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What does an Architect do?

As an architect, you will have a hand in designing the homes and buildings of the future. This line of work will consist of designing the buildings that meet the needs of a wide-range of clients. This can include the appearance of a building, the overall safety, compliance of government regulations, and even the overall budget. Depending on the job, architects may also oversee the construction of a building to ensure that it accurately meets the initial design. This can include ensuring that the building is being built with the correct materials, and evaluating many different construction bids to determine which contractors will best put the plan into action.


What sort of training and education will prepare me to become an architect?

There are several steps that one must take in order to become an architect. To start, a potential architect will need a degree in architecture. This will be a bachelor’s degree at a minimum, and will require courses relating to architectural theory, building design, construction technology, and more.

Upon receiving a degree, students should look to complete some sort of internship to build experience. This internship and training should last at least 3 years. Not only is this internship giving you the training that you will need to excel in the job market, but the experience is also a requirement in becoming a licensed architect.

Finally, the last step will be to become a licensed architect. All 50 states require that an architect is licensed.. To obtain this license, you will need to pass the Architect Registration Examination. The Architect Registration Examination consists of seven divisions relating to architect. These divisions include Site Planning & Design, Structural Systems, Building Systems, and more. Upon completion, you will now be a licensed architect!

What does an Architectural Engineer do?

An architectural engineer is a vital part in the process of designing and creating a building. While an architect works to design a building based on a client’s needs, the architectural engineer works to ensure that a building’s operating systems will be compatible with the overall architectural design. An architectural engineer will accomplish this with their knowledge of building codes, cost efficiency, and a desire to solve the complex architectural challenges that are faced each and every day. While an architect will usually work for one client at a time, an architectural engineer is more capable of working for several clients at a time — often as an independent contractor.

architectural engineer

What sort of training and education will prepare me to become an architectural engineer?

To receive the proper education to become an architectural engineer, you must obtain a bachelors degree in architectural engineering. This can take anywhere from 4-5 years, and the degree that you receive must be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. The first two years of the degree should consist of general studies as well as classes in math, and science such as engineering physics and statics. You may also need to take classes relating to structural design, fluid mechanics, architectural design, and thermodynamics.

Upon receiving a degree in architectural engineering, the next step is to obtain a state license. This license will allow you to offer your services to the general public. Depending on the state, the process for obtaining a license may vary. Generally, you will need a bachelors degree and to pass the fundamentals of engineering examination. Beyond this, you may need to obtain work experience and pass a Principals and Practice of Engineering exam. The requirements can vary depending on the state, so it’s important to pay close attention to the requirements that you may face.

What does a Landscape Architect do?

When you think about architects, you probably think about the people who design homes and skyscrapers, but what about the parks, subdivisions and campuses? That’s where a landscape architect takes over. They design the placement of walking paths, maintain public gardens and restore damaged ecosystems. They work with other city planners, environmental scientists and engineers in order to responsibly create lasting beauty in our surroundings.

landscape architect

Training to be a landscape architect

People like their surroundings to look good, but it is just as important that the job is done correctly and according to local safety and health codes. Most states require landscape architects to be licensed. You will typically need a degree in landscape architecture, a passing score on the Landscape Architect Registration Exam (LARE) and some work experience. BLA and BSLA programs at accredited schools can prepare you for this exam administered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards. This professional organization reports that 49 U.S. states, two Canadian provinces and the territory of Puerto Rico all require passing scores.

The American Society of Landscape Architects suggests that a licensed professional needs to possess:

  • Sensitivity to landscape quality
  • Understanding of the arts and a humanistic approach to design
  • Ability to analyze problems in terms of design and physical form
  • Technical competence to translate a design into a built work
  • Skills in all aspects of professional practice including management and professional ethics

Landscape architects need to have a knack for both the arts and sciences. They balance the complex relationships between manufactured and natural settings with a creative eye and a scientific mind. You need professional education to gain the skills and knowledge of this career, such as a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) or a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA). Coursework could include art, natural and social sciences, design, engineering, environmental issues and resource management.

Landscape achitect careers

Newly licensed professionals face stiff competition for positions at larger firms. Fortunately, large firms are not the only option. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 21% of all landscape architects are self employed. Top employing industries include Architecture and Engineering, Buildings and Grounds, and Local and State Government.

While some landscape architects are generalists, working on many different types of projects. Others will specialize in an area such as eco-restoration, highway beautification, or campus grounds. Most of their time is spent in an office drafting and researching plans, preparing cost analyses or creating models. They visit sites to plan and oversee construction efforts.

If you enjoy a blend of science and expression, the outdoors and ecology, then landscape architecture could be the route for you.