Archinect
anchor

Architectural Technology

brainiac
Hello everyone I have been in construction for 2 years out of high school now. I was origanally shooting for taking architecture next year then decided arch. Tech was overall a better option for me, since I like a mix of design but also love problem solving and being realistic. If possible I’d ideally like to be my own boss and just have the architect stamp it at the end or whatever. (I am a bit of a try-hard and would not want to end up as just another CAD monkey slave) I have a few specific questions:
1-Any Technologists who regret/ live their choice and why (I do know one guy in it who loves his job), also what kind of firm do you work in? Any Technologists here start their own business? How do you like it?

2-the internet seems to be confused itself on salary. I don’t care to be a millionaire, just enough to support a family.

3-For those who took all bcin exams, was it a huge help for you later? Which exams do you highly recommend taking? Any other jobs you would recommend for someone who took some or all of these exams? Do you find school equips you well for these exams?

4- Assuming I did manage to have my own business, do you find arch. Technologists are well equipped to fully design residential buildings themselves?

5-This “fast track” to become a full architect, what’s up with that?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
Mar 21, 20 12:12 pm
Non Sequitur

you mention the BCIN exams. Since these only existing in one place, Are you looking to study/work in Ontario? Location matters, so if that’s a yes, then I can fill in some of these blanks for you. 

Mar 21, 20 12:44 pm
brainiac
Just one province eh? I didn’t know that. But yes that is where I am.
Mar 21, 20 1:54 pm
Non Sequitur

Yeah, it's an Ontario thing only. Perhaps there are similar set-ups elsewhere in canada, but the BCIN is limited to exempt buildings within chapter 9 of the ontario building code.

Non Sequitur

Given you've answered my question above and I know you're looking to study/work in my backyard, I can pick a apart a few things here.

For starters, the vast majority of arch technologists in ontario will fall in one form or another of CAD monkey role.  They main role in that discipline is to assemble construction documents under the supervision of one of the following: Architect or architectural practice, general contractor, work in production/shop drawing for supplier/manufacturer.  The arch tech path is not a design or problem solving path specifically... it is a college level course that builds reliable drafting staff with some basic knowledge of the building code and broad understanding of construction (mostly wood-frame and residential in scope). However, it is generally a much more practical approach to construction than the one taking by most architecture schools.  It's also a lot less time and money to complete.

To your points above:

  1. You won't find many technologists here but there are many students who have asked similar questions.  Search the forum a bit and you'll see the common answers.  Typical jobs are outlined above but some branch out into more specific roles like BIM manager or spec writer but both of these need many years of real experience. Some will get their BCIN and open up small scale residential design offices but you are limited to the services you can offer.
  2. Salary will that of any entry-level college educated staff.  In ontario (canada), an arch tech can expect to earn anywhere from minimum wage to $20/hr depending on the industry.  Working as a draftsman for a contractor will be on the lower end but a large architecture office might be higher.  The market is saturated with arch tech folks and you're not worth much without experience.  With that said, unless you open your own gig and become your own boss, you will have a very obvious earning ceiling because you will not advance at the same rate as the architects.
  3. BCIN is unique to ontario and allows those eligible to sign construction docs for permit that fall within chapter 9 of the OBC.  This is mostly single family houses (under 3 storeys) and some light commercial projects.  You will likely still require structural stamps for foundations and framing tho and cannot legally call yourself an architect.  Other jobs with BCIN involve interior design as long as no life-safety is within the scope, building inspection, and other minor misc building renovation jobs too small for architects (ie. pool permits, backyard decks, sheds, etc).     
  4. No, arch techs are not well equipped, but neither are architecture grads.  It all depends on the quality of the college and your aptitude. Design is the easy part and anyone things they can be good at it.  Making a design into something that is buildable and retains good design qualities is hard.  This is not taught in school.  It is learned while working... unless you have many rich friends who just let you do whatever at whatever cost.  This last one is more common than you think.
  5. There are no shortcuts to be come an architect.  There are only 2 paths in canada.  The typical way with a accredited Masters degree + completion of IDP hours (3 to 5 years post school) + canadian exams (ExAC) or take the RAIC Syllabus.  In your case, the syllabus is the right choice.  

Hope it helps.

Mar 21, 20 3:13 pm
Wood Guy

^ Home run answer

joseffischer

For anyone ever complaining about Non's snark, I'll refer them here

Non Sequitur

Cheers.

brainiac
Ok yeah that definitely helped. More or less what I was expecting. Is there some way to fast track outside of Ontario? I doubt I will change but just want more options open. If I did choose to I’d probably move anywhere to do so.
Mar 21, 20 5:24 pm
Non Sequitur

The rules for architecture are the same for all of Canada and are very similar to those in the US. You need an accredited degree before starting login experience and not all international schools are recognized here. Again, there are no shortcuts.

atelier nobody

There are a few states in the US where you might find the requirements more amenable, but if you're planning on returning to Canada, reciprocity can be a big problem (I'm licensed in CA without a degree or IDP, and I've looked into this - as far as I can figure out, if I moved to Canada the very least I'd have to do is document item-by-item that my experience is equivalent to the Syllabus).

brainiac
Ok I thought I read it in another thread but that’s fine. Thanks for your time and advice!
Mar 21, 20 9:33 pm
leonizer

Brainic you can fast track outside of Canada. Lawerence tech university and as well Boston architectural college admits you to their M.arch program because they have articulation agreements with their respective colleges here in Ontario. 

Look here https://the-bac.edu/admissions/articulation-agreements

I know people from George brown who has done this. Its expensive as hell though.....

Mar 22, 20 10:10 pm
Non Sequitur

That's not really a fast-track... that's predatory. You're far better off staying in canada and with our exceptionally low tuition than pay US tuition at the lower-tier BAC.

Bench

Holy shit that is scary.

Non Sequitur

^ I know, right?

leonizer

I agree hes far better of in Canada but hey he wanted the option lol.

Chad Miller

WTF was in that link? My eyes and mind simply shut off after a second of viewing it.

leonizer

porn

brainiac

wow yeah that is expensive. I probably wasn't going to regardless, just wondering if the option was out there.

Bench

I would personally call that option for BAC definitely not worth it. Not to mention BAC has a very high drop-out rate.

Almosthip

I am an architectural technologist, graduated in Ontario.  I currently live in Alberta and manage the building science department at our engineering firm. You don't have to be a CAD monkey if you don't want to.  My employer also encouraged me to  to enroll in the RAIC Syllabus program.  Although a long process, I am able to work full time while I complete my studies.

If you are able to demonstrate that you can think as well as draft than there are opportunities to grow. 

Mar 23, 20 2:02 pm
brainiac

Thanks, that is encouraging to hear. Full time eh? Are you crazy busy these days? How long does RAIC syllabus take? Also are you a senior technologist? And if you don`t mind me asking, how much do you make?

Almosthip7

I am super busy. The syllabus design studios run twice a year and you have Theory classes as well. The program take on average about 10 years to complete. The program is considered to be equivalent to a masters degree. I am currently a senior technologist but with the completion on 1 more design studio I will have completed Part 1 of the syllabus. Part 2 means I can join my provincial architects association and upon approval use the title Intern Architect. I live in an area where my salary is inflated due to the local economy. Not actually going to post my numbers here but I do better than I would if I live in Ontario.

brainiac

Ok interesting. Did you find a big salary difference once considered 'senior technologist' or not so much? Also thanks for the link leonizer.

Almosthip

I make way more than that link, probably closer to a mid level architect

brainiac

Does anyone think in my situation that it would be more beneficial to just get the bachelors in architectural science and work as a technologist from there? Is that even a thing? Or would that not be as ideal?

Mar 25, 20 7:13 pm
Almosthip7

Way cheaper to go to college if you just want to be a technologist

brainiac

tou·ché

atelier nobody

It depends on what you really want to do with your life. It is certainly possible to have a rewarding career as a senior technologist - people who really understand how buildings go together are in short supply, whatever their title or licensure status. On the other hand, if you take this route, you will be very unlikely ever to be the principal designer of anything - 100% of your creativity and talent will be dedicated to working out the minutiae of building detailing, not the "big picture." Only you can decide if that's the career you want.

Almosthip7

I have 15 years worth of buildings I have designed as an architectural technologist, including a 6 storey seniors living complex. I just didn’t personally seal it and really can’t be held Liable for it. I am not the normal, But it can happen.

Non Sequitur

Our office has a minor equity partner who is a senior tech and I know of others in similar roles (those are in alberta, as it turns out). You can certainly carve yourself a decent career but it is not the norm

atelier nobody

I'm a licensed architect and principal who started out as a tech, so I know it can be done but I also know how hard it is - for anyone who wants to be an architect, getting an accredited degree is by far the path of least resistance.

brainiac

Ah ok, so atelier, which is which in your first comment? I got confused lol.

brainiac

k so thats weird, that comment glitched and sent the wrong thing...          Almosthip- whats the max square footage you can do without a seal? How many BCIN (or its equivalent) exams did you take? If you took them in Ontario, did they help at all in Alberta? Also do you enjoy residential more? That seems to be the trend with technologists, which I would probably like more myself.                                                                Atelier-why did you switch to Architect? Which traits/interests do you think I should have for each?                                                                      Looking into it, Ontario seems to be a decent place for technologists. is Alberta that much better?                                                           

Mar 26, 20 8:03 pm
leonizer

If you have a BCIN (Ontario) you are allowed to do part 9 buildings of the OBC under 3 storeys and 600 square metres. To acutally get the BCIN, you need to take part 9 small buildings exam and as well as the legal exam, so 2 exam total for the BCIN.

Almosthip

In Alberta it is similar requirements for requiring seals. Also engineers are allowed to single seal on some larger buildings here and in northern BC, which is also our market. Im old and when i graduated in Ontario there was not a requirement for BCIN. Architectural Technologist is not protected title here in Alberta, like it in in Ontario. But the profession is in demand here, there are jobs available. One of my mentors was a technologist and was Principal in a very well respected firm in Edmonton.

leonizer

Brainiac I just noticed you're quite young. I'd suggest the university route and leave yourself the option to pursue masters.

You can still be a technologist with a bachelors , however as an architectural technologist there will always be a glass ceiling vs an architect. 


Mar 27, 20 2:19 pm
Non Sequitur

See my point no2. above. The ceiling is real and is the cause for much frustration. While some, like those who commented here, found a way out of the production only grind, I often run into arch techs jaded by the real world because they expected to be big-shot designers (partially due to their own naivety and the appeal that it's an inside lane to the glorified architect title).

brainiac
I have built a few reasons to not be an architect. Top 3 being:
1- I wouldn’t enjoy commercial building design, excessive paperwork, or even being stuck in a big city. I’ve only seen one example in my job of a commercial architect doing residential, and it was awful. I’m certainly not saying there aren’t exceptions, or that the one architect even represents anything significant, but the commercial oriented career seems to be the norm.
2-I enjoy construction that I’m doing now, like hands on and mathematical work, and if I take technology, then I could much easier switch if I so desired, not to mention a little easier to work in something like that during, and even in summers for that matter.
3-I don’t have rich parents or friends, and by the time I’ve paid for architect school AND ridiculous rent in a big city, I would have had a decent boost as a technologist.
If I’m completely wrong, it’s only 3 years compared to 9 and I could still be a carpenter easily enough.
Mar 29, 20 8:14 pm
Non Sequitur

Can’t really argue against these. Best scenario is you enter the RAIC syllabus post arch tech diploma and work as a technologist while you complete their studios over several years and then write the Exac. No loss of income, minimal tuition cost, easier to complete without moving to a metro area.

Block this user


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

  • ×Search in: