The process to become a managing architect can involve formal education, work experience, and a certification exam, depending on area regulations. Each nation has its own standards architects must meet to qualify for practice. Trade organizations can provide information about the specific requirements in a given nation. People aspiring to managing architect positions may also need work experience as fully qualified and trained architects to develop the competency to work as project managers.
Managing architects supervise complex architectural projects. They work with architects and engineers during the design and development phase to meet the needs of the client and address concerns about health and safety. As the project gets underway, they can visit the job site, coordinate with personnel on site, and inspect the structure to make sure it is meeting the specifications. A final inspection of the completed structure may also be necessary before turning it over to the client’s control.
Someone who wants to become a managing architect can start with an architecture degree from a college, university, or trade school that offers this qualification. It may also be possible to pursue professional internships in this field to develop additional experience and skills. The length of time required for a degree can vary, depending on the program, but may be between three and five years. After graduation with a qualification, it is possible to apply into an apprentice program, where a trainee can work for up to three years under close supervision.
Work experience can be critical to become a managing architect. It may be necessary to demonstrate professional experience to sit for a certification exam, and project managers need to be very familiar with the industry. In regions where examinations are required to be fully licensed to practice, apprentices can apply after they have completed a set number of hours of training. This training can include additional formal education at workshops and classes in addition to work for an architecture firm.
Once someone who wants to become a managing architect has a license, it is possible to start working independently. Firms can provide increasing levels of responsibility to their staff as they acquire experience and skills. Eventually, project manager positions may open up, providing an opportunity to become a managing architect. These jobs require not just a knowledge of architecture, but also good communication and coordination skills to keep all members of a team on task throughout the project.