Architects are leaders in America's effort to go green ? they help design sustainable homes, commercial buildings, schools, offices, hospitals, and government buildings. By nature, architects are problem solvers with inventive minds and creativity. Nearly a fourth of all working architects are self-employed, while others work for design firms, government agencies, or construction companies. They're the link between clients, engineers, and governmental organizations.
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How to Prepare for a Career as an Architect
Choose between three pathways to the profession:
- Through advancement
- By passing the National Architectural Examination for Licensing
- By completing an architecture degree at a college or architecture school
Many budding architects work or intern at an architecture or design firm while attending architecture school. Your schoolwork often requires you to create a portfolio of design projects to show potential employers.
Education Requirements for Architects
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports most architects earn an architecture degree in four to five years. Some complete a master's degree in architecture from a college or university. Architecture classes may include: architectural history, drafting and design; especially using CADD software, and math and theory. Many firms expect their architects to pursue continuing education or architecture certification programs.
Salary Range and Job Outlook
The BLS predicts a 16 percent growth in jobs for architects during the 2008-2018 decade. The median 2008 annual salary for architects was $70,320. At the top ten percent of the scale, architects earned $119,220.