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Is it impossible for architecture student to find remote freelance job?

majdcomp

So, I have about 2 years experience in using Autocad and 1 year with Revit. (despite being called 'experience' it's actually just the time since I started using those programs doing my school projects.)

It has been months since I've started looking for a job to help me financially, I'm pretty confident about my cad skills and can even do schedules in Revit. Yet no matter how much I search for those freelance jobs, I just can't find any of them...

I have even tried offering my services at several freelancing sites, with no result till this day.

The people offering jobs at those sites have millions of applicants in few minutes that are willing to do the job in dirt cheap price. It's impossible to compete with all those people.

What do you think I'm doing wrong here? is it just that I'm looking for jobs the wrong place?

 
Aug 12, 20 12:18 pm
ivanmillya

Why would anyone pay a 2nd year architecture student any money to do projects themselves? Go get a summer position at a firm that works you 55 hours a week for shit pay like everyone else.

Aug 12, 20 1:11 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

why would anyone accept a shit job working 55hr/week?

1  · 
ivanmillya

Just the sad reality for young students. Kids with two years on a bachelor's degree work horrendously slow (from their lack of time management), and get paid really low (from their lack of experience and knowledge of industry). Out here in the Midwest US, average rate for a 2nd year student would be about 12/hr. Most of the kids I've had on my teams as a project manager take almost a week to do what should be done in two days, at least for the first six months or so.

1  · 
majdcomp

what you said is reasonable enough. It's just that you need to calm down a little.. It's not like I'm trying to steal your job. I can't really blame you for talking like that tho, sounds like you had really tough time with that project manager.

But hey, Just put yourself in my shoes, would you rather find a shitty summer job or try to find a job related to your studies and develop your skills..?

1  · 
ivanmillya

No, I've been the project manager. The 2nd year (3rd, 4th, fresh out of grad, doesn't matter) students under me are the ones who are what I described above. I know you can't steal my job. Typically though, the young interns who think they already know how to freelance in this industry are the ones who are the least prepared to be productive in a firm setting.

2  · 
majdcomp

I think your past experiences with young people made you form an extremely negative opinion about them, becoming biased against them. It's bad to generalize an entire group of people based on your interaction with few of them. Anyway, thanks for sharing your opinion!

2  · 
ivanmillya

It's not negative generalizing, it's just a statement of general fact. I don't expect students or recent grads to know how to efficiently put together demo and proposed drawings for permits, including all the proper notes and dimensions, because schools don't teach them that. So with two years of "CAD experience", can you efficiently and effectively go through SD and DD phases, then assembly a 20-sheet permit set for a 5k sqft greenfield home? Because that's the bare minimum of what you'd be expecting in freelance, not including bidding, contract negotiation, CA, and wading through lakes of bureaucracy with engineers & other consultants, contractors, their subs, suppliers, and the city.

Meanwhile I can't even get my intern with a master's degree to properly note that a stacked W/D unit needs an overflow pan w/ sensor for the washer and an appliance outlet for the dryer.

2  · 
majdcomp

What you've said is reasonable enough, just that you misunderstood something. I've mentioned the programs which I know and not which year I'm in school to emphasize on the fact I'm looking for something like drafting jobs. (like when I've mentioned the scheduling thing on Revit.)

I'm fully aware that as a student, I'm not capable enough to do an actual architect job!

 · 
Non Sequitur

Note that using/knowing the software as a student/new grad does not automatically mean you know how to use it in an office. I've found this to be true with 100% of graduates.

3  · 
ivanmillya

^ Yes. Madj, if you're in the US, best bet is to brush up on AIA CAD layer standards (most firms use a modified version of it), and grab a copy of Arch. Graphic Standards so you can start drawing details and components for real if you're doing ACad. I can't advise much on Revit since the offices I've worked at have all been small private residential and didn't use Revit much.

 · 
rcz1001

madjcomp, you don't know what you don't know. 

You do not possess the knowledge and skills to work on your own as an independent design professional. (emphasized in bold to not the importance of professional capacity not sub-professional level) You are not licensed so you are going to be employed in that fashion by most of the architects out there. They just won't. Sorry. This is not that kind of occupation. 

Bottom line is you answered why you won't be freelance: I'm not capable enough to do an actual architect job. If you can't do it even on exempt buildings like a house as a building designer then you sure the hell aren't getting hired freelance. 

There is a dime of dozen of home designers and building designers that these architects would hire freelance before they will hire you if they were to go outside their comfort zone and hire an non-licensed design professional. Why do I say that? 

Many of them have proven themselves as being able to prepare building plans for various projects independently. They have a record of projects and clients that they may not necessarily have to have as such close direct supervision. Why? They have experience. 

They might not be licensed but they have the experience that an architect (employer) may hire freelance to support the work they want to be done. You don't have that. It is that simple. 

 · 
rcz1001

There are exceptions to the norm with the case mentioned by eeayeeayo. You might be lucky to find a firm like the one at his firm but it isn't exactly what we call normal. COVID-19 situation is an abnormal situation. It is still to be foreseen how long these abnormal situations like WFH / freelance work situation continues in the architecture profession after the COVID-19 situation is behind us.

Many firms had to modify their practices to comply with executive orders from their respective state governors to continue operating. How long will they continue these modified practice is hard to tell? I think it is possible but after COVID-19, it is likely that new hires without substantial experience or history of independent practice is not going to be initially working in such a freelance fashion. A hybrid WFH/office situation can work. 

 · 
majdcomp

Well, guess I can call myself lucky for having few more years till graduation. It would really be such a bad luck to have a pandemic knocking on your door as soon as you graduate or want to start your career! Thanks for everyone for their opinions. I will try to focus on my studies and gathering as much experience as possible, let the money thing wait till I land on a great offer or I graduate and start hunting for a job lol.

 · 
midlander

there are no such jobs.


firms that hire summer interns at that level are doing so to help train potential future workers. they are looking for students with the skills and attitude to become valuable as future employees. the value of the work a student can do after 2 years is very low, and takes much more management work than it's worth. no one needs this kind of work badly enough to hire freelance for it.

Aug 12, 20 7:31 pm  · 
4  · 
midlander

thinking about this more i realize you might not be looking for freelance architecture jobs, just jobs that use drafting skills. i actually did that during my third year, drafting cad drawings of the layout of equipment in a factory where my friends dad worked. great job, interesting, messy, dangerous, and well paid. not advertised though. most of these things just come up randomly from people you know. best bet would be talk to professors and classmates to let them know you're looking for work like this.

 · 
majdcomp

Yep that's exactly what I meant, I know it's easier and more efficient to find such jobs through connections irl. It's just that this whole pandemic thing made life and everything more difficult, and so I was hoping to find something online. Seems like I should just be more patient and wait for the whole covid-19 thing to be over.

2  · 
rcz1001

Really, you should be patient and if possible, complete your education. By the time you complete the degree, we may be far enough down that the COVID situation is more behind us than in front of us.

 · 
Non Sequitur

"the COVID situation is more behind us than in front of us."

For some, like those with useful governments and reasonably educated population, yes.  Other places, not so much.


1  · 
rcz1001

In the U.S., it's very present and future spikes in the pandemic are likely.

 · 
majdcomp

I'm not in US currently, only a few countries in the world started to recover from the pandemic and regulate things.
Sadly, it looks like we still have to wait at least 2 years till we are done with this whole situation.

 · 
chris-chitect

With exception of rendering and visualisation, remote freelance is pretty difficult to start out in. 

You're more likely to get some freelance through someone you know rather than finding a post. Most people looking for someone to do cad will reach out to the first person they know that can do it, rather than post anything. That being said, have you tried Aerotek? My previous employer often used them for bringing in temporary drafters

https://jobs.aerotek.com/us/en/search-results?keywords=autocad&location=

But going back to my previous point, I sometimes get freelance, but through people I know at work etc...You can get some leads by just making conversation and getting to know people. You won't win exciting projects this way, but there's always a coworker looking for someone to do drawings for a kitchen renovation and would rather just involve someone they know then reach out to strangers.

Aug 13, 20 2:52 am  · 
2  · 
eeayeeayo

Our summer college intern is working remotely, as are almost all the rest of us.  He applied in February though, and had already been coming in for a few hours once a week to sit in on the project meetings, get up to speed on the big projects, and learn the firm's standards and organizational systems, back before work from home started in late March. 

January through April is when most larger firms around here interview and select summer interns.  Under ordinary circumstances, if you wait until late spring or early summer to look then you're more likely to land in a small firm because they aren't as able to project workload as far in advance, so more of them may still be hiring for summer right up until summer,.  But the strange circumstances this year have resulted in light workloads for a lot of smaller firms, enough so that they may not be able to afford an intern or have anything for one to do.

Also I don't know how you've been presenting your skills to firms, but your statement above that you can "even do schedules in Revit" kind of reinforces that you'd likely be minimally useful at first, since that's a very basic task that you're implying is your most advanced capability.  If I were you I might look for something outside of this field for the remainder of this summer, just to get something on your resume and some cash in your pocket, but focus on developing your skills and developing a portfolio and good cover letter, and then getting an early jump this winter on applying for internships for next summer.

Aug 13, 20 10:31 am  · 
3  · 
majdcomp

I didn't mention that I could do schedules in Revit because it's my most advanced skill, I'm pretty proficient with the whole architecture side of the program. It's just that a lot of firms around the world post online 'freelance' jobs for people to make schedules for them on Revit. 'which is pretty weird, why they don't have interns or someone to do this simple task?'. Still, It is a thing out there!

Thanks for the advice though.

 · 

Making a custom schedule and modifying an existing schedule are two completely different skills in Revit.  This is especially true when creating and using an analytical schedule. 


 · 
kaleksan

I guess it depends on what you are trying to accomplish - earn money, get experience or both... Both could be challenging... actually, earning money is questionable as well...

I haven't done work on any of the freelance sites exactly for the reason of how low the prices were - it's difficult to compete with some wiz kid from a country with a much lower cost of living and free time. I could actually go on a grind session on how underpaid the architects are in general, but that's for another time...

I did do freelance work in my early twenties which included an addition and a full-blown house (got lucky on a house) and a few other miscellaneous drafting projects. I found the addition through my school's job postings - occasionally home-owners would post there looking for some cheap labor (either online or on old-school bulletin boards). My favorite was when I was told by some guy that that cheap design work on their home would be 'a feather in my cap' - classic.

I tried a few other methods of getting the clients but school postings and acquaintances were the most successful. I wouldn't do work without a contract though - those types of clients are set on getting their stuff super cheap and could skip out on the payment part.

Aug 15, 20 5:51 pm  · 
1  · 
archinine
Impossible? Not necessarily. Extremely unlikely? Yes, very very unlikely. You don’t know Revit if you haven’t used it for an actual built project. It’s unfortunate but schools simply don’t train students to be useful in an office right away. As much as you think you know what you’re doing, 5 years into the industry and you’ll look back and realize you really didn’t. And you too will be a position where you’d never bother to hire a 2nd year student to do billable production let alone in a remote capacity.
Aug 16, 20 4:49 pm  · 
 · 
przemula

If you are 2nd year architecture student, you probably know nothing about working on construction documents, like some people here already mentioned. Once you start working in architectural office, you'll look back at this thread and thought how naive you were back then. 

What I'd recommend is looking to freelance outside of architectural industry. I got lucky and my relative who owns a wood shop asked me to do few kitchen drawings, it worked out, later he recommended me to his friends, and for few years now I've been doing a lot of work for them. It is very inconsistent, and sometimes gets boring, but hey - If I make set of kitchen drawings (plans, elevations, etc.) in two hours, and cash $150 for it, I still made $75 for an hour of my work, which is really not bad, considering I work full time for like $22. Also, those requires like 100x less thinking than architectural CDs. I was also drafting sunglasses in CAD for my friend who owns company that makes and distributes eye wear, and some security airport system, for another buddy. For all of it of course I got paid. Unfortunately though, all these jobs came by reference. When I was looking for freelance jobs like yours, I realized it's pointless. I feel like especially visualization market is dead ever since people from 3rd world countries got skilled.  My current company is outsourcing most of the render work in Ukraine or somewhere else, where $5/hour is a lot of money. 

Aug 20, 20 3:56 pm  · 
1  · 
Arc_verbose

You have potential to grow, don't be discouraged. As some have mentioned, consider applying to jobs outside architecture or trades that are in collaboration with architecture.

Aug 20, 20 9:49 pm  · 
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