Many architecture professionals start their careers as architectural designers. In many ways, an architectural design position is an entry-level role, giving you the opportunity to hone critical capabilities that can help you further your career. However, the job itself is quite intriguing, offering plenty of variety and chances to put your skills to the test.
If you’re curious about what it’s like to be an architectural designer, here’s everything you need to know.
How Architectural Designers Spend Their Day
As an architectural designer, most of your daily responsibilities focus on creating design plans. You’ll use a range of approaches to develop plans or blueprints, including computer-aided design (CAD) programs.
Along with floorplans and general structure design, you may also be responsible for specific architectural elements that give a building a unique personality or feel. Additionally, you’ll complete complex mathematical calculations to ensure the designs aren’t just attractive but viable and safe.
In some cases, architectural designers receive project requirements from other team members. In others, they may interact directly with clients, ensuring the customer’s needs are recorded and integrated into the designs.
During construction, architectural designers will also monitor the building’s progress. That way, they can ensure that the plans are followed correctly.
Must-Have Skills, Education, and Training
If you want to become an architectural designer, you need the right skillset. While each company may have different requirements, some of the most broadly sought skills include:
- Construction Documents
- Building Information Modeling (BIM)
- CAD Software
- Building Codes
- Design Development
- Schematic Design
To acquire the necessary expertise, most aspiring architectural design professionals earn a college degree. A Bachelor’s degree with a major in architecture, drafting, or design are the most common options. However, some go further, earning a Master’s degree.
Additionally, many pursue additional education once they start working in the field. At times, their main goal is to remain current on building codes or applicable laws. In others, it allows them to move their career forward, potentially qualifying for an architect’s license after they hone the right skills and gain enough experience.
Architectural Designer Compensation
On average, architectural designers earn just shy of $61,000 per year. However, they commonly get access to comprehensive benefits packages as well. For example, they usually have health insurance, retirement plans, and license reimbursements. They may also get access to mentorship programs, continuing education benefits, and even company stock buying plans.
Additionally, pay rates can rise as you gain experience. It’s also important to note that salaries are often higher in states or cities where demand for those capabilities outpaces supply.
Overall, launching an architectural design career can be a smart move. Not only can you earn a solid living and get great benefits, but you can also work your way up, potentially securing an architect’s license as you gain experience and grow your skills.
If you’d like to learn more about this exciting field or are looking for an architectural design position, the staff at Selectek can help. Contact us today.