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Architect's career - Actual difficulty of becoming / being an architect

M HM Hellooo

Hello people,

I'm currently applying to colleges with an interest in becoming an architect but am kind of discouraged by some of the threads I've seen here. So, I'm hoping to know

>how hard it is to get a solid architect position (financial, etc.)

>whether getting a bachelors or masters degree is best 

>if its a better idea to get a different degree and then sort of transfer into an architect career (if so, what degree?)

>what scholarships there might be (I am very not thrilled by student debt)

Thank you all for candor. Please don't hold back because I'm a young 'un. Any additional information that might be useful would be appreciated too.

 
Oct 20, 18 11:43 pm

1 Featured Comment

All 15 Comments

donutsfordough

If you're so easily discouraged by bad news then don't bother. Otherwise take the gamble and don't come back here in ten years looking for validation on whether to switch into architecture. Same response now, same then.

What is it with young people today looking for the most assured way to easy success? Architecture is not that. There's no formula you can just apply to your life and make it work. A bit of luck and some financial backing helps but people who want it make it work.

Oct 21, 18 1:05 am
curtkram

the economy is booming at the moment, so its not hard for people starting out to find a good position.  the profession is cyclical with the economy; i would not recommend graduating during a recession. 

get a degree that can get you a license.  if you do bachelor's, verify it's the B.Arch that can get you a license. 

i would think it would be a little easier to start with architecture if that's what you're going in to.  switching will add at least a year. 

fill out your fafsa for financial aid.  

Oct 21, 18 10:29 am
RickB-Astoria

curtkram, I wouldn't recommend graduating during a recession but starting in it because usually by the time you graduate, the recession would be over. I would be concern about starting a B.Arch at this time because when you graduate, you might be right back into a recession. You have to think 4 dimensionally. You have to think 5 years out. It is good today but because of the cyclical boom/bust period of architecture, you might be graduating in the middle of that recession. The cycle usually loops between 8 to 12 years or so give or take a little.

M HM Hellooo

I am also curious about what sort of work environment architects tend to have. Are clients more often commercial or private? How companionable are your coworkers? Is there much sexism?  Do you usually have plenty of time to sleep, exercise, etc.? Do you have days off? Thank you for your comments.

Oct 21, 18 5:18 pm
RickB-Astoria

These are a lot of loaded questions. "Are clients more often commercial or private?" This depends on the practice. Most of the firms you'll be working for to getting AXP hours completed for licensure will usually be commercial, large multi-family (apartments/condos), hospitality, civic, healthcare, educational. The smaller projects are usually performed by sole-practitioners and small practices of couples, siblings, and the likes (both licensed and non-licensed design professionals and design/builders (construction contractors) works on these types of projects like SFRs, small commercial projects, etc. This domain usually doesn't yield much capital to be sustainable for firms with employees. It would be a tough market for hiring employees... ever! 

"How companionable are your coworkers?" I would think I would rephrase that. How collegial and sociable, ie. how friendly are they that you can establish meaningful working relationships and even possible outside the workplace appropriate social relationships.... I say that it depends. Part of it is how the firm cultivates an atmosphere conducive of employees talking to each other and conversing on various levels and not just explicitly on project at hand. This depends a lot on personalities. 

"Is there much sexism?" This depends a lot on the firm's makeup. It doesn't have to sexist. We here about these issues from starchitects types that grew up being rich, arrogant, etc. and the culture of the rich tends to be a bit more of the "I'm better than everyone else"... "I'm elite"... "I'm above the law"... "The law is for the peons because I am a god and I am worshipped and thus the laws don't apply to me". These attitudes permeates their subconscious thinking whether or not they actually express those terms or not. 

"Do you usually have plenty of time to sleep, exercise, etc.?" That depends on the work environment. Regarding architecture school, that depends a lot on A) how decisive are you, B) Whether you procrastinate or not, C) How you manage your time. You can go through architecture school without spending many all niters. You might have the occassional long days but when you are trying to be "A" students and getting your 3.5+ GPA, you are likely going to attend every class and work more than twice as many hours per week than a C student. A C student's committment to classes inside the classroom and outside the classroom is generally between 36 to 52 hours a week. An B student would be between 54 hours to about 82 hours a week. An A student would be pushing 72 to about 105 hours a week. You understand the magnitude of committment to achieve the quality of work customary for A students. 

Some individual students who are more advance in their knowledge and skills for some reason or another but is officially starting out with the same introductory level courses as a fresh out of high school student will likely be able to do the work in less time for that assignment. I didn't have to spend that much time to do A work in Intro to Architecture class as a high school graduate will typically have to put in. I would be an exception to the general rule of thumb because you have to spend more time to actually learn and understand the subject matter which I had spent on my own time for years because I enrolled in such courses several years after high school graduation. 

In any case, you'll be able to do the work you already learned better and faster over time and learn new things and become more efficient as you progress with more advance level of courses. The typical committment is not just out of class but in-class time in those hours listed. In short, your A students commits their life during college largely to their classes and the homework. They don't go to parties. There simply never enough hours a week. Another thing you need to learn in architecture is to design think on the go. I mean, thinking about the design iterations as you are eating, as you are exercising. You are more or less doing this from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep and sometimes even in your sleeping. Architecture is more than just a job or occupation. It is in part a way of life. You are always thinking architecture. That's the "artist" in you having to always be thinking and seeing the art and inspirations. In which case, it might be worth it to you to always have some kind of booklet to sketch in from smaller pocket sketchbook to a larger notebook size sketch book. Will you have enough rest or sleep depends on a lot of factors and the decisions made (or lack thereof) by YOU. 

"Do you have days off"... Sure. However, don't expect to have a lot of them or spending several days off in one singular week. As an owner, you really don't have days off per se. Vacations are more like "working vacations" because you have committments to the business but you may have some time to relax or otherwise get away from the computer. Employees will often have one or two days off per week except during looming deadlines and extra work per week needs to be done to meet the deadlines. It isn't every week unless your firm has poor human resource management.

RickB-Astoria

In short, there is no absolute answers to those questions. There are many circumstances that you control that will effect the answer for you. There is a serious commitment to be an "A" student of one making 3.5+ cumulative GPA. You can't just sit on your laurel doing minimum (~40 hours a week). You need to put in the overtime level commitment to produce the work that stands out as works of quality. If you are more advance in your studies & skills of architecture than someone with absolutely none of it when coming in, you will be able to capitalize on it for a little while at least. You have to be ahead of the game more or less instead of playing catch up every day. In professional life, it isn't always these exhausting all nighters crap. Only if you work for an employer that is crappy in terms of human resource management.

geezertect

The work environment for most is about the same as for any typical white collar office job. Most firms are not starchitect hot houses. Biggest difference is the disconnect between what you expect architecture to be and what it is in the real world. The schools do a very poor job of preparing students for the real world of practice. Maybe they are too afraid of scaring off the next generation of sacrificial lambs.

RickB-Astoria

Yeah. As I said, the work environment varies from employer to employer. Even the whole, "all-nighter" thing isn't always a reality for everyone in architecture school. At least it isn't always a daily thing. There maybe times when you are grinding long hours and there are times where it is less. Even work environment is that way to some degree. There is times you put in more hours and there is time you work your regular work hours or around that.

placebeyondthesplines_

for any newcomers to archinect, do not take seriously anything RickB-Astoria has to say. he is not an architect, and has absolutely no relevant professional or academic credentials. despite having been banned several times in the past for his conduct on this forum, he continues to regularly post long-winded faux-knowledgeable ramblings on a variety of topics, mostly centered on the professional practice of architecture — about which he knows absolutely nothing). 


for more examples, search the forum “Balkins”  and you’ll quickly see what I mean. 

Oct 21, 18 7:13 pm
RickB-Astoria

If you don't build you are not an architect. Architect is anglicized from the Greek word (in romanized letters: Arkhitekton which means Arch-Builder which directly means master builder or chief builder which is basically what is called GENERAL CONTRACTOR today. Most of you are artists not architects. I have been at architecture school. I also know people in architecture school and their assignments. I even observed the studios and critique sessions. BTW: My historic preservation courses is part of the University of Oregon's School of Architecture and Allied Arts (now College of Design). I even had some architecture courses. I seen the work performed by students and am aware of what they had to do for their studio courses. I'm a building designer. My job responsibility is the same as any architect designing houses. The only differences is the title and the stamp which is nothing more than an act of affixing a stamp imprint on the paper. Don't go off on your fallacy that I don't bear legal responsibility for designing houses and light commercial buildings. I am subject to tort, negligence or any other legal action in the courts as any architect. That is what you are subject to when YOU are an independent practitioners. I've seen terminal studio students make tragic mistakes in structural design even in their final presentation drawings. How do I know, I know the structural engineering and the use of light weight pipe or hollow tube square sections would bend and fail under the weight because it was not adequately braced. They would fail in seismic event. I know from real life. I lived through two of the biggest earthquakes in Los Angeles area history. I seen the structural failures and why they failed. A little study in seismic engineering does count for something along with effectively free college on television by professional engineers and Caltran explaining why structures failed including freeway overpasses that collapsed during Northridge earthquake in 1994. My studies also encompassed geological and geotech/civil engineering. Why did buildings built in 1920s within 1000 feet from the fault line survived and others miles away didn't. Part of it was geological. If they didn't straddle the fault line, that helped a lot. Other factors was structural design, fairly simple building forms with regularity of shape like a simple square or rectangle, continuous foundation, wood frame or reinforced concrete helped. Additionally, straight continuous load paths from roof to footing was used throughout. The freeway overpasses collapsed in part because they straddled over the fault lines, differential soil conditions, etc.. The stirrups or hoops failed in those cases but not the principle fault of failure. A building or structure is only as strong as its weakest point. placebeyondthespline, as far as I can recall you are not an architect. You work as an employee of one but if you are not licensed and you work as an employee, you have practically zero liability and accountability. Your employer bears the liability. I might not be licensed but I'm not an employee but an owner of a building design business and henceforth, I have more projects I am liable to than unlicensed employees who only worked as an employee no matter how many years of employment. You can be working 1000 years as an unlicensed employee and never under your own business practice... always working for a licensed architect on projects of all sizes and types. I have more accountability & liability exposure as an independent building designer... even with regards to a single 6 ft x 6 ft. deck that's only 1-ft. from the finished grade than you and all your projects as an unlicensed employee combined for all those 1000 years. You screw up as an unlicensed employee, you get fired. I screw up as an independently practicing building designer (not licensed as an architect) operating from my own building design business and I can be sued. Never ONCE in 10+ years have I been sued. Thank goodness for that. I have had multiple clients in that time period. I've seen students in architecture screw up even in designing houses even in their terminal studio course on their final term. This is because architecture school is more art school than professional education for preparing people for the profession. I've learned about how architecture schools and firms worked by members on this forum. I learn not only by my own mistakes but also by those of others. I do say some shit to get people to speak about their own experiences. In turn, they told me their experience. In a way, I get a statistical data from that information. The top reasons architecture students spends all nighters are: they procrastinate, they are indecisive, they get all rattled by some asshole critic who is ACTING an asshole (or may genuinely be one) to get you all emotional and rip into you so that you learn to NOT be emotionally attached to the work you prepare and to be prepared for rejection like a client not liking what idea you spent 100+ hours going down that path to propose and then you have to redo that because they decided it wasn't quite what they wanted. These are among some of the reasons for the asshole critic.

RickB-Astoria

Before you get off on a smart ass statement like "anyone can sue anyone for anything". No. Anyone can ATTEMPT to sue anyone for anything. Not all claims can hold water so to speak. Courts routinely reject bullshit lawsuits. 

Unlicensed employees operating under the direction and supervision of their employer can not be legally held responsible for their actions regarding matters of tort, negligence, or contractual with regards to their employer's clients. Yes, an employee can be responsible for criminal actions like if they murder the client. 

The employer is basically the "Respondeat Superior". For all purposes of discussion, the liability discussion refers to liability to tort, negligence, contract, errors & omission, etc. type of legal issues. It does not exempt an employee from criminal theft, murder, manslaughter, assault & battery, rape, and certain other charges which are not part of the scope of discussion as those issues are very unusual situations in this profession. Understand the principle of vicarious liability and the term "Respondeat Superior". 

As an independent practicing building designer serving my client via professional services under a contract as an independent contractor, I would be essentially liable to the services rendered. If you were a licensed architect and was an employee of mine, we would be joint (& or not including) severally liable. I can not escape liability due to "Respondeat Superior" doctrine by virtue of being the employer and business owner yet you can't escape the liability due to statutes of law regarding your architect licensure. If you were unlicensed employee working for me, I would be Vicariously Liable for your negligence, tort, errors and/or omissions, etc. regardless of whether or not I possess an occupational license as that is not a factor. 


Non Sequitur

^responds with a thousands words. Classic Balkins

RickB-Astoria

There are several key points and issues in the rabbit hole of the issues of liability and responsibility and who bears it. There are multiple avenues of rebuttal I am preemptively responding to. Yes, there is circumstances under law where an employee would be sued and found at fault but as a common rule, employers are responsible for their employees errors & omission, negligence, and other issues when it pertains to the duties and activities of the employee under the supervision and charge of the employer. There is exceptions in some cases when all facts are considered. In my experience with pbts....I'm covering several rebuttal points of his or hers. Don't recall the gender so I'll leave it at that.

placebeyondthesplines_

never change, Balkins. this place wouldn’t be the same without your tedious and uninformed spewings. I predict you’ll post another bunch of your bullshit here shortly.

RickB-Astoria

If you are not a licensed and you work as an employee and you make errors and omissions while preparing the work of your employer, your employer assumes liability. That is what vicarious liability is about. The Respondeat Superior doctrine and the principles of the law of agency, the employer (owner of the business) is held liable for it. You are an employed agent of the business. In general, you escape personal liability ramifications. Most likely, you'll lose your job. It doesn't matter if the employer is licensed or not. They own the business and ultimately liable for contracts as the contracts and the services rendered is between the business and the project client. The employer in your case maybe the business entity itself but the application of the liability can also target the member or manager or owner of the business who is supervising you or your immediate supervisor in a organizational "chain of command" or "chain of authority". 

The difference for me is I am at the top of the chain of command. I am the business owner and run the business entity. All projects are carried out under my direction and control. I ultimately hold more accountable liability under law than any unlicensed employee actions under the direction of their employer. Employees general defense is the work was performed under the direct supervision and control of their employer. In most unlicensed architectural staff is that the architect of responsible charge and the firm vicariously assumes the liability of the unlicensed employees working under their direct supervision and control. If you are one of those unlicensed employees, you're accountable to $0.00 of that liability and legal exposure to that liability is usually $0.00 but your employers is liable for all of it. 

The difference for me is, I am liable for any building design work of my business because I am the owner of the business and in effect am the business. If any mistakes or errors are made, I am effectively liable to all of it even as an LLC. The LLC may make it more difficult to target personal assets but I am not off the hook at any point until both the statutes of limitation and statutes of repose has expired. In affect my effective accountability to liabilities of my business is significantly more than $0.00. Between direct personal liability exposure and exposure through the LLC, I have effectively unlimited accountability. 

In short, I'm legally accountable to liabilities. Unlicensed employees are effectively not accountable for liabilities from the mistakes they make while performing their employment duties. That's a BIG difference.

RickB-Astoria

Lets see if I recall correctly PBTS, you deride me for my perspective of “I don’t experience privilege as a white male”. 

If I really benefited from the privilege as a "white male" then wouldn't I be a rich white asshole like Donald Trump because isn't that one of those so called benefits of being a rich white male? Wouldn't I be employed at an architecture firm and promoted to Principal before someone who is a minority or a female? I didn't benefit from any so called privilege. I filled out the same form and pay the same business licensing fees to run a business as anyone else does. If I benefited so much from being a "white male" I would have more scholarships and grants opportunities. To the best of my knowledge, there are no male only scholarships but there are scholarships for women. There are no scholarships for being Caucasian as far as I am aware of but there are for those who are of the so called minority. 

The Federal financial aid grants are equal opportunity for all based on income and assets value and need based which certainly puts no selection benefit towards gender or so called race. There are even government programs that makes it a benefit that you hire minorities as an incentive. To deliberately hire more people of minority than the population demographics of the particular area. You say I benefit from being a "white male", then how exactly am I benefited for being a so called "white male" privileges? 

Instead of saying I benefit from such privileges, cite what privilege I have that minorities and women simply don't have? If you can't even cite one single thing I benefit as being a white male that does not exist at all for women or minorities, then maybe it is a fallacy that you have about me as if all white men have these so called benefits. You had since March or so to have thought about it. It shouldn't take much time to think about it even if you didn't at all thought about it.

RickB-Astoria

PBTS, still waiting for your proof on "white male" privilege claim.

M HM Hellooo

Thank you all very much. I wonder if this thread can work as a somewhat representation of what sorts of personalities I might encounter professionally?

Oct 21, 18 10:17 pm
RickB-Astoria

There will be all kinds of personalities in the professional world. Welcome to the real world.

b3tadine[sutures]

no.

RickB-Astoria

I agree with b3tadine. You should not rely opinion on the arguments between two assholes. You need to look at a wider range of threads, individuals, etc. Not just me and pbts. You'll find a wide range of personalities in the professional world.

mightyaa

no... someone like Rick won't be in a architecture firm since he lacks the credentials, education, and background. Those in the firm will have had similar experiences as yourself, therefore a lot more in common.

RickB-Astoria

mightyaa, no. It is because I don't send resumes to work for architectural firms. At this point in life, I'm not interested in being their coffee bitch. There are employers that have hired people with nothing but a high school diploma. Practically, they don't exist in Oregon because they stopped hiring people without a formal degree in architecture when Oregon discontinued its experience based path to licensing in the mid to late 1980s even though there are states just to the north or Portland within 15 minutes drive where you can get initial licensure based on experience. Then there is California. As a building designer, I am "the architect" of the client's project because what I do is in every sense of the role of "the architect". Therefore I am "the architect". Most of it is just a stupid word game of "architect", "building designer", "residential designer", etc.

Non Sequitur

but you are not any of those Ricky. That's Mighty's point.

RickB-Astoria

I have the high school diploma equivalent. I am a building designer. I am not working at an architectural firm because I have not been applying to work for their firms. I have been building designer since 2005/2006. I've done more formal studies in architecture than Frank Lloyd Wright did for your information. Today, he wouldn't even be allowed to be licensed and wouldn't be allowed to do some of the projects he did.

null pointer

I wouldn't hire you as my coffee bitch, balkins. I feel like you'd try to lecture me on mild, medium and dark roast every time I told you to get me a fucking cup, all while insisting you don't drink coffee unless it comes from ghana and it's certified fair trade.

Non Sequitur

And then he’d comtinue on a coffee growers forum explaining to the Ghana fair trade growers how he’d grow better coffee in Oregon. Ricky > FLW apparently.

null pointer

But he's never grown coffee in Oregon (or had coffee in the past 10 years because.. you know... Ghana fair trade only), so he's basing his lectures on some obscure government handbook from 1793.

RickB-Astoria

null pointer, if you did, you would have deserved every bit of it.

Non Sequitur

Null, I just burst out on that one. Screw those other folks on the bus, they don’t know the comedic gold they are missing out on.

RickB-Astoria

nullpointer, I would most certainly put the BITCH in bitch while spilling that coffee that was strained through a jock strap and heated up so when its poured in your lap, you would know it.

just getting warmed up here...


mightyaa

Rick, you are digging in.. He asked if he'd run across these types of personalities working professionally; YOU WOULDN'T BE SOMEONE HE'D EVER RUN ACROSS PROFESSIONALLY BECAUSE YOU LACK THE QUALIFICATIONS TO BE HIRED BY THE MAJORITY OF ARCHITECTURE FIRMS. There would be exceptions like owner's reps I've met who "wanted to be an architect" before they start telling me, someone who is a practicing architect, what architects do and why....

RickB-Astoria

I'm a bit eccentric. I wouldn't be working in someone else's firm. It isn't the education or any of that shit. That aside, the real issue is I don't generally work well with other people. I can hide that somewhat for a multi-day design charrette but not so sure about 10 years of full-time employment. It is why I like working for myself and not others. I started with video game and software design but the industry reached a point where any commercially viable video game requires a movie production scale development staff. I switched careers, basically, to building design / architecture where I can design houses for clients. The client isn't someone who I would be seeing frequently throughout 8 hours a day, on a daily basis for months. They come and go.

Non Sequitur

Eccentric is not the right word.

mightyaa

"It isn't the education or any of that shit."; Yes, it is. You do not hold an accredited degree, have not completed the internship, and flat out are not eligible to take the architectural exam. There are even ways to take some State exams without the accredited degree, but you haven't worked under a licensed architect for the required period of time to accumulate the required minimum hours... So yes, you are years and years away from ever being a licensed architect and should stop giving advice to those who are or are seeking advice from those of us who did what it took to become licensed.

RickB-Astoria

So fucking what. It doesn't change the fact that what I do *IS* architecture and it doesn't change the fact that the role of building designer is effectively identical to architect on exempt buildings which involves the same fucking architectonic knowledge and skills in preparing building plans.

mightyaa

Yes.. the title "architect's career actual difficult of becoming being an architect" is flat out something you aren't able to answer based on your own experiences, so you should not have responded to or given advice about. If they asked "how tough is it to find work without a architectural license designing buildings and certifications that might be useful", by all means... but that wasn't the topic and you pulled crap out of your ass based on your own warped ideas of what it might be like rather than any sort of extensive experience or expertise on the subject matter. It severely derails ANY cohesive discussions when you do this Rick..

Non Sequitur

Ricky, believing you actually have a career remotely resembling that of an architect is not the same as actually having one.

RickB-Astoria

Building Designer is a synonym to Architect. If a licensed architect only designs houses then he is an architect, right. How is he any different than a building designer other than a title. How is his work, required knowledge and skills any different for the designing of houses any different other than the skill of imprinting an stamp print on to construction document. It is no different and legally it is no different. The requisite knowledge & skills is dependent on the project. While the architect would need or expected to wide a wider range of knowledge and skills for the wider range of building types and sizes. You only assume I am working on projects solely in Astoria, Oregon area. When I am talking about work in the past 10+ years, I started in the local area so yes projects can be challenging. A few years ago, I had been widening the territory of where services are provided.

Featured Comment
JBeaumont

You don't have any skills because you don't have any projects. You go round and round and round on this, but the fact is that you documented for financial aid and loan repayment purposes that you had virtually no income throughout most of that decade - so either you have real projects and clients and therefore committed multiple federal crimes by lying on financial aid and tax documents, or you had virtually no income and therefore have virtually no experience.

RickB-Astoria

or I charged very little for the services but doesn't discount the hours spent. It just means I didn't charge much because of the economy. Another factor is the payments are sporadic over a longer period of time frame than a single year like dividing the whole amount into smaller payments. Besides, you wouldn't have access to financial aid reporting which means you would have committed felony charges.

Non Sequitur

^more excuses. You're not convincing anyone

RickB-Astoria

.

I thought the featured comments were supposed to be an attempt to keep people focused on the original post ... not saying the comment featured for this thread isn't a good comment, but to feature it seems like the moderators are just looking for a dumpster fire rather than trying to keep people focused on the topic at hand.

RickB-Astoria

Agree. It isn't the response but when taken out of context, it becomes worse when inadvertently applied to the original poster.

shellarchitect

I love that Ricky assumes the average architect's work day is similar to a design studio and that the design of houses is similar to the design of anything else an architect might work on! I assume that a vast majority of architects have never done a single family residence.

RickB-Astoria

While there are similarities and difference. If you read what I said exactly, I was specific when it comes to architectural services on one & two family dwellings, townhouses, farm buildings, and small commercial structures.

thisisnotmyname

Make every effort you can to spend some time in two or more working architect's offices and observe what they do all day.

For education, the quickest and least expensive route in the USA would be a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture program.  A public college in your home state will probably have the lowest tuition, but there are many variables that can potentially put a private or out-of-state program within your reach.

Architecture jobs are quite plentiful at the moment.  Doing as many internships and summer positions in architect's offices while you are still in school will greatly improve your ability to get a good job upon graduation.

Oct 22, 18 2:46 pm
randomised

Don't be discouraged from what you read here, this place is no fair representation of the architecture field, this is just the internet.

Oct 22, 18 3:50 pm
bowling_ball

Exactly.

Haiku, very important.

Oct 22, 18 5:33 pm
M HM Hellooo

Awesome, thank you. Those last bits were most informative. I appreciate the straight forwardness. 

Oct 22, 18 6:34 pm
archi_dude

I wanted to chime in because what stands out in your post is the financial based questions. The student loan and pay prospect question make it seem as though you will not be getting much boost from your parents or much financial help. Architecture pays relatively well (about the same as teachers and government workers) and there are plenty of firms where you can work 40-45 hrs a week for that relatively good salary, however keep in mind the more realistic hours and better pay the more boring the work. So here’s the scenario, you work WAY more in college than most other majors (keyword “more” not harder because there is definitely merit to what Rick said above about architecture students reworking ideas again and again for no reason for art sake) yet when you graduate you make about as much as Frat guys who spent their entire college days day drinking and earning a Poli-sci or communications degree. You can make a decent salary but you’ll be living really frugally and working on pretty boring work with minimal vacation, benefits and ownership of your tasks (7 years in and a license and I still wasn’t allowed to decide where to lay out control joints in sidewalk or the design is taken care of in the marketing department of the client’s business and you regurgitate it into construction documents). The reality is that the services clients want us for isn’t “Architecture!” It’s drafting plans to get permits. It’s a very frugal choice with pretty bland and limited career options. 


It can be a really cool hobby, but don’t expect to get much out of it as a career.

Oct 23, 18 11:19 am
whistler

I had one of the most satisfying experiences of my career at a recent building opening  ( First nations learning centre  / school ) where a bunch of students / elders  / councillors who got up and discussed what the school meant to them personally and to their community and were breaking down in tears describing the significance to them.

The group then introduced me personally and others who were part of the team who contributed to the project, then what wasn't expected was the several hundred people applaud us for our efforts .....that was f___ing cool and pretty overwhelming for me too. 

So yeah, the profession is hard, takes a lot of perseverance, integrity and stubbornness but when you do a decent job and are rewarded with that level of appreciation it's all good!


Oct 23, 18 2:08 pm
Non Sequitur

Nice story. Makes for great reading on my 4th uber ride of the day.

M HM Hellooo

Then, just for consideration, what careers would you recommend as an alternative to being an architect that fits with the same interests (living/working spaces, design, etc.)? 

Oct 23, 18 6:30 pm
mightyaa

A alternate would be to get in on the developer side.  Basically, a site acquisition and development manager.  They are the guys and gals who set the design tone, the parameters, the goals, and hire the design team and make lots of spreadsheets.  Then they get to critique the design, pick materials, etc.  Essentially all the fun stuff... but they have masters too who expect the project they are managing to have good returns, high lease rates, etc.  I've also noticed a lack in 'grey hair' folks, so I'm guessing it is a pretty harsh employee attrition rate.

Guessing the degree would be commercial real estate with a minor in project management.

Oct 23, 18 7:35 pm
M HM Hellooo

Thank you! That sounds pretty neat. I'll definitely look into the position.  

Oct 24, 18 10:45 pm

Don't do what I did. Or do. It is not clear.

https://twitter.com/dc_us/stat...

Oct 24, 18 10:48 pm

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