Alternate careers - what would you suggest?


For family reasons, I need to move to a specific community. Because I'm still currently employed and this is a public forum, I will be deliberately vague about where. To keep this shorter, just know I've contacted all the architecture firms in the area along with people I know and was able to get my resume out to a large group in the design community. Posting my resume on the aia websites is not an option since I'm still employed.

I'm broken-hearted that I am faced with leaving architecture, but am trying to find something where I might be able to pick up a few skills to help me return to architecture in the future. A modest pay cut is fine, but I need full-time work.

What I would like from this group is, what other career types would you seek out? I feel like I'm missing some and can't see the forest for the trees. I know that rather than answer want ads I need to contact companies directly but I'm out of ideas. Here's what I've searched:

Drafting (they want community college techs, not M.Arch holders, but I keep sending my resume!)

Landscape design (they really want landscape architects, but I've tried)

Graphic Design (usually not qualified) 

Store visualization/display


Training coordinator

I don't have any construction skills like many intern architects, so that's not an option and I find that I'm under or overqualified for pretty much everything out there. But if you can add to this list to help me search, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Mar 8, 14 7:33 pm

I would argue that your M.arch would be plenty to get you a job on the construction side as a project engineer or assistant project manage. It is not rocket science and you understand the drawings, specs and construct-ability, the rest of the stuff you would be able to pick up in no time. Don't sell your self short on the construction side of things, and in some states and municipalities like Boston  only an architect or engineer can run projects over a certain size. You may also get a pay increase in construction.

Mar 8, 14 8:32 pm

Thanks - I'm keeping my eyes open for those types of jobs, but the ones that seem to be popping up are looking for some specific criteria. But I'm still checking for them. When I said construction, I should've clarified that I meant actual field work. I know several architects/intern architects who've been laid off have been doing some actual field work.

Mar 8, 14 10:36 pm

I think there is an archinect series of articles about just this type of thing. I think a lot of it was entrepreneurship with the skillset. Maybe that's too risky for your situation, but they are interesting firm profiles. 

Mar 26, 14 2:33 pm

General Contracting and building product sales/manufacturing.  Bam.  I plan on getting involved in these, seeing as architecture seems to be such a dead end nowadays...

Mar 27, 14 11:25 am

Check out field representative for a window company like Marvin

Check out developers, project manager.

Check out lumber yards....they know who is busy.

Check out Bankers...they know where the money is.

Check out  Lawyers doing real estate law they know what has recently closed.

Check out the Town Clerks Records and you can see who has bought commerical real estate in the last couple of months.  Usually this information is in 3 ring binders  because they haven't updated their tax records.

Take the real estate licensing exam, and do some selling.  It will give you a good perspective of what people are looking for in the market.

Check out the local bar seen, maybe some one is looking for and Architect to play the role of Architect in their Chip and Dale Village people dance just keep a good thoughts and enjoy life a little.

Mar 27, 14 3:06 pm

Hey - I didn't think about that Village people dance routine! Great suggestion (ok at least it made me smile)!

Thanks for the other options everyone. Those are all good leads to look into.

Mar 27, 14 3:34 pm

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