Life and Style

College 101: What Can I Do with an Architecture Degree?

Architecture is a richly rewarding field of study. Gaining an architecture degree won’t be easy, but if you work hard to reach your goals, you’ll be met with a variety of career options. An architecture degree is your gateway to a career as a building architect, as we’ll see, but that’s not your only option. An architecture degree offers many fascinating paths.

Be a building architect

Let’s start with the obvious: An architecture degree is a prerequisite for a career as a building architect. If you want to design buildings, you need an architecture degree.

Still, you shouldn’t expect to be drafting plans for high-rises and family homes as soon as you get out of school. In most cases, you’ll have to pay your dues, working hard at an architectural firm and move up the ladder as you gain more experience in your field. Architecture firms can be very large, especially in big cities, so expect a collaborative experience amid a hierarchy of managers and partners.

Design landscapes or interiors

When we think of architecture, we often think of the design of buildings such as homes and skyscrapers. But those aren’t the only things that architects can design.

With an architecture degree, you could become a landscape architect. Landscape architects design outdoor spaces, laying out planting beds and water features and even designating where land should be flattened or formed into hills and valleys. Landscape architects are very much in demand for work in city parks, on golf courses, and on private properties.

Interior designers can have architecture backgrounds, too. An education in architecture can teach you design principles and planning skills that will make you better at being an interior designer. While an architecture degree is not the only path to a career as an interior designer, the fields have enough in common that you’ll be able to cross over if you so choose.

Be a building surveyor

If you like problem-solving, then you might enjoy a career as a building surveyor. Surveyors tackle tasks that involve the care of existing buildings. As a surveyor, you’ll assess structures and help their owners maintain them, protect them from critical issues, renovate them, or restore them to their former glory. From sustainability improvements to the careful revival of classic structures, a great deal of architectural work must to be done long after building are finished being built. And to play the most important roles in such overhauls, you’ll need an architecture degree.

Work at a contracting company

Contracting firms employ hands-on professionals who know how to swing a hammer and operate power tools, but those sorts of roles aren’t the only ones available at these sorts of companies. Some firms employ architects, too, explain the experts at Vulcan Cladding Systems, which specializes in the installation of exterior metal walls and employs architects, engineers, and laborers. When a contracting company specializes in custom work or technical installations that require precise calculations and plans ahead of time, they need architects.

Be a buildings inspector

You don’t necessarily have to hold an architectural degree to be a buildings inspector — in fact, in some areas, that would make you overqualified. But if you seek out the right opportunities, you’ll find that building inspectors can have tough jobs that require architectural or engineering degrees. In particular, inspecting historic buildings and other complex and sensitive spaces can require a more highly educated and trained individual — and this makes such a position a great opportunity for someone with an education in architecture.

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