A guide for students on how to become an architect




Choosing A Career

ARCHITECT If you appreciate the buildings that surround you, becoming an architect might be a career that interests you. Being an architect blends together art and science in order to design buildings that have purpose, whilst also being aesthetically pleasing. Whether it is creating designs for a new construction pr ect, xtensions terations or redevelopments, an ar itect is a vital p t of e pr ess ecause of their specialist construction knowledge and high-level drawing skills. Often, architects will find themselves adapting their plans during the project to meet budget constraints, environmental factors and of course, the customer’s needs. They will also work closely with other professionals who are working on the job, this includes quantity surveyors and building services engineers. Having excellent communication and ganisational skills is vital, whilst an understanding in engine ing, planning ermissions and building regulations i an advantage James Tartt, director of Group D Architects and esteemed Educate Awards judge, always had an interest in design throughout his time at school and college and went on to study architecture at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). He said: “I wanted to utilise my design kills in a ay that could benefit the environment, society and people an also in a w y that would give me a sense of pride in what I do. I would ay living Liverpool throughout the ‘noughties’ inspired me too. Seeing Liverpool ain Capital of Culture statu in 2008 and watching the city prog ss and trans m made me want to be a part of its exciting resurgence.” In the UK, architecture is a regulated profession. This means that you must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) to practise using the title ‘architect’. Membership of a professional body is optional but not a substitute for registration. Becoming an architect takes a lot of hard work and dedication. In the past, completing a degree at university would have been the main route in he ofes on but th e ar now apprenticeships available. If you choose the university route, you will fi tly need to complete th ee-year degree in architect e– his is oft ref ed to as art 1 Following this, you must gain a year’s professional experience. Next, you will need to conduct a twoyear degree or diploma in architecture – this is usually referred to as ‘Part 2’. Once again, this is followed by a further year of professional experience. Finally, you then need to take the Professional Practice Examination – this is known as ‘Part 3’. You will need to have all three qualifications in order to apply for gistration, toge her with a minimum of 24 months appropriate practical training experience Whilst gaining experience you will be earning a salary. As a P rt 1 chitectural assistant, you are likely to achieve between £15,000 – £22,000 per year, depending on location. As a Part 2 architectural assistant, you will have gained some valuable experience and could receive between £23,000 – £35,000 per year As a fully qualified (Part 3) architect, you could earn between £32,000 and £45,000, depending on your experience. LJMU’s BA (Hons) Architect e degree requires applicants to have obtained grade C or grade 4 or above in English Language/mathematics and science GCSE or an approved alternative qualification. You will also need a minimum of three relevant A-levels, achieving ABB. Or for T-levels a minimum of 128 UCAS points in a relevant subject. BTEC qualifications are also conside ed when combined with other qualifications. The three-year course is accredited by RIBA and the ARB (Architects Registration Bo d) and gives students the opportunity to work on a r nge authentic architectural projects with input f m practicing ar itec in a dynamic studio envir ment with acce indust standard technical fa itie If university isn’t the route for ou, why not look at an a chitecture prenticeship. An app ntic hip combines hand on experience and academic training from a university whilst ea ning a salary – you won t have to pay for your academic tuition either! urrently these apprenticeships are only available in E gland and thes re split into two levels: a Level A hitectural Assi ant apprenticeship ncludes a art 1 deg e qualification, and a Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship ncludes both the Par 2 and Par qualifications. They can take around four years to complete and you’re likely to need a CV, portfolio and qualifications equivalent to 5 GCSEs and 3 A-levels. You can find what apprenticeships are available here: www Once James achieved his degree, he worked at a practice in Liverpool for six years, before moving on to form his own new businesses, Group D rchitects & Gr p D Developments. James has had the ppo unity to work across a range of exciting pr ects around th Nor West and e p ticularly enjoys working with clients who also h e a passion for esig He explains: “I love working with enthusiastic client that care for good design and are willing to strive for the very best results. If people have the right mindset, enthusiasm and energy, the end result/buildings we create are more often than not a joy to work on and the building themselves benefit from this too. “I’ve worked on everything from highend homes, to an arts village/centre, to a skyscraper on Liverpool’s waterfront. I suppose my favourite job so far though was working on an amazing high-end home for really lovely clients in Egerton, near Bolton. There were no limits on what the client wanted to achieve with their project, and they gave us free rein to really express ours and their own design aspirations.” However, there can be lots of p ssu es in this line of work as you have a high level of responsibility for the projects that you work on. James hares some insight and says: “The architect e/construction indust is not an easy game to be nvolved with. Whilst it can be r ward g p fession, it does present many challenges. W are lead design on proj cts, so we are r ponsible or the co dination of many different disciplines such as structura engineers, mechanical engineers, builders, so we are often viewed as mediators on projects. I’d say the biggest challenges are being flexible, adaptable, reactive and being good with people - to ensure we maintain harmony within teams for smooth running of projects. “The working hours within architecture are sometimes long and hard and we often work to tight deadlines. But as long as you are aware of this and you are prepared and learn to organise your time well, the job can be a rewarding one.” Over the years, James has met and worked with many graduates who are hungry to excel in their career. But what makes a graduate standout from the crowd? He says: “Enthusiasm! Skills a eat, but skills can be earned. W love people with en gy, drive and thusiasm to achieve nd ogress. Ultimately fut e members of G oup should be pleasant t work wit enthusiastic team players, and good with people, ther ore very personable. We find if people have these ingredients to begin with, then they are generally great candidates things such as technical skills, knowledge and professionalism can be taught and attained.” Finally, James offers this useful piece of advice to anyone thinking of becoming an architect. He concludes: “Value your skills! I think a lot of people in the industry are uilty of fo etting that we spend a lo of time at university and pend a lot of oney investing in our education and for et that we bring a lo o the tab assist making projects a alit Value this, value your tim and mak ure that you ar valued, whether this be by your employer or clients!”