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The architecture field requires artistic abilities, math skills, spatial perception and computer skills. Architects design office buildings, schools, convention centers homes and an array of other types of structures.

Most architecture firms have a small staff of employees. Typically, architecture companies perform a lot of commercial work or residential housing work with practical limitations and strict budgets. Some architects work as consultants providing advice on details such as materials, scheduling and construction.

The increasingly popular sustainable architecture, also known as green architecture, involves architectural theory and design and the use of sustainable building materials and methods to design structures which minimize negative effects on the environment.

This section provides pertinent, reliable information about careers in the architecture sector. TheBestSchools provides detailed information about architecture careers such as employment outlook, salary, training, education and much more.

After you've explored this page on Architecture Careers we encourage you to keep reading our website's extensive career guide with details on job options, education requirements and salaries.

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Architects

Education and Certifications Architects Need

Most architects get their training through a five-year bachelor of architecture degree program; some earn a master's such as a Master of Architecture which can take one to five years depending on previous education and experience.

All states require architects to obtain a license, which can include a professional degree in architecture, practical training and internship. An architect must also pass the Architect Registration Examination. Most states require continuing education to maintain licensure.

In 2011, about one-third of licensed architects also had earned voluntary certification from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, making it easier to qualify for work in other states.

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What They Do

Look around and you'll see the work of architects at every glance. Architects design the buildings and landscapes we use and enjoy every day — homes, theaters, factories, office buildings, public parks, sports arenas and more.

Architects work in a highly creative and collaborative field, sometimes with others in their profession, such as landscape architects, residential architects or interior architects, depending on their own area of specialization.

An architect career involves assessing a client's goals, requirements and budget. An architect career may also include providing feasibility and environmental impact studies and working on site selection and cost analyses.

Once an architect has developed design options and the client signs off on one, they draw up final plans that include air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems, communications, plumbing and electricity. A landscaping architect may handle the design of the property outside the proposed building.

Whether it's a home architect, building architect or landscape architect, a professional in this field may also help clients through the construction bid process, contractor selection and cost negotiations. An architecture career includes following building codes, zoning laws and all other local ordinances.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $78,470
2016, Number of Jobs 128,000
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 4%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $134,610
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $47,480

 

Architectural and Engineering Managers

Education and Certifications Architectural and Engineering Managers Need

Individuals seeking an architectural management career or an engineering management career typically need at least a Bachelor of Engineering degree or a professional degree in architecture. Architectural managers and engineering managers frequently go on to obtain a Masters of Engineering Management (MEM), Masters of Technology Management (MSTM), or Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Architectural managers and engineering managers often have a state license; requirements vary by state.

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What They Do

If you hold an interest in architecture or engineering but are also interested in managing people and projects, an architectural manager career or engineering manager career may be the perfect solution for you.

Architectural managers and engineering managers are in charge of research and development teams working on new products, processes, or designs or improving already existing ones.

Both an architectural management career and an engineering management career include creating project budgets, hiring and managing staff, preparing staff training, determining equipment needs, monitoring the building and maintenance of equipment and creating detailed plans for reaching technical goals.

Architectural and engineering managers search for technical problems slowing or stalling a project and create solutions to get the project completed correctly. They may also set administrative policies and procedures.

Both an architectural manager career and an engineering manager career include regularly ensuring the technical accuracy of their staff as well as meeting production deadlines. Architectural managers and engineering managers also regularly meet with other levels of management or professionals, such as financial managers, production managers, marketing managers, contractors and equipment suppliers while working on projects.

Some engineering managers are involved with construction engineering management, industrial engineering management or engineering project management.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $137,720
2016, Number of Jobs 180,100
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 6%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor’s Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $208,000
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $88,050

 

Drafters

Education and Certifications Drafters Need

People seeking a drafting career typically need some postsecondary education, such as an Associate of Drafting Technology degree, an Associate Computer Drafting and Design degree or an Associate CAD Drafting degree from a technical or community college to enter the field. However, if a drafter specializes in architecture they may need higher education such as a bachelor's degree. Many colleges provide a Bachelor of Computer-Aided Drafting and Design degree program.

Technical institutes offer various certificates and diplomas that vary in length and scope as well as associate degree programs. Community colleges offer similar programs.

After acquiring an associate degree, individuals may work as a drafter or obtain more education in a related field at a four-year college.

Some drafters apply their technical training acquired during military service to civilian drafting jobs, however some additional training may be necessary.

The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) provides a certification program for drafters; typically employers don't require drafters to have certification, however certification demonstrates a drafter's knowledge of nationally recognized practices. The test does not cover software, specific to CADD or graphic production.

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What They Do

Figuratively speaking, drafters wear many hats and use plans from different fields, such as construction, to build just about everything from houses and space shuttles to skyscrapers and microchips. It's a rewarding job for people with great attention for detail, who find enjoyment in creating visual representations for objects.

A drafter career includes using software called CADD, short for computer-aided design and drafting, to convert the designs of production and construction workers into technical drawings and plans. However, with the advent of new drafting technology software such as three-dimensional building information modeling (BIM) and product data management (PDM), drafters perform drafting and design work at the same time as the work performed with other people involved in the same project.

While working under the supervision of architects and engineers, drafters produce designs using their understanding of engineering and manufacturing techniques. A drafting career involves adding structural details to architectural plans as well as preparing multiple versions of designs for review by engineers and architects. A drafting career also includes specifying dimensions, materials, and procedures for new building projects or products.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $54,170
2016, Number of Jobs 207,700
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 7%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Associate degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $84,180
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $34,350

 

Landscape Architects

Education and Certifications Landscape Architects Need

Typically, people seeking a landscape architecture career need a Bachelor in Landscape Architecture degree or a Master in Landscape Architecture degree from an accredited school in landscape architecture (usually by the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board).

Landscape architects need a license in every state. However, landscaping architects working for the federal government do not need a license but do need a bachelor's or master's degree.

There are two undergraduate landscape architect degrees which usually require four to five years of study: a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA).

People with an undergraduate degree in a field other than landscape architecture can take a Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) graduate degree program.

Many employers recommend people seeking a landscape architect career complete an internship with a landscape architecture firm while in school.

A landscape architect's licensing is based on the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.) and applicants who want to take the exam usually need a degree from an accredited school and work experience, although standards vary by state.

For people who don't have an accredited landscape architecture degree, most states offer alternatives to qualify to take the L.A.R.E., usually requiring more work experience. Upon meeting national requirements, a landscape architect can obtain certification; it's useful in getting one state to accept a license from another state.

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What They Do

Working as a landscaping architect is truly a creative, hands-on and visually stimulating career that combines science, design, art and the great outdoors. A landscape architect organizes and designs a variety of structural projects from parks, recreational areas, public land development, restoration projects and highways to airports, and other commercial, residential and urban properties.

A landscaping architect career includes meeting with clients, building architects and engineers to decide and manage cost, design plans and schematics and ultimately make sure the land is suitable environmentally and structurally for construction. Upon approval of a project, landscape architects decide on methods for construction and building materials.

Career Advancement Opportunities

There are many related careers landscape architects can move into such as engineering and urban planning. The most closely related field is architecture itself, the transition require more time and education.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $65,760
2016, Number of Jobs 15,750
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 6%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $108,470
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $40,480

 

Surveying and Mapping Technicians

Education and Certifications Surveying and Mapping Technicians Need

Surveying technicians generally have a high school diploma, although some obtain an Associate in Survey Technology degree or an Associate in Geomatics Technology degree. Surveying technicians learn primarily from on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed surveyor.

Surveying technicians begin their surveying careers placing markers; they gradually perform more difficult tasks until they're helping determine what land to measure and how. Surveying technicians usually ultimately get an apprenticeship or associate degree to further develop math, drafting, and technical drawing skills.

Mapping technicians, however, generally have an Associate of Geomatics degree or a Bachelor of Geomatics degree or an undergraduate degree in a relevant field.

A general certification, called the Certified Survey Technician credential, is available, as well as the more specific certifications through The American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and through The National Society of Professional Surveyors.

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What They Do

Mapping and surveying technicians help map the world and define boundaries. Mapping and surveying technicians work under surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists in collecting the necessary information for map creation.

Surveying technicians who work in fields, forests and dirt areas operate surveying instruments taking measurements, setting new markers, searching for old markers, and collecting data. A surveying technician career includes performing office work, such as transferring their information collected from the field onto computers and processing data.

Mapping technicians select which information is used in creating computerized maps showing boundaries, location of water, elevation, and other terrain features. A mapping technician career includes regularly inspecting maps for accuracy and updating them as needed. A mapping technician career may also involve helping photogrammetrists identify areas not yet captured on aerial photography via studying aerial photographs in sequence.

Career Advancement Opportunities

After obtaining relevant work experience and formal training in surveying, a surveying technician may become a senior survey technician, then party chief. After meeting state-specific licensing requirements, a surveying technician may also become a licensed surveyor.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $39,350
2016, Number of Jobs 48,590
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 16 percent
Entry-Level Education Requirements High school diploma or equivalent
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $51,690
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $30,740

 

Surveyors

Education and Certifications Surveyors Need

Typically, surveyors need a bachelor's degree, such as a Bachelor in Surveying Technology degree or a Bachelor in Surveying Science degree or a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as civil engineering, geography, or forestry.

Surveyors must have a license to provide public surveying services and to certify legal documents in any of the 50 states. Unlicensed surveyors may only work as survey technicians under the direction of a licensed surveyor.

Individuals can acquire a surveyor license with a bachelor's degree and generally a minimum of four years of work experience under the direction of a licensed surveyor. Surveyors must also pass the Fundamentals of Surveying (FS) exam, the Principles and Practice of Surveying (PS) exam, and any other state-specific qualifications for licensure.

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What They Do

Surveyors set the boundaries for pretty much everyone; they determine boarders on land, water, and airspace. Utilizing Global Positioning System (GPS), surveyors measure above and below the Earth's surface to draw maps and determine the ownership lines of properties, define airspace or airports, and measure construction and mining sites.

Surveyors also use special equipment to pinpoint locations of important features, research land records, and prepare plots, maps, and reports. A surveyor career includes writing land descriptions for deeds, leases, and other legal documents. A surveyor career may include providing professional testimony in court.

Surveyors generally perform their work in a group consisting of a licensed surveyor and survey technicians. A surveyor career involves working with a variety of people including civil engineers, landscape architects, urban and regional planners, cartographers, and construction managers.

Some surveyors specialize as geodetic surveyors, geophysical prospect surveyors, and marine or hydrographic surveyors.

Essential Career Information

2017 Median Pay $61,140
2016, Number of Jobs 44,800
Employment Growth Forecast, 2016-2026 11%
Entry-Level Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree
2017, Wage of the Highest 10% $100,420
2017, Wage of the Lowest 10% $34,470

* Salary, number of jobs and employment growth provided by

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