What about outsourcing the architectural assistan's job?


        After 1.5 years working in London as Architectural assistant I came back to my own country Bulgaria to do my Masters. And this is how this idea came to me.

       I was thinking of starting a small business while studying which will mainly offer what an architectural assistant/ 2d drawings, BIM modeling, physical models, 3d rendering, presentation sketches,schemes and boards, PSD work/ can do BUT on an hourly rates.

* What I am thinking is that a lot of small practices do need an assistant but can't afford paying for a full time employment or simply don't have enough work to assign to him/her.

* Also a lot of companies need additional help only in certain circumstances like taking part in competitions for example.

* Companies that are still working on 2D programs are in constant need of visuals, sketches and 3D models.

  I just wanted to ask you:

1. Do you think outsourcing is possible considering all the new technology that makes it a whole lot easier to communicate professionally like Team Viewer, Skype etc.

2. Would you be interested in such an offer and what price you would you be happy to  pay an hour?

3. What exactly job you are most likely to outsource? 

a/ 2d drawings

b/ 3D modeling

c/ physical models

d/ Visuals of all kinds

e/ Presentation boards help

f/ something else

I will be very grateful if you help me

Jan 17, 14 11:36 am

hey- I'm from Bulgaria too :) 

Jan 17, 14 11:39 am

I had Bulgarian food the other day. hmmm soo good =)

Jan 19, 14 2:44 am
I would hire an assistant. But I like to work with people I know and trust. How do you deal with that issue?
Jan 19, 14 10:13 am

Gruen , I was thinking of giving a bonus test work so that people could feel more confident about hiring us.

Jan 19, 14 11:37 am

I don't know how circumstances are there, but it seems unnecessary in the US. Why would I hire someone far away from me when there are plenty of qualified people who would do the same thing living only a few miles away. I also feel like the business model is somewhat conflicting with how architecture tends to work. There is enough supply that someone could just hire an intern with a good skill set  to do this far cheaper than you'd be offering anyway.

Not that it's a bad idea, I just don't see the real need. If you're skills are exceptional enough to merit outsourcing for specific things then sure, I could see someone doing it. A lot of firms already outsource renderings. I would see how much companies like those get paid, probably not that much considering they are often just sent to China. Then again, you are in Bulgaria, so I don't know how that would affect your cost to do this, can you undercut the people in other countries? That might work...

Jan 19, 14 12:34 pm

Disappointed. Misread this as architectural assassin's job.

Jan 19, 14 12:35 pm

@ARCHIHELPERS: In my experience, any service that is provided to customers from a great distance must be a) very inexpensive, and b) of very high quality, and c) extraordinarily dependable - otherwise, the process risk probably isn't worth taking. 

Jan 19, 14 3:42 pm

"Disappointed. Misread this as architectural assassin's job."

You do want to outsource those. I tried hiring an assassin in-house once and he was caught trying to eliminate my target using a tape measurer, thankfully didn't oust me. However, outsourcing from your local assassin's hideout is cheap and effective, they will usually go with more subtle methods such as poising one's morning coffee or sending fake email's under the client's name demanding various random changes. The problem is finding them of course.

Jan 19, 14 3:58 pm

Interns are cheap enough already (free)

Jan 19, 14 4:04 pm
Assassins and free interns. Both illegal. Both things not the same.
Jan 19, 14 9:33 pm

Tell that to Obama.

Jan 19, 14 10:21 pm


Jan 20, 14 2:04 am

The average architectural assistant salary in my country is 500 US dollars. I believe the price could be competitive enough to deserve the risk of hiring people in another country. What do you think?

Jan 20, 14 4:41 am

Per hour, day, week, month or year?

Jan 20, 14 9:02 am

A month

Jan 20, 14 9:04 am

That's the new salary for my assistant. Think global, act local.

Jan 20, 14 9:20 am

  Architecture, is not like a cell phone service that can have its customer service in a far far away place.  Outsourcing Architecture Assistants? who are you calling an assistant bub? by your description, at least 99 % of each architectural office is composed "architectural assistants".  Unless you are the owner of the firm we are all architectural assistants.  You are welcome to create a 3d shop its already being done.  Drawing buildings in the USA actually requires years of knowledge of building codes, structural implications, knowing lots of things that we architectural "assistants" have taken what seems like a lifetime to learn.  Are you also forgetting that in the USA we have top quality architectural college's which are graduating what seems like an endless pool of architectural assistants? who are from all over the world I might add.  Oh and this little thing called the "great recession" happened, which means that those that do have an arch job are pretty good at being architectural assistants, yea further outsourcing and layoffs is what we need in this country.

Jan 20, 14 9:59 am

Quick!  Race to the Bottom!  Act now and get your free cheap plastic gift (while supplies last)!


Jul 16, 15 10:48 am

This is quite ridiculous.

Jul 16, 15 1:54 pm

You know, there is an Uber for Architects?

Jul 16, 15 3:29 pm

"That's the new salary for my assistant. Think global, act local."

ROLF... Thanks for the morning laugh.

It's possible to outsource.  I get advertisements all the time; India, China, Pacific Rim, some South America.  Basically they are one stop drafting houses catering to small firms and design houses.  Think of it as etsy for professional services. Send them your sketch, then just redline the production like a project manager. Even have US licensed architects and engineers on their end overseeing the production.  Everything done via cloud, emails, etc.

The model isn't bad.  Basically, if you are tiny firm, you can take on more work without having to hire a full time production staff.  I haven't done it internationally, but have done this on a national front outsourcing the cd's and ca to a local firm.  Been on the other end too having a national architect hire me for cd's and ca on a project they are doing in my area.  Not as uncommon as you'd think.  The fear with international is more the liability and recourse when problems happen... hard to collect or haul them into court when they screw you (or visa-versa).

Jul 17, 15 10:28 am
Ramon Luc

I agree with @mightyaa. There are so many advantages of outsourcing the CD and DD work. Plus it's not the creative part anyway. I would much prefer the creative part than sitting and drafting for hours. 

@ARCHIHELPERS You could explore the possiblity of working as an outsourcing firm. But trust and quality has to be uncompromised at all times. 


I know of a few firms in India like RSMS Architects who take work from North American architects and provide documentation services. I have worked with them. The bosses are crazy fanatics for details and perfection. If you are someone like that sure you should definately open your own studio! 

Best of luck

Nov 18, 16 2:15 am

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