Architect

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Architects design new buildings and the spaces around them, and work on the restoration and conservation of existing buildings.

Salary Range: £27,500 to £90,000

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How to become an architect

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
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University

You’ll need to complete:

  • a degree recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB)
  • a year of practical work experience
  • a further 2 years’ full-time university course like BArch, Diploma, MArch
  • a year of practical training
  • a final qualifying exam

Many course providers will also want to see a portfolio of your drawings and sketches.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More information

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Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through an architect degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More information

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Work

If you’re already working at a high level in an architectural practice but cannot study full time, you could qualify through RIBA Studio.

More information

Registration

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Royal Institute of British Architects, for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an architect from the Royal Institute of British Architects and Go Construct.

You can also find out more about working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could :

  • create hand sketches, 3D models and detailed technical plans using computer aided design (CAD) software
  • create a plan, following building laws and safety regulations
  • find cost-effective ways to work within budgets
  • manage construction projects
  • choose or advise on materials
  • visit sites to check building work and progress
  • communicate and share ideas with clients, other architects, and architectural technologists and technicians
  • write reports and job proposals and complete planning applications

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio, in an office or visit sites.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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Career path and progression

If you’re working for a private architectural firm, you may be able to move up to become a partner or associate.

With experience in public sector roles, you could move into a lead architect job.

You could also work on projects as a freelance consultant, or set up your own business.

You may get opportunities to work overseas.