It is very hard to imagine a world without architects. Wherever you go, the most remarkable and memorable landmarks and places where people experience a sense of accomplishment and purpose usually involve a creative architect. In general, architecture jobs include planning and designing of structural properties, such as office buildings, private residences, theaters and factories.

Aside from meeting with clients for structure requirements and project objectives, architects provide an estimated amount for necessary materials, equipment and construction time. Most construction sites offer architects commissions to design indoor and outdoor spaces on private or public structures. In some cases, architects also provide several predesign services, such as design requirements, site selection, cost analysis, and feasibility and environmental impact studies. After the detailed presentation of the developed construction plans, they would have to provide the drawings for structural systems such as the air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems, electrical systems, communications systems, plumbing, and if possible landscape plans as well. To meet the safety standards, architects must abide with the state and local building codes, fire regulations, zoning laws, and other ordinances, such as easy building access for disabled persons.

During the conceptual stages of a project, some architects still utilize hand-drawing skills but the most common methods these days for forming designs and construction drawings would be computer aided design and drafting (CADD) software and building information modeling (BIM) application. The job will not be complete until the accomplishment of the visual inspections and required tests of the finished construction, and the full payment for the construction costs.

Why Become an Architect

Since all states and the District of Columbia require licensure from architects, they typically must finish a degree in architecture, gain relevant experience through a paid internship, and pass the Architect Registration Examination. An increasing number of architects voluntarily pursue certification from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), which makes it easier to become a licensed architect across states.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a projected growth of 17 percent for the employment of architects from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the growth average for all occupations. Job opportunities will strongly depend on the activity of the construction industry. Aspiring architects with advanced technical skills and training in sustainable design could have an advantage in the ongoing strong competition.

Sustainable design stresses the efficient use of resources, such as energy and water conservation, as well as the reduction of pollution and waste, through environment-friendly design, specifications, and materials. Salary reports indicate that the mean annual wage for architects would be roughly $80,490 as of May 2014.

Architect Work Environment

With two-thirds of the 107,000 architectural jobs registered working for the architectural, engineering, and related services industry, most architects spend working full time in offices, where they meet with clients, develop reports and drawings, and work with other architects and engineers. They sometimes visit construction sites to ensure the building contractors meet client's objectives and review its progress while wearing protective equipment. Some architects have to work long hours because of project deadlines.

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