Important Job Skills for Architects

Young architect in office
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With an increasing population and a greater number of developing countries, demand for new construction is as high as it has ever been around the world. But before construction crews can get started on a project, planners need to have architects that can get all plans down on paper and validate the design. 

If you are interested in a career as an architect, you will have to complete a significant amount of formal education. It is a highly challenging, yet deeply rewarding, profession. The skills list like the one below will give you a sense of whether or not a career in architecture is something you might want to embark on.

What are Architectural Skills?

Architects design buildings and other structures, inside and out, carefully considering engineering, function, and aesthetics. While it is true that architecture is an art, it is a more a functional and practical kind of artistic expression. Rather than being enjoyed only by its owner or by museum-goers –as with a painting – well-designed structures can enrich public life, providing lodging, facilities, and memorials for decades, and sometimes centuries.

Because buildings must be safe and functional, the entry requirements needed to become an architecture are stringent. You must have a master's degree in architecture and state licensure in order to practice.

Besides coursework, you must also complete an extended internship under the supervision of an architect.

With a relevant associate's or bachelor's degree, you can still work in the field as a draftsman. Many aspiring architects start as draftsmen to make sure they enjoy the field before committing to several years of study.

Types of Architect Skills

Architects are technically proficient in a wide variety of construction-related tasks. Below are the top architect skills that you should be aware of.

Advanced Math

To design safe and functional buildings, you must be thoroughly familiar with the strengths, weaknesses, and other properties of various materials and their ability to bear weight under stress. You will need a background in geometry, mathematics, physics, and more advanced math concepts. Remember that you may find yourself having to innovate to meet challenges, such as designing earthquake-proof structures or energy-efficient, sustainable complexes. You will not always be able to rely only on solutions that have been tried and tested.

  • Calculations
  • Estimating
  • Budgeting
  • Converting Scale from Blueprints
  • Specifications
  • Analytical Skills

Design Skills

As important as safety and function are, there are also aesthetics is often a major consideration in architecture. You must be familiar with the history of architecture as an art and familiar with various artistic movements within the field. You must also be in touch with your own creativity. Fortunately, architectural training will help nurture and develop your artistic side, as well as your technical ability. The design should be something you enjoy if you are going to do it well.

  • Conceptualization
  • Creative Thinking
  • Design Concepts
  • Design to Delivery
  • Drafting
  • Drawing
  • Imagination
  • Industrial Design
  • Innovation

Computer Literacy

The actual drawing up of plans is done on computers these days, as are simulations, artistic renderings, and much of the rest of the visual output of this field. You will need to develop agility with various architectural drafting software.

  • Architectural Rendering
  • AutoCAD
  • Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
  • Computer Processing
  • Model Making
  • Revit

Communication Skills

Of course, architects must work closely with clients, engineers, construction personnel, and sometimes other stakeholders in a project. To complete a design successfully and see a project to completion, an architect must understand what all these people are saying and communicate with them clearly in return. Every construction project requires a team.

Business Knowledge

As with any facet of a growing economy, being successful as an architect also requires a head for business. You will need to market your services and mold your brand if you want other people to hire you for their construction projects.

  • Data Analysis
  • Business Plans
  • Scheduling
  • Project Management
  • Market Research

Knowledge of Building Laws and Codes

Zoning laws and building codes dictate much about what can be built, where, and how. Some of these regulations pertain directly to the architect’s work, such as the number and size of windows for various building types. Some laws prohibit building on certain sites, like in wetlands or flood zones. Some regulations do not directly involve the architect, but all your work will be for nothing if you can’t understand how zoning and building codes work in the area of construction.

  • Architectural Codes
  • Zoning Codes
  • Fire Safety
  • Building Codes
  • Building Construction
  • Building Systems
  • Planning

More Architect Skills

  • Abstraction
  • Construction Administration
  • Construction Documents
  • Managing Expectations
  • Bilingual
  • Corporate
  • Critical Thinking
  • Development
  • Documents
  • Installation
  • Integration
  • Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)
  • Preservation
  • Problem Solving
  • Restoration
  • Renovation
  • Residential Construction
  • Retail Construction
  • Slicing
  • Sustainable Design
  • Technical Vision
  • Visualization
  • Compliance
  • Building Contracts
  • Database Management
  • Customer Service

How to Make Your Skills Stand Out

Add Relevant Skills to Your Resume: As you complete stages of your education and apprenticeships, be sure to add these to your resume. Use the skills lists above to include those skills you mastered during various levels of training and experience.

Highlight Skills in Your Cover Letter: As an architect, your past projects are part of your portfolio. Be sure to briefly mention in your cover letter a couple of projects that you are most proud of, and why.

Use Skill Words in Your Job Interview: In your interview, be prepared to discuss how you handled various problems that you dealt with during both the design stage and implementation stage.