Architecture careers are popular in the United States. Each year, more architects graduate from schools and enter the world of employment. The job of an architect is to design structures and buildings, while ensuring that they are completely safe and functional. Careers for architects typically involve designing everything from bridges to private homes and even large stadiums. There are certain specialties within the field, but many architects can take on a variety of projects.
The first step to become an architect is getting a degree in architecture. Many universities offer architecture programs, as well as some art schools and institutions. However, an undergraduate degree in architecture is unlike other undergraduate programs. Instead of enrolling in a traditional four-year program to obtain a bachelor’s degree in architecture, students are required to complete a five-year program. There are also more assessments for undergraduate architecture students, as they are required to create portfolios and complete tests of their knowledge and skills. Students can also get a master’s degree in architecture, which can benefit students who are worried about the competitive job market for architecture careers. Students who have a bachelor’s degree in architecture can complete their master’s program in two years through a number of different universities. However, students with a bachelor’s degree in other fields must take a three- or four-year program to graduate.
Once a degree is obtained, the possibility of finding work for architects is generally good, since many companies want to add architects to their teams each year. There are also many foreign countries that hire architects in the United States in order to create structures overseas, adding more job opportunities. The architecture industry is expected to expand more than other fields, which could mean that the job outlook for those who want to obtain architecture careers in the coming years.
However, once you have a degree in architecture, there are more steps that need to be taken. Practicing architecture requires more than just degrees. Licensing and more education are also important for architecture careers. Architects are not allowed to provide services to anyone in the United States without a license. In order to get a license, one must have a degree in architecture, complete an internship or training period and pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The internship program can last from one to three years. Often, architects are allowed to work, design and create structures, as long as they work with a fully licensed architect. Many companies hire recent graduates on a full-time basis to complete their internships and help them prepare for the ARE and then hire the interns on as full-time employees. There is no strict time requirement when one must take the ARE–it depends on the individual student. However, in order to maintain a full license, more education is required. Once an architect is fully licensed, he or she can manage entire large projects and manage other architects. Additionally, many architects decide to apply for positions with large architecture firms or create their own architectural practices during their architecture careers.
Architecture careers are popular in the United States for a number of reasons, one of which is the generally high salary of architects. A licensed architect makes a decent average salary in the United States. The average salary is approximately $73,000 annually, but the salary varies for each architect. However, recent graduates who are working full-time while completing their internships or training programs often make less than half of the average salary.