Why To Be An Architect

Architecture is a profession which requires high levels of specialized training before the individual may be considered ready for professional work. If someone were to ask, 'How long does it take to become an architect?', the answer would require some explanation because of the number of steps involved. If you are interested in learning this process to decide if architecture is the career for you, continue reading this guide.

How Long Does It Take To Become An Architect, Really?
There are three major steps involved in becoming a professional architect. The journey starts with students enrolling in a Bachelor of Architecture program, which lasts for 5 years and offers comprehensive training into the fundamentals of the subject. Students learn everything from the use of computer aided design in construction to construction methods and theory of structures and structural integrity. The bachelor's degree is for individuals who have no prior background training in architecture. Those who wish to take their learning further may choose to pursue a Master's degree, which could last between one to five years, depending on your background in the field. Assuming that you have a valid undergraduate degree in architecture, graduate studies should not last more than two years in total. This brings your total time as a student to 7 years thus far.

Students are also expected to complete at least 3 years of training in their field outside of college to gain a more practical understanding of their field. While summer internships could count towards this time, it may not be possible to meet the three year requirement within your undergraduate training. As a result, some students may spend time after graduation completing additional training. In total, the answer to the question comes to around 9 years, after which the individual is professionally an architect. If you wish to enter research or academia, you may choose to earn post professional degrees as well. Post-graduate degrees will add more time to the total amount of time it takes you to start your career.

How Much Do Architects Make?
The average architect salary in 2010, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, was close to $70,000. The top ten percent of architects were earning upwards of $100,000. These values will obviously vary based on your employer, the location you are working, and your own personal expertise.

Architecture is becoming more and more sophisticated with advances in technology, and the need to make structures more efficient in terms of energy consumption and materials. There is also a need to reduce the impact of these structures on our modern day environment. As a result, the field of architecture is growing at an above-average pace - 24 percent within this decade alone - corresponding to roughly 30,000 jobs. Those who wish to enter this profession should be observant of the fact that architects have to work long hours, often over 50 hours a week, in order to meet client expectations and beat deadlines. So while the earnings are high, the expected commitment to the job is also quite high.

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