These professionals engage in several complex tasks necessary to the successful construction of a building. They could design private residences, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, or government buildings, among others. They work on designs and drafts of projects in their offices and then travel to construction sites to explain the project and monitor progress. Successful architects are collaborators. Learn about all of the above and more through the rest of this architect job description.

What Does an Architect do?

An architect job description will show that they develop plans for different buildings, using computer software to generate scaled visualizations of these designs, presents options to the client, and manages construction of a construction project. Architects need to have a natural inclination towards art and science. They must be able to create visually pleasing aesthetics while at the same time ensuring the safety of the structure.

how to make an architect salary

Architects are often the first step in the construction of a building. They develop, draft, and draw the plans on the computer, come up with an estimate for the project, and oversee the project from start to finish. Architects regularly work more than 40 hours a week. They need a bachelor’s degree and internship. The median salary is $76,100.

Architect Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities

Creating safe structures for people to live, work, and play are the underlying components of an architect job description. They have to engage in the following duties to ensure that the spaces are safe and, hopefully, appealing to the eye.

  • Conduct a needs assessment with different stakeholders involved in the construction of the project to identify essential and desired qualities.
  • Give estimates for time and cost, making sure to emphasize that these can change over time.
  • Produce scaled drawings of the final structure. These drawings can be free-hand, but due to technological advancements, they will mostly need to be digitized.
  • Work with the construction company to generate contracts.
  • Monitor progress of the construction of the structure.
  • Work as part of a team to take a building from idea to structure.

These responsibilities are on a list from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Architect Required Skills

  • Computer technical skills. These professionals need to be able to use different computer software to model and scale the building project. Therefore, skills regarding various programs, such as CAAD, Corel, or Photoshop are essential.
  • Creative thinking skills. One of the most important skills for architects is hard to quantify. They must be creative and visualize how the different parts of the building will come together. It’s definitely one of the architect skills needed.
  • Analytical skills. Architects have to use math and engineering processes to design buildings that will be structurally sound. Being able to analyze and utilize concepts like geometry allows for automaticity in the design of buildings, thus improving efficiency.
  • Presentation skills. Architects should make presentations in three ways. They should present it to current clients, create marketing presentations for future clients, and create professional presentations to share with colleagues. Thus, being able to show the project to three different types of an audience will make the architect’s name well-known within the field.

How to Become an Architect

They typically need their bachelor’s degree in architecture, an additional three years of internship experience, and licensing contingent on passing of the board examination. However, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) offers voluntary and valuable certification. Nearly ⅓ of all architects seek out this out.

Education & Training Requirements

As far as the architect education requirements, they must have their degree in architecture. It’s a five-year baccalaureate program. A master’s degree is also available. The classes that architects take focus heavily on design, math, engineering, computer systems, and communication. They must be ready to work with other people depending on the project, such as civil engineers.

Thirty-four states require a degree in architecture. The others do not require it. However, individuals looking for architect careers there then need to have at least 8 years of experience before they sit for their boards and obtain their licenses.

Licensing and certification are crucial in the world of architecture. The minimum requirements for licensing are to earn the bachelor’s degree, to gain three years of experience through an internship, and to pass the architect registration examination. NCARB offers competitive, voluntary certification that many earn. This certificate is what allows an architect to work in more than one state.

There are various fees associated with this certificate. The application fee is $1,100, the renewal fee is $225, the reactivation fee for outstanding renewals is $250, and the fee to transfer to another board is $400. However, once earning this certificate, you can participate in free continuing education.

Work Experience

Architects have their training built into their work experience. There are no ‘entry-level’ architects because they must complete three years of internships before they can even sit for their Architect Registration Examination.

NCARB offers the architectural experience program. Through this program, the beginning will learn the practical aspects and the architect roles and responsibilities in construction. They must complete around 96 tasks in six different experience areas. However, it is possible to immediately begin working on the experience program directly after graduating high school.

The different registration boards for architects working in the United States of Canada allow for registration in other districts dependent on producing the necessary evidence of qualifications.

Work Schedules

Most architects work full-time, and about 1 in 5 are self-employed. It is not unusual to work long hours near a project deadline. Self-employed architects, naturally, have flexibility in their hours.

There is a misconception in the field that these professionals work long hours and regularly work more than 40 hours a week. However, this is much more at the individual cultural level than the field in general. Some offices will be more supportive of a work/life balance than others.

In a report run on the LifeofanArchitect blog, the author determined that he averaged 1-2 extra hours of work in an eight-hour day. This adds up over time and 50-60 hours of work is a typical week.

Career Prospects

Choosing to be an architect reflects a commitment to the craft and a willingness to work more than forty hours a week on a regular basis. The job growth for architects, though, is expected to grow 7% through 2024. Their growth is dependent on the amount of new structures or structural renovations completed in their geographic area. Architects who specialize in building schools or health care facilities will be in high demand.

For gradual career advancement, you should become knowledgeable in computer programs such as CADD or building information modeling (BIM) software. In addition, in today’s age, you should gain expertise in sustainable or ‘green’ design. The median architect job salary is $76,100 with the bottom 10 percent of earners making less than $47,000 and the top 10 percent making more than $125,000 annually.

These professionals need to keep current with their certifications and licenses to ensure excellent opportunities for open positions. Also, showing how you helped the community through your architectural skills reflects highly on the person applying for the job.


Architecture is a highly competitive field with a limited number of openings. It is a highly rewarding career that is focused on projects and accomplishing them. An architect job description shows a high salary and stable lifestyle, but you should expect working long hours.