How Do I Become an Architectural Technologist?

Bryce Clinton
Bryce Clinton
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Depending on where you live and what type of degree you are seeking, it takes anywhere from one to three years to become an architectural technologist. Architectural technologist training is very straightforward; however, it can be more or less advanced in different parts of the world, with greater or lesser amounts of responsibility once you graduate. It can be studied both full and part time, depending on your schedule as a student. In almost all cases, pursuing architectural technologist careers entails completing an accredited program.

To enroll in a school to become an architectural technologist, it's required that you have a high school education. Other architectural technologist requirements include the ability to excel at math and science and to use computers. Most programs are fairly intensive, requiring a wide range of skills and aptitudes, so it might be useful to research the prerequisites and expectations of a given program before embarking on this career path.

In the United States and some other countries, you can become an architectural technologist by earning either a one-year certificate degree or a two-year associates degree in architectural technology. Each qualifies you for different roles in architectural, engineering, and construction firms, depending on your ambitions. These programs can provide enough training for significant advancement and responsibility, sometimes enough to assume management duties or completely oversee a construction project. Emphasis might be placed on modeling, testing, codes, computer-assisted drafting, and other technical aspects of design and construction.

Some countries such as Canada and Great Britain offer longer and sometimes more advanced programs, such as three-year programs. These enable those who become an architectural technologist to do more with their degree, including overseeing and managing entire construction projects from inception to completion. In many countries there is stiff competition for certain types of work among architects, architectural technologists, and other professionals. In such cases, the lines between professional responsibilities are less defined. Great Britain offers a degree path that culminates in the title "chartered architectural technologist," while in Canada, one can either become an "architectural technologist" or an "applied science technologist," each of which might perform the same work.

Generally speaking, architectural technologist training might include architectural history and science; building materials and statics; computer skills, design, and applications; sustainable architecture; structural engineering; surveying; construction contracts; building codes; and more. Many newer programs also have increased emphasis on green technology. Graduates can work in many areas, performing work as computer-assisted drafters, construction project administrators, site estimators, inspectors, and sales professionals. Once you become an architectural technologist, you might work as part of a large team or operate your own business.

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