It takes up to seven years to become an architect in the UK: three years as an undergraduate, one-year work experience, two years as a postgraduate, and a further 12 months of work experience before you are eligible to become qualified with RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).
Clearly, the path to becoming an architect is not an easy one. Despite this, architecture is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers you can choose to pursue. To illustrate this, we’ve highlighted just five reasons why you should consider becoming an architect.
1. Create a Legacy
Legendary architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Zaha Hadid and Le Corbusier, were entirely unique individuals who were able to express their creative vision on a vast canvas in their lifetime. These architects created monuments that are lived in, looked at and admired even long after their respective deaths – a legacy that few careers other than architecture is able to offer.
2. Creative Autonomy
While collaboration is part and parcel of the job, architects often enjoy a level of creative autonomy that is unmatched in other fields. The architect is very much like a great film director, an auteur responsible for all creative aspects of their design, meaning that each finished building, when it is finally erected, bears his or her unique stamp, and is the ultimate affirmation of their creative vision.
3. Make a Difference in the World
Modern architecture is, in many respects, a legacy of the social utopianism of the early 20th century, where architects believed that they were helping to improve the lives of individuals by building bold, new cities of the future. The success of those movements is hotly disputed, but nevertheless, modern architecture is equally concerned with causes, such as green energy and sustainability, which, it is hoped, will help to make the world of the future a better place to live.
4. Work with Cutting Edge Technology
The days of the traditional pencil and the sketchbook are long gone in architecture, with modern architects often among the first to adopt new technology and adapt it to their needs. The use of computer-aided-design (CAD) has revolutionised the way architects work, and the buildings they are able to design, with designs such as those of Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry inconceivable without the use of CAD. More recently, architects have been exploring the possibilities of virtual reality in the creative process, allowing them to immerse themselves and their clients completely in their designs.
5. Job Variety
While the role of the architect may appear to be quite rigid, there is actually a great deal of variety in the career. When you finally qualify as an architect, the possibilities in terms of the type of architect you become are extensive, including job roles such as project architect, designer, or a management focused position. Elsewhere, there are a wide variety of different market sectors for you to specialise in, such as retail, hospitality, residential and the public sector.
Whatever type of architect you may choose to become, you are sure to enjoy a varied and rewarding career in this most fascinating of professions.
To find out more about becoming an Architect, visit the Riba Architecture Website.
At Selo, we work closely with architects on design projects and understand the industry challenges well. If you’d like to discuss your next project with us, please just get in touch.