How to Become an Architect?

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How to Become an Architect

Do you often look at a majestic building or a uniquely designed room and wonder who came up with its design and structure? Every physical structure sprouted initially from the genius mind of an Architect who transformed the simplest idea into a wonderfully created structure! From the conception of the idea to its formulation as well as construction to enliven it, the architect remains engaged in all the details. Intrigued by the career path of an architect? If you have a knack for designing and an eye for detail, then you must consider studying Architecture. This blog brings you a comprehensive guide on how to become an architect, including the courses, universities as well as career scope this field has on offer.

Architecture Courses B.Arch, M.Arch
Entrance Exams NATA, JEE, AIEEE
Average Fees ₹4 Lakhs- ₹10 Lakhs
Average Salary ₹390,000
Top Institution in India NIMS University

Who is an Architect?

An architect is involved in planning, designing and overseeing the construction of different structures such as offices, houses, malls, stadiums etc. The task of an architect is not easy, they have to make sure that the constructions adhere to different measures of public safety, quality, functionality and environmental protection. Therefore, the architect needs to have an understanding of all these factors along with a creative streak. Since architects need to work in teams, having great interpersonal and communication skills are a must for them.

Types of Architects

Before knowing in detail about how to become an architect, let’s first know about the most common types of architects with the help of the given table:

Types of Architects  Description 
Technical Architect These experts are mostly concerned with a structure’s technical elements, such as its thermal efficiency and water tightness. To ensure that buildings fit regional and local construction standards and laws, technical architects research and modify construction mechanics and features.
Planning Architect This type of architect is usually hired to advise on a project’s compliance with local and national laws and regulations. A planning architect, for example, may explain a site’s legal constraints or submit a project for approval to a municipal or regional authority.
Site Architect From start to completion, a site architect is in charge of managing all activity on a construction site. A site architect can provide construction workers instructions, procure a construction contract, and guarantee that quality and safety are maintained throughout the project.
Design Architect This type of architect is responsible for a building’s entire design and construction. A design architect can sketch up the basic outline of a structure, develop blueprints, and tweak the design to meet the client’s needs. This expert may also help choose the materials that will be utilised to construct the project.

How to Become an Architect?

Due to the great scope of a career in architecture, it has now attained huge popularity as a field of study among students. Wondering how to become an architect? Here is a step by step guide for you:

1. Opt for Science Stream after 10th

If you wish to pursue your career as an architect, you should begin by choosing the relevant subjects at the school level. It is essential that you go for the science stream after your 10th board and make sure to choose mathematics as one of the major subjects since the understanding of many mathematical concepts is needed when planning the structure of a building. Also, architects also need to have a good grasp of the basic concepts of physics that are involved in construction. Additionally, drawing skills also come in handy while creating designs of structures on paper.

2. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

After completing your secondary education, you need to go for a Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) degree. The B.Arch course is generally a 5-year degree and aims to equip the student with all the skills as well as the knowledge necessary to work as an architect in the construction sector. The course covers both theoretical and practical modules to produce highly qualified professionals in architecture.

Apart from the general BArch degree, you can also choose from specialised bachelor’s degree programs in Architecture such as:

  • Bachelor’s in Engineering and Architectural Design
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Landscape Architecture
  • BSc/BA in Architecture Technology & Construction Management
  • BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture & Design

The minimum qualification for a bachelor’s degree in Architecture is 10+2 and if you are planning to apply for Indian universities, then you will also be required to qualify NATA exam or any other university-specific exam. For students who want to pursue these courses abroad, you will additionally need to have a valid score in the required exams such as the ACT or SAT along with the English proficiency exams like TOEFL or IELTS.

3. Apply for an Architect Position

You can apply to work as an architect after passing the Architect Registration Examination and becoming licenced. You can work for a firm, a private practice, or in the field where you performed your internship.

4. Work on your Skills through Training Programs

All architects need to go through a compulsory internship period (included in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs) before getting licensed as a professional. You will be required to work under a professional architect to not only get exposure to all the technicalities involved in construction but also to gain experience in working as an architect. In countries like the USA and Canada, there are regulated training programs for students of architecture who are preparing for their licensure exams. These programs are known as the Intern Development Program (IDP) in the USA and the Intern Architect Program (IAP) in Canada.

5. Get Registered/Licensed as an Architect

The final and most important step is to get registered or obtain a license to work as a professional architect. Although in some countries you can work as an architect even without a licence after completing a bachelor’s degree in this field, it is good to get a license since it makes you eligible for more job opportunities on a global level. In India, an architect needs to register with The Council Of Architecture (COA) with all the required documents in addition to obtaining a certificate from a recognised university. All countries abroad have their own departments for providing licenses to architects. For example, in the US, you have to pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) conducted by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) to earn a professional license, while the Architects Registration Board (ARB) administers the license in the UK.

6. Earn Professional Certifications

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards offers extra-national certification in addition to the Architect Registration Examination. This qualification, while not needed, might help you apply for architecture employment in several states and exhibit your professional abilities and expertise.

7. Earn a Master’s Degree

The next step in this step-by-step guide on how to become an architect is to pursue a master’s degree. If you aim to gain a higher-level qualification after graduation, you can opt for a Masters in Architecture (M.Arch) degree or specialised master’s level programs in Architecture. While many BArch graduates decide to pursue job opportunities after completing their bachelor’s degree, pursuing a postgraduate degree will help you gain expertise as well as get specialised in a specific field. Here are some of the major specialisations you can opt for the major master’s degree level Architecture courses:

Skills Required

Being an architect requires one to wear many hats. A person must have artistic hands and must be good with numerals at the same time. Here are the skills that are necessary for becoming an architect.

  • Math and engineering skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills
  • Creative Thinking
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Computer Modelling
  • Commercial Knowledge
  • High Perceptual Skills
  • Teamwork and Management
  • Effective Communication Skills
  • Intense Pursuit

Similar Jobs as an Architect

Being an architect comes with a huge job scope due to the ever-increasing urbanisation and the need for sustainable and eco-friendly living spaces. Now that you are aware of the major steps you need to fulfil to become an architect, let’s take a look at the different career opportunities that you can choose from in this field:

  1. Civil Engineer
  2. Industrial Designer
  3. CAD Designer
  4. Urban Planner
  5. Architectural Drafter
  6. Structural Designer
  7. Architectural Historian
  8. Structural Engineer
  9. Lighting Consultant
  10. Interior Designer

A career as an architect provides you with a fair salary package along with additional benefits. The average salary of an architect in India is ₹348,423. The pay usually increases with one’s experience and additional skills. Tabulated below is the salary based on the various job profiles in architecture. 

Lighting Architect ₹340,872 
Research Architect ₹13,03,845
Restoration Architect $95,410 
Landscape Architect INR 8,63,500

Top Universities Abroad for Architecture

While exploring the career map of how to become an architect, it is of utmost importance to also be familiar with the most popular universities where you can pursue a degree in architecture. Here is a list of some of the best Architecture colleges and universities according to the QS World University Rankings for Architecture & Built Environment, 2021:

University Country Rank
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States 1
University College London United Kingdom 2
Delft University of Technology Netherlands 3
ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Switzerland 4
Harvard University United States 5
National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore 6
The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) United States 7
Tsinghua University China 8
University of Cambridge United Kingdom 9
Politecnico di Milano Italy 10

Top Colleges in USA

The USA proves its architecture expertise through the highly artistic and grandiose buildings along with state-of-art premises. The following are the top colleges in the USA for architecture courses.

  1. Stanford University
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  3. Harvard University
  4. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  5. Princeton University
  6. Yale University
  7. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  8. Columbia University
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. New York University

Top Colleges in Canada

Studying architecture in Canada provides students with a great foundation and the necessary skills. Here are the top colleges in Canada for architecture. 

  1. University of British Columbia
  2. Memorial University of Newfoundland
  3. University of Calgary
  4. University of Manitoba
  5. University of Waterloo
  6. University of Toronto
  7. McGill University
  8. Ryerson University

Top Colleges in Australia

Another top country to pursue architecture is Australia with its unique courses and professional training. Australia also holds some of the world’s oldest structures which have been intricately designed. Here are the top colleges to pursue architect in Australia. 

  1. University of Melbourne
  2. Queensland University of Technology
  3. University of New South Wales
  4. University of Adelaide
  5. University of Queensland
  6. University of Canberra
  7. RMIT University
  8. University of Technology Sydney
  9. Engineering Institute of Technology

Top Colleges in India for Architects 

There are many institutions in India that provide professional training in the field of architecture. These are the top colleges to pursue architecture courses in India. 

Name of Institution Location Admission Route
IIT Kharagpur Kharagpur JEE Mains+ JEE Advanced + AAT
IIT Roorkee Roorkee JEE Mains+ Advanced + AAT
National Institute of Technology (NIT’s) Multiple JEE Mains Paper 2
BIT Mesra Ranchi JEE Mains Paper 2
School of Planning & Architecture Multiple JEE Mains Paper 2
Chandigarh College of Architecture Chandigarh JEE Mains Paper 2
Faculty of Architecture, Jamia Milia University New Delhi JEE Mains Paper 2
SMVDU, Katra Jammu JEE Mains Paper 2
Sir J. J. College Of Architecture Mumbai JEE Mains Paper 2 / NATA
Manipal Institute of Technology Manipal  NATA

Online Courses

Apart from physical courses, there are various online courses that students can take and learn the basics. However, it is important to note that students must practice polishing their skills in this field. 

Pros and Cons of Becoming an Architecture 

After knowing in detail about how to become an architect and top universities abroad and in India, let’s now identify some of the pros and cons of becoming an architect in today’s time:

Pros 

  • For dedicated people who want to utilise their imagination to create something new that is both aesthetic and helpful, architecture is one of the most rewarding jobs.
  • An architect works in a fast-paced setting and has a creative process that is adaptable.
  • Architects collaborate closely with specialists from a variety of fields, including engineering and design. 
  • As a result, architects typically develop a comprehensive and broad perspective on common issues and are able to address them in novel ways. 
  • Having said that, architecture is unquestionably one of the most demanding and difficult professions.

Cons

  • Before one may begin working formally, one must first complete a long term of academic and professional training.
  • Architecture is a difficult and competitive profession. 
  • Architects earn an average starting salary when compared to other professions with similar educational backgrounds.
  • Architects often operate in an unstructured environment, meaning they work with a variety of deadlines and so their workloads fluctuate throughout the year.

FAQs

Which company is best for Architecture in India?

These are the top Architecture companies in India are:
Architect Hafeez Contractor.
C.P. Kukreja Associates.
Somaya & Kalappa Consultants.
Oscar & Ponni Architects.
Kembhavi Architecture Foundation.
Morphogenesis.

Do architects get paid well?

A career as an architect is one of the most lucrative careers in India as well as abroad.

Do Architects need to be good at drawing?

Students who pursue architecture must be good at drawing and must know the basics of sketching.

What qualifications do you need to become an architect?

In order to become an architect, you’ll be requiring:
a degree recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB)
a year of practical work experience.
a further 2 years full-time university course like BArch, Diploma, MArch.
a year of practical training.
a final qualifying exam.

Is it hard to become an architect?

Architects who have had a great career have all made tremendous sacrifices and worked exceedingly hard to get there. Historically, becoming an architect has not paid well, requires a lengthy education, and entails a great deal of legal obligation.

Do architects get paid well?

In the United States, the average annual wage for architects is $89,560. On a nationwide level, the average salary for architects has gradually climbed year after year. Architects earned an average yearly pay of $87,500 in 2017, $88,860 in 2018, and $89,560 in 2019.

We hope this blog cleared your doubts regarding the process of how to become an architect. Want to start your career in this field with a B.Arch degree? Reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu who can help you identify the best universities as per your requirements, along with assisting in the application process. Call on 1800572000 for a free session today!

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6 comments
    1. Hi Archana,

      Deciding on which career path to choose is a difficult decision. However, we must try to break down our goals and purposes in life into smaller fragments to understand what career or courses will help us fulfil them. You can read on how to decide your career goals in this blog- https://leverageedu.com/blog/career-goals/.

  1. Please help me I am a B. Com honours student. But now I want to become a architect is that possible for this situation……… Plz reply me plz plz plz……….

    1. To become an architect, B.Com isn’t the best choice for an undergraduate degree. Unfortunately, there are less chances of you being able to pursue architecture.

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