Civil Engineer thinking about M Arch?


Hi, I graduated last year with my bachelor's in civil engineering. I don't think it's really the right fit for me, but in college I liked math and didn't have any other career ideas so I finished my degree. I am a creative person and engineering lacks the opportunity to use creativity in my opinion. 

So I am debating going to get a Masters' in Architecture.(Many schools offer this as a 3 year degree for those with other types of bachelor's degrees). I'm not 100% sure architecture is the right fit for me either so if anyone wouldn't mind explaining "a day in the life of an architect" I think that could help.

I'd also appreciate thoughts on:

Is it worth going back to school?/Taking on some more debt?

Is architecture really the perfect blend of creative + technical skills like some people say?

Will having my M. Arch degree increase my earnings potentential above that of a B. Arch entry level?

Will having a Civil Engineering degree/PE license help me in the job search or increased salary compared to other architects?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Oct 7, 19 7:25 pm
atelier nobody

Hmm, lots of questions. I'll get to the "day in the life of an architect" last; here are short(ish) answers to your other questions:

1.   An M.Arch is a good idea if you can afford it, but beware of too much debt. Depending on where you are, there are probably other paths into the profession (I took one), but the M.Arch is definitely the path of least resistance as long as the sticker shock doesn't kill you.

2.   Architecture certainly can be a great balance of creative/technical (it is for me) - architects run the gamut from very creative/not at all technical to extremely technical/not so creative (although technical detailing also requires creativity), as well as those who have branched into marketing or firm management and do very little hands-on designing, so it'll be up to you which direction you go in your career.

3.   The profession is moving away from the B.Arch and increasingly expecting the M.Arch as first professional degree - in many countries (not the US) it is already a requirement.

4.   A degree in a related discipline (ideally along with some experience) is a marketable distinction - it might or might not get you more money, but should at least open some doors.

Now, as to your really big question, the reality of architecture is that only a certain percentage of us ever get to be The Designer; most of us spend most of our time working out and documenting the details of our bosses' designs, and maybe getting to be the primary designer on some smaller projects. This doesn't mean we're not designing, or not creative - figuring out how to actually build that pretty Rhino model is at least as important a part of designing the building as the big picture.

I hope this helps.

Oct 7, 19 8:36 pm

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