Design & Architecture

Architect

Architects plan and design houses, office and commercial buildings, and other structures.

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor's degree + professional registration

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Architect do?

Architects plan and design houses, office and commercial buildings, and other structures.

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Work activities

As an architect, you will create designs that take all of your clients’ requirements account. You would:

  • meet with clients or builders to discuss their requirements and prepare a design brief
  • prepare sketches, production drawings and detailed drawings by hand or using computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • combine structural, mechanical and artistic elements into a building's design.

In doing so, you would also need to consider the client’s budget, safety, building regulations and planning laws.

Once a design is agreed, you would:

  • produce a set of detailed technical plans, using computer aided design software, including precise dimensions and materials
  • work closely with contractors, engineers, surveyors, lawyers and planning departments
  • regularly inspect the construction work to check progress.

You will be responsible for managing a building project from the earliest stages through to completion. On larger jobs, you're likely to be part of a team alongside other architects.

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Key skills and interests

To become an architect, you would need:

  • an interest in buildings and their uses
  • practical and scientific skills
  • a methodical, logical and analytical approach
  • design and CAD skills
  • strong mathematical ability
  • good business awareness.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

You will usually work standard hours, Monday to Friday. You may need to work longer hours, depending on deadlines and workload, particularly if you are self-employed and need to meet private clients outside of normal working hours.

Conditions

Architects work in architectural firms, for building and construction companies, or may be self-employed and have their own private practice.

You will be based at an office, although you may spend some time travelling to sites, and having meetings with clients, planning departments and builders. When visiting building sites, you would wear protective clothing.

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How to become an Architect?

Entry Level Education

To become an architect you usually have to complete an accredited degree in architecture. This usually consists of a degree in arts or design with a major in architecture, and may be followed by a Master of Architecture. English and mathematics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

Applicants may also be required to demonstrate basic freehand drawing ability and computer skills.

Architects must be registered with the Architects Registration Board in the state or territory in which they intend to practise. To apply for registration you must complete an accredited architecture degree, have two years of monitored experience with an architectural firm and sit an examination in architectural practice set by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) and run by your state Architects registration board.

www.aaca.org.au


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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of architects is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.

Architects will be needed to make plans and designs for the construction and renovation of houses and apartments, offices, retail stores, and other commercial structures. Strong demand is expected for more healthcare and aged care facilities as the population ages and more individuals use healthcare services.

Demand is projected for architects with knowledge of sustainable design. Sustainable design emphasises the efficient use of resources, such as energy and water conservation; waste and pollution reduction; and environmentally friendly design, specifications, and materials. Rising energy costs and increased concern about the environment have led to many new buildings being built with more sustainable designs.

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