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Architecture, Structural Engineering and Real Estate Development?

ravyns21

I have a Bachelors in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on Structural Engineering and now I am enrolled as a graduate student getting a M.Arch. My goal in the long run is to be able to design/build homes all by myself, so I have been looking into all the aspects of residential construction. I don't necessarily want to have my own firm but I want to work at a design/build firm where they really only need me for most of the work. 

I was wondering if it would be worth it to pursue a MRED after my M.Arch? I don't mind the extra time for school since the M.Arch is 3 years anyways. Would I be able to do real estate development without the degree after just working in residential architecture?

 
Apr 7, 21 4:29 pm
Wood Guy

I would definitely consider it. I have a BS in engineering with an emphasis on structures, not quite a full BSCE but just a few classes short of an accredited degree. (Also a few classes short of an art/arch history degree.) I have been building and/or designing houses since I was 15, so 32 years now, full time for the last 25 years. Being a jack-of-all trades will keep you busy; I've never had a day without work, even through the 2008 recession. But if you don't want to run your own firm, your earning potential will be limited--architects, engineers and project managers only make so much money. There is a lot more earning potential in real estate development, though also more uncertainty. 

Apr 7, 21 5:13 pm  · 
1  · 
midlander

Would I be able to do real estate development without the degree after just working in residential architecture?


- yes, especially for SFH none of these credentials will be as useful as on the ground experience.


I think you should look into the backgrounds of people you admire doing the kind of work you want to do and see what they needed to know to get started. Most people start from one place and grow into a bigger role - it's not necessary or even useful to study everything before you get started.


Education is wonderful, but the reality is your weeks have at absolute most 100 working hours - hopefully usually much fewer. You're not going to be able to be involved in each of these areas directly - you have to delegate. Nothing in the design and construction of housing requires deep theoretical background to understand well.

Apr 7, 21 5:49 pm  · 
1  · 
jangofoo

I agree, get into RE development. Architecture as an architect is not sustainable.

Apr 7, 21 8:53 pm  · 
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ravyns21

Thank you everyone! Would it be more beneficial to take a few years to work in the industry then pursue the RE development in my 30s to branch out into more delegating roles like PM? 

The main problem I have with not having a degree in RED is the inability to work at more respected firms that might not necessarily hire without a degree. Also, I am heavily considering getting an RE license after getting my architecture license and I think there are education requirements. 

Apr 7, 21 9:04 pm  · 
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midlander

if work in RED is absolutely what you want to do I wonder why you are spending so much time to pursue a professional degree in architecture after having a degree in civil. for both of those roles (engineering and architecture), the value for a developer would usually be in having someone licensed who fully understands the process of design and construction from either of those angles. They wouldn't really expect you to have experience in both plus an msred simply because that would put you in your early forties just starting. i strongly encourage you to contact some developers you respect and see if you could do an interview with someone in their company to talk about what they look for in people from the design side and how you can orient your career plan towards such a role.

Apr 8, 21 12:26 am  · 
1  · 
midlander

i've worked for a developer purely based on my architecture design experience, and there were many others with experience in engineering and construction who had no advanced degrees. But some people after experience in the development office do pursue management degrees to better focus on advancing in their job. I think you won't fully benefit from the degree until you've had some full time work experience in that kind of office though. you won't know what to try to learn until you've seen how things work.

Apr 8, 21 12:29 am  · 
1  · 
midlander

your career will advance in steps, you don't need to be fully prepared for an ideal job in the perfect company right at the start. it's actually very unhealthy to approach work that way in a business like re dev that's so pragmatic and conditional

Apr 8, 21 12:32 am  · 
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ravyns21

I don’t necessarily want to be in RED, same way I don’t necessarily want to be in engineering. Architecture is such a dependent field that requires so much interaction with other types of people like engineers and developers that I see knowledge of those subjects as beneficial for the advancement of the path I want to take. My end goal is to be an architectural designer in the residential sector with the possibility to work in engineering or real estate at the same time or in case of the very unpredictable architecture field making me unemployed.

Apr 8, 21 2:37 am  · 
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ravyns21

I don’t necessarily want to be in RED, same way I don’t necessarily want to be in engineering. Architecture is such a dependent field that requires so much interaction with other types of people like engineers and developers that I see knowledge of those subjects as beneficial for the advancement of the path I want to take. My end goal is to be an architectural designer in the residential sector with the possibility to work in engineering or real estate at the same time or in case of the very unpredictable architecture field making me unemployed.

Apr 8, 21 2:37 am  · 
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ravyns21

I do see what you are saying though. It is a lot and I have a tendency to do too much because I like to know a little about a lot. Maybe a degree is too much to think about right now, but I do plan to take some real estate classes during grad school since they fall under the ARCH department.

Apr 8, 21 2:39 am  · 
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