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Design buildings and keep an eye on their construction.

Salary Range

$64,480 - $75,197

What does an Architect do?

An architect plans, designs, and oversees the construction of buildings. This requires a solid understanding of technical structure and a sense of aesthetic design.

The job of an architect goes far beyond sketching house outlines: A large portion of your work resides in client communication and construction management. In fact, the actual thinking and drawing of your buildings will likely comprise only a third of your time. This means that proficiency in project management and general problem solving skills are key assets for any architect.

Surprising, right? Who doesn’t imagine an architect as bent over a drafting table, ruler in hand, and two pencils behind the ear? But your clients are investing a lot in their projects, so much of your time is spent working within their specifications and ensuring the project goes up according to plan.

Specific tasks during the design phase could include sketching out the layout and material you will use, running environmental surveys of the land, finding pricing estimates for granite counter tops, and calculating the structural integrity of a 20-degree arc. Once things are mapped out, you deal with the inevitable delays and unexpected obstacles of construction (oh, we are located on a sink hole?), and incorporate the stream of change requests from your client.

Dealing with all this takes patience, creativity, excellent communication, and problem solving skills. To be happy and successful in this profession, you need a cool head and steady hand for more than sketching out designs.

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