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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 drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, 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.

Occupation Details

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Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

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A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€22k > 80
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€22 - 80
Related Information:
The Public Sector Salary Scale for a Senior Architect is €62,000 – €80,000
Data Source(s):
Sigmar / CPL / Hudson / Lincoln / Public Jobs

Last Updated: February, 2017

* 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.
Occupational Category

Architects & Town Planners

Also included in this category:

Architectural consultants; chartered architects; building surveyors; architectural technologists; contract and project managers (building construction).

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 6%
Aged over 55: 14%
Male / Female: 66 / 34%
Non-Nationals: 12%
With Third Level: 95%
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At a Glance... header image

Designs, plans and directs the construction of buildings of all kinds and sizes, and changes to existing buildings.

Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Architect - from: About.com Video
Go..Design Manager / Architect - from: icould [UK] Video

The Work header image

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.  

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


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.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


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.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


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.


Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others: Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Design: Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


Building and Construction: Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.


Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Administration and Management: Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

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 Routesheader image

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

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Architect - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Architect - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland
Address: 8 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 676 1703
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: OPW - The Office of Public Works
Address: Head Office Jonathan Swift Street Trim Co. Meath C15 NX36
Tel: (046) 942 6000
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Art, Craft & Design
Architecture, Construction & Property
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