So you want to work in… architecture? A brief guide to the role
When considering any career, the difference between the dream and the reality should always be examined, and this is especially true in architecture. At one end of the spectrum, the job is seen as a good, steady middle-class occupation, and at the other, it can be a fascinating, high-flying route to certain fame. While both of these presumptions may be true for some architects, it’s not true for all of them. Whether you become a superstar or not, you should still enjoy your work.
What do architects do?
In a nutshell, they design buildings, structures and building components, but this doesn’t mean that after graduation you’ll start sketching skyscrapers. In fact, your university training might be a lot more like the architecture you recognise from films and media than your first job. Some architects will work closely with interior designers to help bring the inside or a property to life as well as the outside. This may require using an Antique Fireplaces Ireland company to provide a beautiful centerpiece for a living room or other main room area.
Whether you get your feet wet in a large or small company, you’ll find that architecture is a team activity. There will be hours of drawing involved, but you will complete these drawings as instructed by the person designing the project. Many new architects can become disillusioned at this point, realising it could be decades before they get to design anything themselves. You will have to keep in mind that you don’t get anywhere unless you persevere. Equally spending time drawing out other people’s visions means that you can give valuable experience on what works and what doesn’t and you will start to develop a style of your own.
Choosing a specialisation
The level of satisfaction you find in your career will depend heavily on where you choose to specialise. CAD and BIM skills are an expected norm now, but you can still become a BIM manager or a specialist in any one of the many drawing tools.
Going it alone
At some point in almost every architect’s career, the dream will be to work freelance on your own project. This might be for an individual dwelling or for a larger project won by competition. The most important thing to consider is the cost of operations versus income. Large architecture offices exist and thrive because of their size. The cost of running an office on your own can steal any profits.
No matter how you do it, architecture is a great career and people will always need buildings.