You can do what you love
Architecture is a passion. Becoming an architect is for people who can’t imagine doing anything else. If you are a perfectionist and love being creative, architecture might be for you. You also get to make real, tangible things, which is very satisfying. You get to express yourself through your job and implement your vision.
You do lots of different stuff
You will never be bored as an architect. Projects are complex, and you will be doing all sorts of tasks. Also, the field of architecture is always changing. Trends and technologies constantly evolve. You will have to do some professional development to stay current, but that means you’ll always be learning.
You’re making a difference with architecture. You may not be curing cancer, but you’re giving the people safe, healthy places to live and work in. What you do also counts because you are responsible for your buildings to be safe. Yes it’s a lot of pressure, but isn’t that the case with all things that are worth doing?
Becoming an architect takes a lot of effort
It takes a long time to become an architect. The training period is similar to other professions like law and medicine. At minimum it will take eight years to get your license in the United States. First, you will need to get an accredited degree in architecture, which is either a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture or a 2- to 3- year Master of Architecture. Then you must complete a program known as IDP (Intern Development Program). This will take at least 3 additional years to finish. During this time you will be working in an architecture office and getting professional experience. You also must pass the ARE (Architect Registration Exam). This is a 7-part exam that tests your proficiency as an architect. After you do all this, you are finally an architect!
Hours and Pay
An architect’s salary isn’t bad, but if you compare it to professions with similar training and licensing requirements, its much less. According to Salary.com, the median income for architects is $42,000 to $113,000 depending on experience. Expect long hours and lots of stress. This is a deadline-driven profession.
Times are hard when the economy is down
Architecture and construction are dependent on the economy. When the economy is good, architecture is a lucrative profession. Businesses are growing, and families are improving their homes. This means tons of new projects for architect. When the economy is bad, opportunities disappear, and many architects find themselves without work.