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Alternative careers for architects

Alternative careers for architects Plenty of graduates get to the top of their degree and determine they need one thing completely different.

Your degree in architecture is a stepping stone to your future life and never a straitjacket. You’ve got choices while you graduate and at each stage in your career.

To be human is to have the ability to decide on a unique path, and these are some different profession choices for architects.

Some paths are smoother than others; for those who determine you need to turn out to be a mind surgeon as an alternative of an architect, you could have years of retraining. However there are many different careers for architects graduate or working architect can step sideways into with relative ease.

What transferable skills do you study as an architecture student [alternative careers for architects]?

Table of Contents

The most effective issues about an architecture diploma is how wide-ranging it’s. It equips college students with expertise that can be utilized in all types of different careers – you simply need to show this to potential employers. In the event you’ve graduated in architecture, here’s a (non-exhaustive) checklist of 10 issues you may in all probability do nicely:

1. Analyze complex situations

Realizing a building isn’t any imply feat. There are 100 issues to take note of, which implies architecture graduates are higher in a position than most to assume by way of conditions with numerous variables.

2. Conduct research

Buildings are designed for folks. To get the previous proper, architects spend a great deal of time researching the wants of the latter – amongst many different issues!

3. Clear up problems

How typically is a realized building an identical to its plans? Not often. That’s as a result of unexpected issues come up, a lot of which fall on the architects to unravel. The ability of pondering by way of a scenario and making the very best fixes is required for all types of jobs.

4. Draw!

You’ve spent seven years honing your drawing skills, so a bunch of different careers inside artwork and design could also be open to you.

5. Go through the design process

‘Design pondering’ helps you’re employed on all types of tasks in a structured and iterative approach, whether or not it’s opening a espresso stand or writing a web based course. After all, you could possibly additionally use your understanding of this course of to assist others with their tasks. 

6. Use a variety of superior software program

Lots of the packages you grew to become proficient in as a scholar (e.g. Photoshop, InDesign) are used past the world of architecture. Furthermore, the actual fact you realized them exhibits you’re tech-savvy and might adapt to new software program simply. 

7. Communicate clearly

You’re used to presenting your concepts to others, whether or not that’s in phrases (oral and written) or photographs. All types of careers, from educating to promoting, require exactly this ability.

8. Work in a team

Building is rarely a solo effort. You’ve definitely labored on group tasks throughout your time as a scholar and intern, which implies you’re skilled in negotiating and in supporting co-workers.

9. Work to tight deadlines

Bear in mind all these nights you stayed up until three? They weren’t in useless! Each time you met a deadline and handed an task, you proved you could possibly provide you with the products after they had been wanted. 

10. Assume outside the box

No person will get by way of an architecture diploma with out wholesome doses of curiosity and creativity. Take into consideration instances in your course while you solved issues in an uncommon approach; employers love listening to about your means to innovate. 

How are you going to switch these skills to other fields?

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It’s typically stated that architecture is a occupation quite than a commerce, and it is a great way to consider the abilities you realized as a scholar.

When you would possibly, most logically, apply them to the design and building of buildings, they will simply as simply be utilized in a variety of different fields. The trick is convincing employers outdoors of the architecture occupation of this, as a result of it won’t be apparent at first look how your expertise switch.

If you take a look at a job specification, take every of the required expertise in flip and consider a particular time throughout your diploma (particularly throughout internships) while you demonstrated it. Flip this into a brief story with a STAR (scenario, process, motion, end result) structure; concrete examples are all the time higher than generic claims. 

Why abandon architecture for another career?

There are a variety of the reason why individuals who educated as architects don’t go on to work within the subject. Some surveys recommend architects are solely averagely pleased with their careers, and are lower than averagely pleased with their pay. It’s additionally an open secret that architects wrestle to keep up a wholesome work-life steadiness in comparison with their friends, so actually it’s a query of the place you need to make investments your time and vitality (which is probably going be completely different at 24 and 44). 

You spend an enormous proportion of your life at work, so don’t settle for a job that makes you depressing. If the concept of giving up on architecture altogether is actually too painful, take into account making use of to smaller corporations that can in all probability permit you larger selection by way of your day-to-day work. 

What happens for those who select a career other than architecture?

Normally, nothing that horrible occurs! Certain, you might need to subject numerous questions from family members, and also you’ll need to let go of the cachet that comes from introducing your self as an architect.

You may additionally end up awake a couple of instances at two within the morning, questioning why you spent a lot money and time in your diploma. However the primary factor is that you just graduated, which not solely means you could have the all-important piece of paper, but in addition that you just’re the type of one that doesn’t hand over.

Altering course when one thing isn’t best for you isn’t an indication of weak point; it’s an indication of energy and self-knowledge. 

Other jobs that architects can do

So that you’re unsure about architecture any extra. What are you able to do as an alternative? The next is an inventory of 20 jobs for architecture graduates to think about.

The checklist is split into two sections: jobs which might be carefully associated to architecture, and jobs that aren’t straight associated however for which you’re prone to have at the least a few of the requisite expertise.

One caveat with the checklist is that a few of the jobs (e.g. city planner, instructor) require an extra Masters qualification – however positively NOT years of retraining. 

Jobs which might be closely related to architecture

1. Real Estate Property Developer

A real estate property developer is the one who:

  • Buys a plot of land and builds homes or business property.
  • Buys rundown properties, refurbishes, and sells at a revenue.
  • Renovates and repurposes previous properties.

As a property developer, you’re accountable for the entire undertaking – design, building work, advertising and marketing, and sale. An actual property property developer is a pure match for an architect, alongside different associated professions within the building trade.

You don’t must be an architect to be an actual property property developer, however it does make you a greater one.

2. Interior Designer

An interior designer is just not a glorified painter and decorator – the clue is within the design.

In most States, you want a license to name your self an interior designer (though in most different international locations, you don’t) – and also you could be a licensed architect in interior design.

Interior design fits anybody eager about interiors and the way their design enhances folks’s expertise of residing and dealing in a building. Many architects select to focus their consideration on interior design for business, retail, or residential areas.

As an interior designer, you advise purchasers on supplies, kinds, furnishings, and designs. You create budgets, design plans, and specs, and also you handle the completion of the undertaking to a excessive normal.

Interior design is among the different jobs architects can do alongside their architecture follow.

They may additionally select to specialize as interior architects or interior designers. The change between architecture vs. interior design is as seamless as any two distinct fields will be.

3. Industrial Designer

Each product you utilize comes from industrial design – would a espresso maker be as enticing with out the rounded form, outsized buttons, and vibrant shade?

Industrial design within the growth of a product from kitchen devices to automobiles entails a designer to:

  • Guarantee it does what the person wants.
  • Create an aesthetically pleasing object.
  • Make it easy to fabricate.

Architectural expertise of drawing and sketching, 3D modeling, 3D rendering, understanding supplies, and finishes imply architects transition easily into an industrial designer’s position in any trade.

Industrial designers and designers share a typical curiosity in making the world higher for folks to get pleasure from, whether or not that may be a three-bedroom dwelling or an ergonomic chair.

4. Graphic Designer

To place it merely – graphic designers create visible media, like promoting posters, websites, books, product packaging, exhibition stands, and laptop video games.

It’s essential to be good at placing collectively design components like fonts, colours, shapes, and pictures. You possibly can design logos, layouts, containers, enterprise playing cards, touchdown pages, and sport characters.

A graphic designer is an artist with a objective. Architecture levels contain design expertise, and persons are drawn to architecture as a result of they’re artistic folks.

Transferring into the graphic design subject is among the different profession choices for architects.

5. Business Entrepreneur

Anybody can arrange a enterprise, however architects have a head begin on the mandatory enterprise expertise to arrange a profitable and worthwhile enterprise.

As an architect, you get used to budgeting, undertaking administration, accounting, and managing conflicting deadlines. You even have the expertise of sticking with a undertaking and dealing with the challenges.

Your corporation thought could also be fully unrelated to architecture, or it could be complementary, however both approach, you could have the abilities to forge your individual enterprise path.

6. Set and Production Designer

What else are you able to do with an architecture degree?

Think about working within the movie trade. A manufacturing designer works with a movie or theater director and producer to design and create all of the visible components concerned.

These visible components embody:

  • Discovering places (movie) – which might be in line with the age and magnificence.
  • Designing and creating units and props.
  • Setting the fashion information for costumes.
  • Graphic design.

Most focus on both movie or theater, however the ability set is analogous and shares many sides with architecture:

  • Understanding the design temporary – studying the script, discussing it with the director.
  • Researching and presenting design concepts.
  • Creating and monitoring a price range.
  • Producing scale models and plans.
  • Sourcing supplies and placing collectively a supply crew.
  • Managing the undertaking.

You get the chance to work with stage productions, motion pictures, video, TV, and tv promoting.

7. CGI / Animator

A profitable CGI artist or animator wants laptop expertise with graphic packages.

Some extent programs movement by way of to a CGI and animation profession, however most artists are self-employed, and it’s your expertise and portfolio that land you the paying gig.

As an architect, you’re accustomed to studying laptop design software program, and that may be a transferrable ability into studying how you can use animation software program. Finally, profitable artists have a aptitude and eye for design blended with technical expertise.

You possibly can work within the movie or video games trade and business advertising and marketing work involving CGI or animation.

8. Virtual World Designer

It’s a small step from a 3D rendition of a building to creating a complete world for the movie or video games trade.

Why cease at one building when you may create a complete metropolis, planet, or universe?

The ability lies in creating practical world views which might be unattainable but surprisingly plausible.

A digital world is a pc simulation, and also you see it in movies like Inception and Prepared Participant One. Generally they recreate the actual world (like Notre Dame Cathedral in Murderer’s Creed) or a whole fantasy (like Darkish World).

Alternatives lie in movie, video games, and advertising and marketing, and that is an space that an architect with a powerful technical appreciation of how buildings and landscapes work collectively can thrive.

9. Film Director or Producer

A movie director is a creative position that entails bringing collectively the imaginative and prescient and inventive design and inspiring the actors to play their half. A producer is the man (or gal) who organizes the funding and the enterprise features of manufacturing and distributing a movie, TV present, or advert.

The position of movie director and producer can mix on smaller price range productions.

Is it a great position for an architect?

Architects are artistic people who search artistic shops to make one thing for different folks. A movie is a assemble loved by the viewers.

The talents and strategy to finishing a profitable film and ending a building undertaking usually are not 1,000,000 miles aside. The important thing ingredient is imaginative and prescient, ardour, and enthusiasm.

10. Stage Designer

Shakespeare calls the entire world a stage; architects design probably the most spectacular props and settings on that stage.

On a smaller scale, you could have levels in theaters, live performance halls, music festivals, political rallies, and business displays that want props and settings.

Some levels (and their designs) go on tour, some are constructed for every week or two after which dismantled, however levels crop up in probably the most stunning places.

It’s nonetheless a design and construct job and designers are wonderful at that.

11. Professional Photographer

Knowledgeable photographer is an individual who makes cash from taking images.

You don’t want {qualifications} to get into the sector, however you want an artist’s eye and technical enhancing expertise to crop, airbrush and tweak that candid shot into a surprising picture.

Most individuals take into consideration skilled photographers at weddings and a studio for portraits, however that’s solely a small part of the obtainable work.

Skilled images are vital for product brochures, tour guides, books, web sites, greeting playing cards, graphic design, trend, journalism, and some other software the place you want a picture.

As an architect, you respect composition, panorama, buildings, design, and a eager eye for element – all wonderful expertise for architectural pictures.

Plus, you could have enterprise coaching and will get pleasure from building up a enterprise as an expert photographer.

12. Event Planner

Occasions are tasks involving a price range, a design idea, sourcing supplies, and groups to ship to a selected deadline.

On a regular basis, you’re enjoying diplomat to purchasers altering whims, contractors that fail to show up or ship shoddy work, and attending to grips with authorized guidelines and laws in your state.

Does any of that sound acquainted?

Substitute building for the occasion, and you’re describing an architect’s position.

Occasions can cowl household events on a small scale or worldwide state events. An occasion is a occurring involving folks and house – all nicely inside an architect’s consolation zone.

13. Automobile Designer

Engineers design the mechanical working components, however a automobile is greater than the engine – its look and luxury matter to the client, particularly within the high-end luxurious market.

A automobile is a structure to hold folks from one place to a different.

An car designer makes that moveable structure comfy and enticing for folks, very like an architect designing a structure.

Architects as designers shortly transfer right into a subject like car design as different profession choices for architects.

14. Track Designer

Each racing monitor for automobiles, monster vans, bikes, horses, canines, or folks wants design.

For a racing automobile monitor design, it’s essential embody:

  • An thrilling monitor structure for racers that’s both flat or undulates with the land’s pure panorama.
  • Security options for the drivers, spectators, and pit crew.
  • Thrilling vantage factors and viewing angles for spectators and cameras.
  • Comfy seating.
  • Company leisure.
  • Pit lanes.
  • Observe drainage.
  • Difficult race situations.
  • Spectator movement.

A racetrack is an architectural undertaking needing design and administration expertise to take the undertaking from the preliminary thought to completion.

Plus, there may be work obtainable for renovation and updating drained and uncared for racetracks.

15. Fashion Designer

Many architect college students go for the style homes as an alternative of bricks and mortar – Pier Cardin and Tom Ford, for instance.

The power to create a 3D object for a objective is identical whatever the merchandise or the aim. Garments in all their varied types home the human physique and are enticing due to their form and shade.

Designing structural objects is an architect’s major ability, so the transition from building to garments is just not that onerous to think about.

16. Furniture Designer

Many architects design furnishings in addition to buildings. Well-known examples of furnishings as artwork often contain an architect as a designer.

As a part of architectural diploma research, there is a component of furnishings design, and that is another profession for architects in any respect levels of their progress.

Furnishings design permits an architect to play with supplies, type, and performance on a small scale with fast outcomes.

17. Video Game Designer

The gaming trade is massive enterprise and might cowl fantasy worlds, role-playing, and e-sports. A online game takes a large crew and contains designers.

The design covers the visible impression of the background, the characters’ form and character, how the surroundings modifications, and sport choices.

For e-sports, it may possibly embody recreating the sports activities stadium or racetrack; for a role-playing sport, it could encompass designing in a historic context.

A online game designer could must mix a number of “movie” design roles – graphic design, CGI, digital worlds, and 3D rendering. It’s an thrilling and rising trade.

18. Web Designer

Most net designers are self-taught and are available from different design backgrounds.

You want an inherent ability for design and laptop expertise (together with programming languages), however there may be loads of obtainable work as a result of nearly each enterprise wants an online presence to thrive.

These architecture and design web sites are some examples of what architects can accomplish.

Creating designs and work to tight deadlines is essential, and all the things else is simple to study.

19. Creative Director – Marketing Company

Inventive administrators are expert folks and undertaking managers. It’s a creative position that wants an appreciation of historical past, artwork, design, and other people.

Most artistic artwork administrators come from a positive artwork background, however architecture is a greater match due to shopper dealing with, design idea, presentation expertise, and undertaking administration.

20. Craft Artist

A craft artist makes gadgets by hand, from throwing a pot to making a stained-glass window. By way of your profession as an architect, chances are you’ll really feel impressed by some facet of building design that leads you to decide on to focus on that craft.

A craft artist can both work creating artworks (like sculptures) or producing lovely however purposeful gadgets like pottery.

This profession change arises from ardour, however profitable craft artists will be extremely wanted and acquire quite a lot of job satisfaction.

21. Food Industry

Excessive-end meals manufacturing is a mix of ardour, craft, and design.

If you’re an architect trying to transfer into working with meals as your artistic materials, you may take into account:

  • Chef – designing dishes and working the kitchen.
  • Meals Stylist – pimping meals for the starring position in images.
  • Cake designer – celebration muffins are architectural.

There are different meals trade roles, together with meal designers, occasion caterers, artisan bakers, and chocolate makers. The position that fits you as an architect in search of a change depends upon your pursuits and expertise.

22. Teaching Roles

Instructing roles cowl something from being a college lecturer (or professor) in architecture to a schoolteacher, impartial tutor, and teacher.

Some architect college students select to switch into educating as recent graduates or postgraduates in Grasp of Architecture, and others see it as a possible profession later in life.

Architecture is a various topic that opens many potential educating roles. You may as well educate as a facet hustle in such programs as artwork historical past and an introduction to architecture for grownup audiences.

23. Golf Courses and Parks Designer

There’s an artwork to designing a golf course or laying out a park (theme, a wilderness, or public house), and designers can work in these fields (actually).

Public parks are exterior areas for folks to get pleasure from, and probably the most satisfying parks embody offering views, relaxation areas, and factors of curiosity. The pure feeling is strictly by design.

24. Conservationist

Usually, you affiliate conservationists with the pure setting. However you additionally get artwork conservationists and building conservationists.

As an architect, you may transfer right into a conservationist position by consulting on sustainable applied sciences in building tasks, environmental research, or preserving historic buildings as public officers or a not-for-profit group.

25. Corporate Social Responsibility Director

More and more corporations are waking as much as their want to attenuate their impression on the setting and other people’s lives by higher designing their providers, sustainable applied sciences of their buildings, and extra considerate approaches to their stakeholders.

As an architect, your transferrable expertise embody design, supplies data, administration, budgeting, and the power to create and current tasks.

26. Writer or Journalist

Folks discover inspiration in tales about folks previously and as we speak and are eager about cities, buildings, and historical past.

Take into consideration what attracted you to architecture, the tales you hear, and the locations you see.

As an creator or a journalist, you may take your architecture expertise to a broader viewers – you could have an countless supply of fabric.

27. Tour Operator and Information

What makes visiting a brand new metropolis fascinating?

Primarily the buildings and a bit of the journey trade cater to individuals who go to locations and find out about their tradition, artwork, and historical past. Generally these mix with a portray or pictures course utilizing the chosen metropolis as inventive materials.

An architect is a perfect particular person to make a go to to a metropolis a magical expertise with their data of how and why the buildings developed the city.

28. Building Specialist Marketing consultant

In the event you select to develop experience in a single space like acoustics, sustainable designs, or fire-resistant supplies, you turn out to be an professional.

Folks worth specialists as consultants as a result of they get the data and expertise they want with out placing in further analysis and work. They go to the guide with the solutions and are keen to pay for the specialist data.

You could be a full-time or part-time guide in many various architectural features or use your expertise in one other trade.

How Useful is an Architecture Degree?

An architecture diploma offers you a variety of expertise – sensible craft expertise, specialist laptop software program, enterprise, design, artwork, administration, historical past, and authorized data.

These expertise assist offer you a variety of different profession choices for architects over and above generic graduate recruitment or turning into an architect, and architects design many artworks past buildings.

After all, for those who nonetheless need to be an architect, your architect’s diploma is the very best place to begin, however you all the time produce other choices.


How a lot cash can architects expect to make?

The common wage for architects within the UK is someplace between £40,000 and £50,000, whereas within the US it’s roughly $76,000. Our articles ‘A Information to UK Architectural Salaries’ and ‘A Information to US Architectural Salaries’ have extra detailed data on this.

Is being an architect a stressful job?

It definitely will be. Whereas it’s a unique type of stress from that confronted by medical doctors and nurses, who’ve folks’s lives of their arms each day, you’re prone to work lengthy and unsociable hours as an architect. There’s additionally no denying that architecture is a aggressive subject, so it may possibly take a very long time to rise by way of the ranks. 

Is architecture a great profession for the long run?

Within the UK, unemployment tends to be low inside architecture – in any case, folks will all the time want buildings – though within the US, some analysis suggests the sector could also be rising extra slowly than others. Sadly, irrespective of your profession, it is rather laborious (particularly throughout a worldwide pandemic) to make future predictions about the place your occupation is heading. 


In the event you’re agonizing over whether or not you actually need to be an architect, however feeling like you may’t ‘waste’ all these years of coaching, attempt to take a step again.

In the event you had been in a position to disregard the opinions of everybody else, what would you do? In the long run, an important factor is your happiness, so if architecture doesn’t really feel fairly proper any extra there’s no disgrace in transferring in a unique course. 

Additionally alternative careers for architects, remind your self that your diploma is by no means ‘wasted’. You’ve realized beneficial, transferable expertise, and do not forget that many individuals find yourself working in fields fully unrelated to their levels.

With architecture, at the least, there are a whole bunch of jobs that overlap to some extent. Hopefully, this text has supplied some perception into the choices obtainable – now it’s as much as you to decide on one!