In Summary - Architect
Architects typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos on the Web
- Architect- from: Youtube Search
The Work - Architect
Architects are involved in the whole construction process from the planning and design of buildings through to their completion. They may work on a wide variety of projects, ranging from making changes to existing buildings to creating housing estates. Architects can also be involved in the design and construction of roads and other means of public transport such as Luas. Another area is in the planning of towns and public amenities.
The construction process begins with a brief, which the customer and the architect decide together. The brief indicates the type of building required, what it will be used for and the amount it is expected to cost. Before design work begins, the architect may organise research work to obtain information on the needs and opinions of those people who will work in, live in or use the building. They also examine similar buildings and inspect the site of the development.
Most buildings are the result of a team effort and the experienced architect often acts as project leader, discussing ideas with a group of professionals and co-ordinating their work. This may involve the architect in talks with:
civil engineers regarding road or sewerage systems
- structural engineers regarding the design of the structure
- surveyors regarding the choice of site and the cost of materials
- landscape architects regarding the outdoor environment
- architectural technologists regarding technical design and detailing
Once ideas have been established, the architect produces sketches and plans of the exterior and interior, which show the size that the building needs to be and the materials that are appropriate for use. In some cases, the architect co-ordinates the construction of a model to illustrate the proposals. After the client accepts the design for a building, the architect produces detailed technical drawings for use by the building contractor. In some cases, architectural technicians may do this. At this stage, the architect may be involved in talks with town planners and building control officers regarding planning permission and aspects of health and safety. After contracts are agreed with the building contractor, the architect draws up a specific programme of work.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Consult with clients to determine functional or spatial requirements of structures.
- Prepare scale drawings.
- Plan layout of project.
- Prepare information regarding design, structure specifications, materials, color, equipment, estimated costs, or construction time.
- Integrate engineering elements into unified architectural designs.
- Prepare contract documents for building contractors.
- Direct activities of workers engaged in preparing drawings and specification documents.
- Conduct periodic on-site observation of work during construction to monitor compliance with plans.
- Seek new work opportunities through marketing, writing proposals, or giving presentations.
- Administer construction contracts.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Interests - Architect
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
As an architect, you need creativity and imagination to produce something that is visually pleasing and suited to its environment. Architects must have good organisational skills. You need to be able to work as part of a team as no building job can be designed alone without the help of other professionals.
You need to be good at mathematics, technical drawing and English, and you need to have good presentation skills, which you need to be able to combine with knowledge of building technology.
You also need to be able to sketch and draw although you do not need to have studied art. Most architectural work done today uses Computer Aided Design (CAD) so computer knowledge is essential.
Entry Requirements - Architect
The designation of the term 'architect', like that of 'doctor', is protected - it cannot be used by anyone who does not have specific qualifications and accreditation.
In Ireland, to become an architect you must first get a degree from a recognised school of Architecture, followed by two years of approved practical experience and successfully pass the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland (RIAI) Examination in Professional Practice.
Recognised degree courses in architecture take five years of full-time study. Many students take a year out for practical experience between the third and fourth years. Achieving full professional qualification as an architect can therefore take seven to nine years.
Five-year degree programmes may be split into a three-year course followed by a two-year course, or a four-year course followed by a one-year course. Graduates of the initial three-year or four-year Architecture courses are not eligible for RIAI membership or for professional registration.
On completion of your full degree with a recognised college, you are eligible for admission to the Register for Architects and to become an Associate Member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI). RIAI Accreditation is recognised by the Irish Government and EU legislation.
Once you have achieved a minimum of two-years approved experience, at least one of which must be in an EU country, you can take the Examination in Professional Practice. On passing your professional practice you become eligible to apply for Registered Membership of the RIAI.
Accredited Degree Programmes:
- UCD School of Architecture, DN100 3-year Level 8 degree plus 2 additional years to Level 9 Masters - accredited by the RIAI and RIBA in UK
- DIT School of Architecture, DT101 5-year Level 8 honours degree - accredited by the RIAI.
- WIT Department of Architecture, WD144 5-year Level 8 honours degree - accredited by the RIAI.
- UL School of Architecture, LM099 5-year Level 8 honours degree accredited by the RIAI.
- UCC / CIT - Cork Centre for Architectural Education (CCAE) CK606 4-year Level 8 honours degree, which, combined with the 1-year Master of Architecture, is accredited by the RIAI.
There is currently no part-time route available in Ireland to qualification as an architect. Schools of Architecture at the various colleges and universities have procedures for the admission of students transferring or stepping up from other courses and for graduates from other disciplines. Check individual college websites for details.
Note: There are several courses in Interior Architecture available in Ireland. Interior Architecture is a separate, though related, discipline, so these courses will not lead to qualification as an architect.
Studying Architecture in the UK
Queen’s University Belfast School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering - course is accredited by the Architects Registration Board UK and the RIBA. More
University of Ulster - course is accredited by the Architects Registration Board UK and the RIBA. More
There are over thirty recognised schools of architecture in the UK. A full listing, with contact information for all recognised UK schools is available from the UK Architects Registration Board (ARB)
Studying Architecture in Europe
EU Schools of Architecture recognised under Directive 2005/36/EC on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications are listed in this Directive.
Italian architecture magazine Domus has made its 2014 supplement of Europe's top 50 schools in both architecture and design.
Last Updated: November, 2015
Pay & Salary - Architect
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 31k - 100k
Partner / Director 90,000 - 100,000
Associate Architect 70,000 - 80,000
Architect Part III 45,000 - 65,000
Architect Part II 31,000 - 38,000
Last Updated: January, 2019
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Architect
Although the number of quantity surveyors is too small to report, employers have indicated that they are experiencing difficulty in sourcing these skills. Demand is likely to be limited in volume due to the small size of this occupation.
National Skills Bulletin 2018
Useful Contacts - Architect
Public Appointments Service
Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland
OPW - The Office of Public Works