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An architect at his drawing board, 1893.
Names architect
Type profession
Activity sectors real estate development
corporate facilities planning
project management
construction management
interior design
Competencies technical knowledge, management skills
Education required see professional requirements
Average salary US$ 60,000 per year
see earnings

An architect is trained and licensed in planning and designing buildings, and participates in supervising the construction of a building. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, itself derived from the Greek arkhitekton (arkhi, chief + tekton, builder), i.e. chief builder. [1] A looser usage of Architect is: the translator of the building user's requirements of and from a building into an inhabitable environment. Moreover, the words architect and architecture are used in the disciplines of engineering, e.g computer software architect; however, in some of the world's jurisdictions, the professional and commercial uses of these etymologic variants, are legally protected from such loose denotations.

Professionally, an architect's decisions affect public safety, thus must undergo specialized training and education, and a practicum for practical experience in order to qualify for and earn a licence to practice architecture; the practical, technical, and academic requirements for being a licenced architect vary (see below).


[edit] Architects in practice

A workspace of architecture students, crowded with the tools of architectural design

An architect must understand the building and operational codes to which the design must conform, to not omit any requirement, produce improper, conflicting, ambiguous, or confusing requirements. Architects must understand the construction methods available to the builder in constructing the client's building and structures, in order to negotiate with the client in producing the best possible building via a compromise between the desired results with the actual costs and construction schedule limits.

What constitutes a desired-result varies among architects, as the architectural design values underlying modern architecture differ among schools of thought. [2]

Architecture is a business, wherein, technical knowledge, management, and an understanding of business are as important as design. An architect accepts a commission from a client. The commission might involve preparing feasibility reports, building audits, the design of a building or of several buildings, structures, and the spaces among them. The architect participates in developing the requirements the client wants in the building. Throughout the project (planning to occupancy), the architect co-ordinates a design team. Structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers and other specialists, are hired by the client and the architect, who must ensure that the work is co-ordinated to construct the design.

Work time is a standard work week, but, when working to deadline, the architect works as needed. Architects are office-based professionals, but the work includes visiting clients and job sites.

[edit] Design role

Architects deal with local and federal jurisdictions about regulations and building codes. The architect might need to comply with local planning and zoning laws, such as required setbacks, height limitations, parking requirements, transparency requirements (windows), and land use. Some established jurisdictions, require adherence to design and historic preservation guidelines.

Architects prepare the technical documents (construction drawings and specifications) filed for obtaining permits (development and building permits) that require compliance with building, seismic, and relevant federal and local regulations. Said construction drawings and specifications are used for pricing the work and in the construction.

[edit] Construction role

Architects typically put projects to tender on behalf of their clients, advise on the award of the project to a general contractor, and review the progress of the work during construction. They typically review subcontractor shop drawings, prepare and issue site instructions, and provide construction contract administration (see also Design-bid-build). In many jurisdictions, mandatory certification or assurance of the work is required.

Depending on the client's needs and the jurisdiction's requirements, the spectrum of the architect's services may be extensive (detailed document preparation and construction review) or less inclusive (such as allowing a contractor to exercise considerable design-build functions). With very large, complex projects, an independent construction manager is sometimes hired to assist in design and to manage construction. In the United Kingdom and other countries, a quantity surveyor is often part of the team to provide cost consulting.

[edit] Alternate practice and specializations

Recent decades have seen the rise of specializations within the profession. Many architects and architectural firms focus on certain project types (for example health care, retail, public housing, etc.), technological expertise or project delivery methods. Some architects specialize as building code, building envelope, sustainable design, historic preservation, accessibility and other forms of specialist consultants.

Many architects elect to move into real estate (property) development, corporate facilities planning, project management, construction management, interior design and other specialized roles.

[edit] Professional requirements in the English speaking world

[edit] Australia

In Australia the title of architect is legally protected but architects are registered through state boards. These boards are affiliated through the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA)[3]. The Architect Registration also provides accreditation for schools and assessments for architects with overseas qualifications for the purposes of migration.

There are three key requirements for registration: a professional degree from a school of architecture accredited by the AACA; at least two years of practical experience, and; the completion of the architectural practice examination.

Architects may also belong to the Australian Institute of Architects (formerly the Royal Australian Institute of Architects) which is the professional organization and members use the suffix AIA after their name.

Most States have legislation which covers the use of the title "architect" and makes it an offence for abusers of the title. As this can vary, it is essential to check the relevant legislation applicable in each State.

[edit] Canada

In Canada, architects are required to meet three common requirements for registration: education, experience, and examination. Educational requirements generally consist of an M.Arch. degree and are certified by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). For degreed candidates, the experience requirement is typically the Intern Architect Program (IAP). The provincial associations of architects, by the authority granted under their respective provincial Architects Act, require that Interns gain a minimum of 5,600 hours of work experience. The fundamental purpose of the pre-registration/licensing employment period is to ensure that the Intern is provided with sufficient experience to meet the standards of practical skill and level of competence required to engage in the practice of architecture. This experience is diversified into four main categories and 16 sub-categories, and must be completed working under the direct supervision of a registered architect. At present, all jurisdictions use the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), a series of nine computerized exams administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). As well, all jurisdictions except British Columbia recognize the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC), administered by the Pan Canadian ExAC Committee. Upon completion of the educational requirements, IAP, and examinations, one can apply for registration/license. An annual fee must be paid, and continuing education requirements met, in order to maintain a license to practice.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) was established in 1907 and is a voluntary national association representing more than 3,600 architects and Faculty and graduates of accredited Canadian Schools of Architecture.[4] The RAIC aims to be "the voice of Architecture and its practice in Canada". Members are permitted to use the suffix MRAIC after their names. The suffix FRAIC (Fellow of the RAIC) is used by members of the RAIC College of Fellows. Not all members of the RAIC hold accredited degrees in architecture, and not all Canadian architects are members of the RAIC.

[edit] Ireland

The main body for Architecture in Ireland is the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, RIAI. Members may use the affix MRIAI and are registered to use the title "Architect" in company stationary. The title has only recently been protected.

It usually takes 5 years full time study in the recognised schools of Architecture. More details can be found on the [RIAI] website

[edit] Singapore

In Singapore, university study is required (such as the 5 year course of study at the National University of Singapore or certain approved foreign universities). Upon completion of university, additional training by working for a minimum of two years under a registered architect is required in order to become registered. Singaporean law governs the use of the term "architect" and prescribes the requirements to be listed in the Register of Architects. Membership in the Singapore Institute of Architects is a voluntary professional credential.

[edit] United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom practicing under the name, style or title "architect" is restricted by law to those registered at the Architects Registration Board. It usually takes a minimum of seven years to obtain the necessary qualifications and experience for registration. Those wishing to become registered must first study at a recognized university-level school of architecture. Though there are some variations from university to university, the basic principle is that in order to qualify as an architect a candidate must pass through three stages which are administered by the Royal Institute of British Architects:

  • On completing an initial degree in architecture (usually 3 or 4 years, usually either a B.A, BSc, or B.Arch) the candidate receives exemption from RIBA Part I. There then follows a period of a minimum of one year which the candidate spends in an architect's office gaining work experience.
  • The candidate must then complete a post-graduate university course, usually two years, to receive either a Post Graduate Diploma (Dip. Arch), Masters (M.Arch) or B(Arch). On completing that course, the candidate receives exemption from Part II of the RIBA process.
  • The candidate must then spend a further period of at least one year gaining experience before being allowed to take the RIBA Part III examination in Professional Practice and Management.

[edit] United States

In the United States, people wishing to become licensed architects are required to meet the requirements of their respective state. Each state has a registration board to oversee that state's licensure laws. In 1919, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) was created to ensure parity between the states' often conflicting rules. The registration boards of each of the 50 states (and 5 territories), are NCARB member boards.

Requirements vary between jurisdictions, and there are three common requirements for registration: education, experience and examination. About half of the States require a professional degree from a school accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) to satisfy their education requirement; this would be either a B.Arch or M.Arch degree. The experience requirement for degreed candidates is typically the Intern Development Program (IDP), a joint program of NCARB and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). IDP creates a framework to identify for the intern architect base skills and core-competencies. The intern architect needs to earn 700 training units (TUs) diversified into 16 categories; each TU is equivalent to 8 hours of experience working under the direct supervision of a licensed Architect. The states that waive the degree requirement typically require a full 10 years experience in combination with the I.D.P diversification requirements before the candidate is eligible to sit for the examination. California requires C-IDP (Comprehensive Intern Development Program) which builds upon the seat time requirement of IDP with the need to document learning having occurred. All jurisdictions use the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), a series of seven (formerly nine) computerized exams administered by NCARB. The NCARB also has a certification for those architects meeting NCARB's model standard: NAAB degree, IDP and ARE passage. This certificate facilitates reciprocity between the member boards should an architect desire registration in a different jurisdiction. All architects licensed by their respective states have professional status as Registered Architects (RA).

Depending on the policies of the registration board for the state in question, it is sometimes possible to become licensed as an Architect in other ways: reciprocal licensure for over-seas architects and working under an architect as an intern for an extended period of time.

Professionals engaged in the design and supervision of construction projects prior to the 20th century were not necessarily trained in a separate architecture program in an academic setting. Instead, they usually carried the title of Master Builder, or surveyor, after serving a number of years as an apprentice (such as Sir Christopher Wren). The formal study of architecture in academic institutions played a pivotal role in the development of the profession as a whole, serving as a focal point for advances in architectural technology and theory.

[edit] Earnings

Earnings for architects range widely, depending on where and how they work. Salaries also vary depending on the size and location of the practice. Earnings have traditionally been dependent on the local economic conditions but, with rapid globalization, this is becoming less of a factor for larger international firms. Some architects become real estate (property) developers or specialized roles where they can earn a significantly higher income than the industry median.

[edit] Canada earnings

In 2005, a typical salary for those employed in the architecture category in Canada was $49,595 to $73,684 ($CDN). "Architecture" includes architects, architectural technologists, interior designers, landscape architects and structural technologists.

According to the 2005 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Architect occupational group, working part-time or full-time, earned from $31,000 to $114,700 a year. The average salary was $63,100 a year.

[edit] US earnings

According to the 2006–2007 Occupation Outlook Handbook published by the US Department of Labor, the median salary of architects was $62,960 with the middle 50% earning between $46,690 and $79,770. This was slightly above accountants (median income $50,770), college professors (median income $51,800) and on par with most branches of engineering (median income of roughly $60,000). Some architects could earn up to $150,000 a year. Some, If little experience, could earn around $30,000

Intern architects typically earn between $35,000 and $58,000 depending on experience prior to licensure. Architects that have completed the internship period can expect an average starting salary of between $51,709 and $64,519. For 10 years' experience, the base compensation level increases significantly to an average range of $62,608–$79,919; that range reaches $72,678–$96,928 for architects with 15 years' experience.

Senior architects and partners typically have earnings that exceed $100,000 annually. It is not unusual for an officer or equity partner to earn a base salary of $235,000, with a bonus of $200,000. Due to the major stake in ownership that equity partners may have, they can earn incomes approaching, and occasionally surpassing, seven figures. [5]

[edit] UK earnings

The Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW) publishes a guide to the salaries typical of the various stages of qualification: Beginning level candidates (part one) can expect between £11,000 and £18,500. Recent graduates (part two) earn between £19,000 - £29,000. Newly registered architects (part three) earn £29,000 - £32,000; part three, three to five years post-registration £34,000 - £40,000 (salary data collected 6 May). The range of typical salaries at senior levels (after 10-15 years in role) is £32,000 to £80,000, depending on the seniority of the position.

[edit] Finland earnings

The average salary for a Finnish architect starting out in a private office is roughly 33,000€. Architects working for the municipalities are paid according to the Finnish governments salary system, in which the salary is determined by the level of stringency and expertise needed and how well a person copes with the requirements. The average base salary is about 35,000€[6].

[edit] Bolivia earnings

With the actual economic situation in Bolivia, experienced architects earn an average of $10,000 a year, and recent graduates earn an average of $1,000 a year.

[edit] Sweden earnings

Employment salaries: An Architect with 20 years' experience, earn an average of 400,000 SeK, (roughly $50,000 or €37,000) a year. Recent graduates earn an average of 300,000 Sek, (roughly $37,000 or €28,000) a year. About 65% is left to the the employee after governmental taxes are deducted. In average 3-4 % of the production cost of any building project are architects fees. (salary data collected 4 April 2009)

[edit] Professional organizations

Refer to the international list of professional architecture organizations for groups created to promote career and business development in architecture. A wide variety of prizes are awarded to architects to acknowledge superior buildings, structures and professional careers.

[edit] Prizes and awards

The most prestigious award a living architect can receive is the Pritzker Prize, often termed the "Nobel Prize for architecture." Other awards for excellence in architecture are given by national professional associations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Architects who have made outstanding contributions to the profession through design excellence, contributions in the field of architectural education, or to the advancement of the profession are elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and are given the postnomial FAIA after their name. Other prestigious architectural awards are the Alvar Aalto Medal (Finland) and the Carlsberg Architecture Prize (Denmark).

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Online Etymology of the term "architect"
  2. ^ Holm, Ivar (2006). Ideas and Beliefs in Architecture and Industrial design: How Attitudes, Orientations, and Underlying Assumptions Shape the Built Environment. Oslo School of Architecture and Design. ISBN 8254701741.
  3. ^ Architect Registration
  4. ^ Architectural Institute of Canada
  5. ^ Architect Magazine
  6. ^ The profession database of Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy

[edit] Further reading

  • Roger K. Lewis, Architect? A Candid Guide to the Profession. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1998.
  • David Chappell, J. Andrew Willis, The Architect in Practice. Blackwell Publishing, London, 2005.
  • Blythe Camenson, Careers in Architecture. McGraw-Hill; New York, 2001.
  • Lee W. Waldrep, Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design, John Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 2006.
  • American Institute of Architects, The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, Student Edition, John Wiley, Chichester, 2001.
  • Peter Piven, Bradford Perkins, Architect's Essentials of Starting a Design Firm (The Architect's Essentials of Professional Practice), John Wiley, Chichester, 2003.
  • James R. Franklin, Architect's Professional Practice Manual. McGraw-Hill Professional, New York, 2000.
  • James P. Cramer; Scott Simpson, The Next Architect: A New Twist on the Future of Design. Greenway Communications, 2006
  • James P. Cramer, How Firms Succeed: A Field Guide to Design Management. Greenway Communications; 2nd Illus edition, 2004.
  • Gerald Morosco, Edward Massery, How to Work With an Architect, Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 2006.
  • Pat Guthrie, Architect's Portable Handbook. McGraw-Hill Professional; 3 edition, 2003.
  • Charlotte Baden-Powell, Architect's Pocket Book. Architectural Press, London, 2001.
  • Dr. Eisenmenger, Mathias, Architect's er Architekt: Das zukünftige Berufsbild unter Berücksichtigung seiner Verantwortung als Baumeister. kassel university press, Kassel, 2007, (PDF-Version)

[edit] External links

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