Lots of people are confused about what architects do. Do they design houses, buildings, and monuments? Do they manage construction? Do they fund projects? Or are they just cooped up in their rooms designing day and night?
Interestingly, architectural drafting and design is more than these things. Sure you get to design structures but according to one blog, architecture is more about solving problems by adding value. Through design, you find what’s wrong with a specific building, fix it, and improve on it. Architecture is also about understanding the layout of a space; knowing how to use décor and lighting to make it both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Take note, however, that most architects prefer to develop an area of expertise. Most current professional architects only work on specific structures. For example, a landscape architect only designs landscapes because that’s where his strengths lie. He is probably better at planning outdoor spaces than designing structures.
An architect must consider a whole lot of things in the design of a building – space, materials, mass, costs, texture, and structure. That is why an architect should have a good grasp of science, engineering, and mathematics. Because of the scope of their profession, most architects spend many years working within the fields of architectural drafting and design before becoming independent contractors themselves.
Training and Requirements Needed
Should you want to become an architect specializing in architectural drafting and design, you need to take up a four-year undergraduate course. Afterwards, you can take up a graduate program that will allow you to focus on architecture itself. Keep in mind that design isn’t the only thing you need to learn; you’ll need some basic computer skills as well. To illustrate the point, most modern architectural firms require all their employees to have a background in Microsoft Office and AutoCAD. They also prefer employees who are familiar with 3-dimensional modeling software.
There are several levels of architectural courses. First is the Bachelor of Science in Architecture which establishes a foundation in architectural sketching and concepts. It also covers the history of architecture and structures. Second is the Bachelor of Architecture which gives you a brief overview on architecture and leads up to a license in architecture. It covers construction methods, design theories, and building materials. Lastly is the Master of Architecture graduate program which gives emphasis to practical design and also talks about green construction.
After graduation, you need to work as an intern for one to three years before you can take the Architecture Registration Exam. You must pass this exam in order to gain your professional license. Also remember that in order to maintain your license, you need to fulfill continuing education requirements every one to two years.
There are numerous job openings for architects that allow you to work in various types of buildings in both residential and industrial sectors. If you’re looking for an alternative to working as an architect in architectural design and drafting, you can find work as a cost estimator on any part of the vital building project; writing specifications and creating building models.