12 popular jobs in architecture (With salaries and duties)
Updated 10 March 2023
University graduates who studied architecture can serve in a variety of roles within the field. While many architecture graduates apply their knowledge directly as architects, others hold jobs in related creative and academic fields. Whether you currently hold an architecture degree or you're graduating in the next couple of months, you have many options to choose from when pursuing your career. In this article, we list and outline 12 jobs in architecture and explore their salaries and primary duties which you can review to set professional goals for yourself.
12 trendy jobs in architecture
Here's a list of 12 of the most interesting jobs that you can consider if you're passionate about architecture and design:
1. CAD designer
National average salary: £28,265 per year
Primary duties: CAD (computer aided design) designers use computer software to create 2D and 3D designs based on architectural plans and projects. They typically work at architectural studios or choose to become self-employed freelancers who work with multiple architects. In their day-to-day work, they take advantage of the knowledge of engineering, maths, physics and materials.
It's also important that they know how to read architectural plans and blueprints. Useful skills of CAD designers include analytical thinking, creativity, attention to details and the ability to work independently. If you're considering this career path, you can enrol in an apprenticeship, which is a study-and-work training programme that gives you the opportunity to become a CAD technician.
National average salary: £29,009 per year
Primary duties: Building inspectors, or building control officers, are essential at every construction site. Their primary duties include inspecting and assessing buildings and construction projects. They're responsible for ensuring compliance with architectural regulations and contract specifications, commenting on plans for new buildings, recommending alterations and overseeing the work of building surveyors. Typically, inspectors also liaise with local authorities and special interest groups, such as heritage organisations.
National average salary: £31,403 per year
Primary duties: Landscape architects design gardens, public parks, playgrounds, college campuses and different public spaces. They're typically responsible for measuring a space and analysing its functionality to plan roads, walkways, trees, bushes and flowers. Most landscape architects have expert knowledge of plants and their environmental requirements, which they use to coordinate and arrange existing land features and greenery. On a daily basis, they meet with clients, constructors, engineers and other architects to prepare space plans that meet project requirements.
Read more: How To Become a Landscape Architect
National average salary: £31,869 per year
Primary duties: Architectural visualisers are highly skilled professionals whose primary responsibility is to create and render 3D visualisations based on an architect's project. They typically find employment at agencies or work independently with architects and interior designers. If you're interested in this profession, you may consider learning some of the most popular 3D programmes, such as 3ds Max or SketchUp. It's also important that you keep improving your general computer skills and know how to interpret blueprints.
National average salary: £32,375 per year
Primary duties: If you're an architecture graduate, but you're primarily interested in exploring the creative side of the field, you may consider working as a furniture designer. Furniture designers are responsible for developing furniture collections and designing individual pieces of furniture. It's common that they specialise in furniture made of certain materials, such as wood, plastic or metal. They typically work closely with manufacturers, carpenters and interior designers who buy their products for their clients. It's also possible for furniture designers to create their brand and sell products directly to clients.
National average salary: £33,709 per year
Primary duties: If you're a recent graduate but you're unsure about pursuing a full-time career in architecture, you may consider staying at the university and helping other students learn the craft. As an architecture lecturer, your primary duties may include planning lectures, giving presentations, preparing and grading exams and projects. Succeeding as a lecturer require that you continue your education by getting a PhD and keep publishing papers related to the field and your specialisation.
National average salary: £38,347 per year
Primary duties: In their work, interior architects combine the experience and knowledge of architecture and interior design. In other words, they're interior designers with the qualifications to design building interiors and plan spaces, including walls or wiring systems. They take into account the functionality, appearance and safety of interiors, such as offices, flats or houses. Many interior architects work at design firms and architectural studios. It's also common for them to find employment at textile or furniture manufacturing firms, where they advise clients on the best architectural and design solutions for their interiors.
National average salary: £38,395 per year
Primary duties: Urban planner is an architecture professional who works in the field of urban planning. They also design and develop plans for maximising the functionality of urban spaces. You may choose to work in one of several areas of urban planning, including transport, economic development or housing. Some of your primary duties in this profession may involve meeting with public officials and the public to discuss urban development plans. To succeed as a planner, you may consider improving your analytical skills, which you can use to gather and analyse data from surveys and market research.
National average salary: £18.98 per hour (38,361)
Primary duties: A restoration manager is a skilled professional who's responsible for administering, planning and overseeing restorations of buildings or other spaces. Aspiring restoration managers may prepare for performing a wide range of duties, from meeting with investors and conducting safety training to performing quality control and working alongside designers, constructors and decorators. It's important that they're comfortable overseeing all stages of construction or restoration projects and have extensive project management knowledge and experience.
10. Project manager
National average salary: £42,814 per year
Primary duties: Architectural project managers are responsible for planning and managing various architectural and design projects. They typically work at larger architecture studios where they can collaborate with bigger teams of architects, graphic and CAD designers and even investors. A successful project manager is someone who has exceptional organisational, planning and influencing skills. It's also important that they know various project management software tools, such as Trello, Asana or Zoho Projects.
National average salary: £43,002 per year
Primary duties: Architects are highly skilled design and construction professionals who create building designs. Their primary duties include creating detailed sketches and drawings, calculating measurements and liaising with investors, construction professionals or designers. Typically, independent architects and those working at smaller firms also create 2D and 3D visualisations and renders of their projects. Aspiring architects and architecture graduates who want to succeed in the field may benefit from continuously expanding their knowledge of current industry trends and improving their customer service and teamwork skills.
National average salary: £43,047 per year
Primary duties: A lighting consultant is a design specialist who has extensive knowledge and experience in selecting the best lighting solutions for buildings and interiors. Consultants typically work with architects, interior designers, decorators, suppliers and manufacturers. If you're interested in becoming a lighting design consultant, you may consider completing a specialised course or finding an apprenticeship to learn from someone who already has experience in the field.
Additional art and design careers to consider
If you hold an architecture degree, but you're unsure if you'd be satisfied working in this field, here's a list of additional careers, with salaries, indirectly related to architecture that you may consider:
Groundskeeper: £19,982 per year
Interior and architecture journalist: £24,961 per year
Architecture and design influencer: £30,544 per year
Freelance artist: £37,095 per year
Product designer: £40,266 per year
Design store owner: £40,435 per year
Supplier relationship manager: £46,754 per year
Architecture historian: £49,392 per year
Construction manager: £52,951 per year
Investor relations manager: £56,459 per year
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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