paid shit because there are way too many people in this profession that never should have made it. As much as we bitch and moan about the licensing requirements - these requirements are waayyyy too lax. Yes, we can debate whether or not the free market will figure things out for you, but at the end of the day - those who are too incompetent to undertake the liability undercut those who are prepared to take on the liability because legally both can call themselves Architects. This makes those who know what they are doing unable to compete financially with those who don't know what they are doing... We ought to really re-establish the dignity of this profession by strengthening the overall competency of our workforce... there are so many people who know ZERO about construction... 

Mar 26, 18 5:39 pm
Kraye

Ah so some don't know what their doing. I've seen that with 2 story homes being built around me for 800k-1m in a 200k-400k ramblers neighborhoods and the houses are from this really bad team that just plop houses everywhere. They look nice, sometimes, but they have so many technical issues with plumbing and electricity. The young new families with these homes keep having plumbers and electricians come over and fix things every 6 months. It's ridiculous and I wish better homes were being built or at least with better quality for their money. Also I should get licensed when them time comes right?

BulgarBlogger

Let me put it this way: Being licensed is about knowing what a CPM Chart is... being an architect is knowing how to put one together... you may be licensed, but the question is whether you can apply your knowledge to put together a building in a successful way - architecturally, financially, and in a way that doesn't cause problems down the road. 

Mar 26, 18 6:28 pm
RickB-Astoria

There is actually multiple diagrams used for the critical path method analysis process. 

Kraye: It maybe a CPA (Critical Path Analysis) or PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique). Then there is the Gantt Chart. The Gantt chart is a universal and common project task scheduling tool whether you use a CPM or not. When using a CPM, the Gantt chart would be produced representing the project scheduling derived from the determined critical path. They all serve to visualize project scheduling in different ways. The CPA or PERT charts are useful for visualizing concurrent activities. The purpose is to optimize project schedule for cost and project duration because the longer the project takes to completion almost always it means the cost increases. 


shellarchitect

THANKS RICK!

mapoz

Kraye, studying architecture was the hardest thing I've ever done, and likely that you'll ever do. (I did very well, so it's not because of that. Plus architecture at university was way harder than actually working as an architect.) Architecture is an excellent education in the design, art, culture and the finer things in life and can be very interesting, but IMHO it is a terrible business - and you can't afford any of those finer things, frustratingly. 
Architects routinely compete on fees, and it's often a 'race to the bottom' - which means lousy pay for everyone, all things considered. Worse - we were all told this in the first week of architecture school, and we all ignored it.
I began law school part time after several years as an architect, to better understand contracts and improve my project management abilities. It was, comparatively, a breeze. I met some construction lawyers (they exist!) and (short version) with encouragement, changed careers. My first year starting law salary was 250% of my 10+ year experienced, senior architect salary, and it went up every year after that. 
If you love the idea of building, then do it. I don't regret having been an architect - but am equally glad I'm no longer one. Most architects can make a living (~ better than a teacher), a few do pretty well, and a very select few do better. IMHO, you can live well enough in a smaller or cheaper city, but will starve in the big cities where the biggest work is. 
By all means, shadow an architect - for the same reason  b3tadine [sutures] said not to. 

Mar 27, 18 3:31 pm
Kraye

Yep, I've watched a few videos of "Architecture Students Youtubers" and many say it's very busy and the whole time I'm like, this is a lot like my SS and english classes. It can be super hard, intense, and time consuming, but once you're done, everything will be easier and you'll be more prepared. And if it all goes bad, I could go for another career and do something else, my parent went for engineering and never used their degree for their current job and has a stable salary... I think. I don't want to live in Cali (forever) or NY, if it goes well I'd come back to my city right now and help it grow and architects do quite well here (more on the residence aspect I think.) That's cool you turned to becoming a Lawyer and shows you can still change careers even if you go for college in your 18s-22s for one degree, you can go back for a different one.

sameolddoctor

Best thing i learnt today is to "ignore" Rick B and his verbal diarrhea.

Mar 27, 18 3:33 pm
jla-x

I try, but I’m a rubbernect.

geezertect

shows you can still change careers even if you go for college in your 18s-22s for one degree, you can go back for a different one.

Yes, but it's a lot easier to just pick the right career to begin with.

Mar 27, 18 9:26 pm
archi_dude

But you can never get back all the potentially awesome experiences in college denied when spending all nighters in studio.

tintt

You suggest there is a thing as a "right career". Wouldn't that be nice. I don't think it exists.

geezertect

No such thing as a perfect career, but some are definitely better than others.

archi_dude

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CVEuPmVAb8o


The link above has some solid advice. There’s two parts to choosing your career. Is it in demand? And are you good at it? If either of those are missing your career will be way more difficult than other pastures. You may actually be the best designer but honestly a large firm only needs one designer but lots of drafters. Many many people get stuck as drafters and follow this dogma that you must suffer manny many years before being given the gift of designing. Or you could get a solid career with many options like a civil engineer or computer engineer (as long as you are good at it) and if you are still passionate at design save your money which you’ll make way more of in a field with many opportunities and build your own house, flip houses, hell design on the side. Architecture is a great amazing hobby but a lowsy career. I mean historically if you look at “architects” during the Renaissance it was their hobby, something born out of their actually vocation.

Mar 27, 18 10:06 pm
RickB-Astoria

Why is it a lousy career? Can you identify what is wrong with the career without bullshit ad hominem against individuals that some on this forum quickly jumps to. The problems began before me and will still be around if the problems unless identified and actual course of actions are made to change the way the career operates. If it is more appropriate post a new thread on the topic and reference it in reply. Before actual course of action can be made, we need to ideate what the issues and how to fix it. There needs to be a good solid discourse on this by all of us stakeholders in this field. There maybe some things you can individually do to make a good career out of it but what can be done to make the profession a good career?

archi_dude

Rick,

archi_dude

There isn’t enough demand for arranging facade elements in a stylish manner.

Kraye

I just watched the whole video, it's a very true fact passion and abilities are two different things and abilities are more important. You don't know if I want to go traditional or not, maybe I'll go another way, I have 3 different possible path plans and maybe 1 is traditional. Architecture is very competitive, i know, you need the skills more than the passion. But you need also willingness, you can be an AMAZING uh debater, but you would rather go into something that doesn't involve speaking. Or love science but never want to go into that field. There's many factors and going another way can be the key i've heard, but it depends. It's not lousy but if you go the wrong way, like in any job, you go into a hell hole.

randomised

"There isn’t enough demand for arranging facade elements in a stylish manner."

I haven't arranged facade elements in quite a while, don't miss it one bit. What I miss least about it is that certain arrangements are disqualified simply because "that's not how we like it", or, "we don't do symmetry" or "we don't do asymmetry" etc.

RickB-Astoria

"There isn’t enough demand for arranging facade elements in a stylish manner." 

I would have expected this argument as more of a general lack of demand. However, that's a first expressed that way. If you are promoting yourself that way in the U.S. Contemporary I can see why the demand is low. United States culture does not value art as strongly as.... say...Europe. Therefore, you are not going to appeal to artistic interests because they are more interested in math, science, and dollars & cents, and their own personal desires than they are about art tradition. I have heard & read the arguments of "lack of demand" many times before but demand is an effect.... a by-product of one or more source reasons. Saying there isn't enough demand isn't diving into the "problem" and fixing it. As a building designer, my emphasis is more about solving problems or design challenges and creating solutions to them. My ethos is akin to some aspects of the form follows function. Not the (less is more..... strip the decor) but more about designing solutions (form) to address functional needs. For me, function is more than utilitarian, though. Function is utilitas, venustas, and firmitas. That is what it is for me. 

This post will be lengthy because of multiple points.

In the past on another forum (I believe on LinkedIn), there was this debate about demand and complaints about it. However, demand that you sense is only going to be from your perspective and often from local conditions. I pointed out before that root issues are numerous but among them is migratory activities. You might ponder in your head.... migration? What does that have to do with anything? 

Do note: I am not talking so much about migration from other countries to the United States or from the United States to other countries. They usually represent a small fraction of the overall migration or movement of people. I'm talking more about the migration or movement of people within the United States. Are more people moving to your community or are more people moving away from the community or is it more of an equal balance?

Sure, there are people who pass away but that all will effect the numbers. Understanding the migration patterns for at least the past 5 or 10 years but longer pattern cycles can be useful but for your day to day business, you would want a sense of the current (or as close to it as possible and make a guess of how things are going over the next 6 months. Migration is fixed or static by any means. You have to keep up with the pattern. 

What does the migration status matter to architects (designers included)? It matters in that it can guide you on what areas of services you want to emphasize or promote. If your community is more neutral (net balance between those immigrating and emigrating from your community being close to equal balance), you might want to focus on services towards existing structures. If your community is experiencing more people moving away than moving to the community (by a significant amount), you may want to cast your services across a wider geographic area or possibly move. If your community is experiencing more people coming to the community than they are leaving at some point, the demand for new construction would possibly increase. It ultimately relates also to existing inventory of buildings available to be purchased.

There are many aspects to this. There are places where the demand is crazy and there is places where the demand is dismal. Then there places where demand is so so. What kind of services to emphasize and promote and market yourself can effect the what people are looking for. It's like fishing and using the right bait. 

If you are trying to be a Frank Gehry in a historic community, it probably won't go well and you'll face more apprehension and community outcry against you and your services than you might otherwise get. Provide the right services and market yourself. 

Other things to consider is how much you charge your client. That is another debate. 


Mar 28, 18 12:35 am
Sir Apple Chrissy

on Fridays only.

Mar 28, 18 12:38 pm

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