B Arch at 30


Hey I'm new here.  I've been working as conceptual designer/ estimator/ coordinator for a design build general contractor over the last 10 years. I've been drawing off of CAD and sketchup basically designing for owners, creating constuction concepts and getting things approved through Design review boards.

Recently I've considered going back to school and getting my B Arch. 

I'm 30 and I have no college experience. So I was looking for some insight on how to approach this and whether or not it's worth it.

Would love to be able to continue to work but I don't know how realistic that is

Thank you for your help

Jul 20, 19 10:51 am

it'll probably be overwhelming for you as someone with hard-set design habits. be prepared to struggle at first with unlearning some of the ways you work so that you can become more flexible as a designer. 

worth it? that depends why you want to do this and how much money you're giving up from your current job. it's probable your starting salary after graduating will be higher than a typical intern since you've already got strong office drafting skills. but it might not be a big jump over what you make now until you're nearly 40.

Jul 20, 19 12:43 pm  · 

You're better off just trying to get hired somewhere in an architectural office with those skills rather than forking over a ton of money on school for not much gain...unless you really want to learn 'design' as such as well as history etc etc.  I will say that many of the older students we had with us burnt out and never made it / felt out of place...I don't think its easy to do when the rest of your class is between 18-20something. 

Jul 21, 19 3:07 pm  · 

I am 28 and will begin my Masters in the Netherlands in September. (See the thread where we discussed this option). Feeling out of place I kind of get but burning out really depends on your work ethic.


In the Netherlands there is no chance of burnout, I speak only of the US. Delft shuts at 10pm in the evening and 6 on Friday and shuts at the weekend hahaha! Go and have beer/enjoy yourself. No worries. In the US my studio was open 24/7 and people couldn't stop staying up late competing. A lot of people ended up with unhealthy situations.


Yes, but it's the people competing that eventually get internships at places like FU Architects. Not the ones leaving at 6.


The point is its a different culture. You dont get bonus points in school for killing yourself.


If you have access to a public college with low tuition, that would be ideal.  You might also consider starting out at a community college where you can get a lot of your non-architecture classes out of the way on nights and weekends.  Just make sure ahead of time that everything will transfer to the 5 year architecture school.  

Wherever you go, don't ever borrow a bunch of money to get an architecture degree.

Coming from a real world background, you may have more hands-on knowledge than a lot of architecture professors.   Some of them may be hostile towards you because of that.  On the other hand, you may find some good work study or teaching assistant opportunities because of your maturity and experience.  Be ready to navigate those situations and stay focused on getting your degree and getting back into the real world.

Jul 22, 19 11:08 am  · 

But, will it blend?

Non Sequitur


good reference


Architecture school is about thinking critically about what you are doing. Basic practice might show you the what and how, but if you want to learn about the larger why, how, when it may be useful. That said, going to a 4-6 year arch school path is probably not feasible as there is no structure there that accommodates unique career paths. It's really a broken system. 

Jul 22, 19 12:38 pm  · 

Only two schools offer evening b.archs, BAC and Drexel. BAC is shit on here constantly and Drexel I know one person who did it and is working at a residential firm. Be aware that Drexel will take 7 years part-time but you can keep working


Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: