How do I Become an Architect Designer?

Jessica Reed

An architect is responsible for creating the designs and plans for a building. Architects take on a variety of projects and may work as a church architect, residential architect, or in a more modern field on business designs. Architects are constantly looking for new ways to expand designs so they are both functional and beautiful. Several years of education along with an internship and testing is required to become an architect designer. Those who consider this job should enjoy design, math, and problem solving.

Architect designers render building interior and exterior concepts.
Architect designers render building interior and exterior concepts.

Before setting out to become an architect designer, it's important for an interested person to decide what he wants to design. A typical architecture program at a college will cover most buildings and a student interested in building design, whether for businesses or homes, will enjoy this program. A student interested in landscape architecture, however, should pursue a degree specially designed for a career as a landscape architect. While the requirements are roughly the same for both degrees, the classes and skills learned differ. Pursuing a degree in the field of interest is the key to a successful career.

Architects are expected to have a familiarity with Computer Aided Design & Drafting, or CADD, software, as well as an understanding of traditional building design.
Architects are expected to have a familiarity with Computer Aided Design & Drafting, or CADD, software, as well as an understanding of traditional building design.

To become an architect designer, a student must first complete a professional degree at a college accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Bureau (NAAB). This degree program takes about five years to complete. Those interested in special areas, such as solar design or hospital design, may earn another degree in these areas.

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Architect designers develop blueprints for construction projects.
Architect designers develop blueprints for construction projects.

After graduation from college, an internship is required. Typically a student pursuing a degree to become an architect designer will start his internship during his fourth or fifth year of college. He can then continue on after graduation for the rest of his three-year internship. At any point after the degree and internship requirements are met, the student take his licensing exam.

Architect designers need to be good at math and to understand different engineering, design, and safety concepts.
Architect designers need to be good at math and to understand different engineering, design, and safety concepts.

Once a student successfully passes his licensing exam, the architect is then officially licensed and legally allowed to take on jobs as an architect. Licensing is required regardless of the field or area of work the architect wishes to work in. To become an architect designer, the interested person must also check with his state or jurisdiction about local licensing laws. Maintaining the license and keeping it up to date is required to practice as an architect. Each state has different requirements for maintaining an architecture license.

Architect designers draft plans to create buildings.
Architect designers draft plans to create buildings.

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