Do you want to be an Architect: here are some top tips for getting started

Lisa Raynes

by Lisa Raynes

29/05/2023, in Design Hints and Tips | How To Be An Architect | Main Blog

Welcome, aspiring architects!

Are you a creative problem solver who loves to build and create?

If you enjoy activities like playing with Lego, Minecraft, coding, sewing, baking, or crafting, then architecture might be the ideal field for you. In this guide, we will explore the fascinating world of architecture and provide you with valuable insights into the opportunities and challenges it presents.

Could it be for me?

Architecture is a highly rewarding profession with its own set of advantages and considerations. Let’s take a closer look:

The Pros of being an Architect:

  1. Purposeful creations: As an architect, every line you draw and every design choice you make has a significant impact on people’s lives.
  2. Creative problem-solving: Architecture blends art and mathematics, allowing you to unleash your creativity while finding innovative solutions to design challenges.
  3. Diverse skill set: The field of architecture encompasses various areas, including drawing, creating, project management, sustainability, economics, and more.
  4. Collaborative work: Architects often work in teams, allowing for collaboration and leadership opportunities.

The Cons of being an Architect:

  1. Dedication and hard work: Architecture demands dedication and perseverance. Long hours and hard work are often required to bring a project to fruition.
  2. Industry expectations: The architectural industry can be demanding, and securing a job during a recession or after completing your studies may require determination and resilience.
  3. Financial considerations: While architecture can be financially rewarding, especially when your designs generate revenue, it’s important to be aware that the profession may not offer the highest salaries.
  4. Industry fluctuations: Architects are often the first to feel the impact of economic downturns, so adaptability and flexibility are essential skills.

A typical day for an architect

Imagine starting each day with enthusiasm, eager to transform your designs into reality. Here’s a glimpse into what a typical day in the life of an architect might entail:

  1. Marketing and client interactions: If you run your own practice, you may begin your day by engaging in marketing activities and connecting with potential clients.
  2. Briefing sessions: Meeting with clients to understand their needs and preferences is a crucial part of the design process. Building rapport and explaining the architectural journey are essential.
  3. Concept design workshops: Sketching initial designs in front of clients facilitates visualization and enables easy comparison of design options. Collaboration with technical experts and site visits may follow.
  4. Supporting franchisees (optional): If you choose to franchise your practice, part of your time may involve providing support to your franchisees and expanding your business.

How do I qualify?

Becoming an architect requires dedication and a structured educational path. In the pursuit of a career in building design, here’s a breakdown of the qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree: A three-year degree in architecture forms the foundation of your architectural journey. (Part 1)
  • Industry experience First Year: Gaining practical knowledge by spending a year in the industry (Part 1)
  • Post Graduate Diploma: Two further years of study (Part 2)
  • Industry experience Second Year: Gaining practical knowledge by spending a year in the industry (Part 2) after post-graduate education.
  • Professional qualifications: Acquiring professional qualifications (Part 3) after completing the required coursework.
  • Registration: Upon successfully completing the necessary steps, you can join the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and become a registered architect.

What to study at A level?

If you’re considering a career in architecture, it’s beneficial to choose a combination of subjects that foster your creativity and analytical skills.

Whilst physics, mathematics, and art are popular choices, subjects such as economics, geography, and sociology can also be helpful.

Demonstrating a passion for architecture, civil engineering, and construction during the interview process can be advantageous, so if you are not doing Art A-level, start creating a portfolio of sketches and artwork.

What’s the course like?

Architecture students are known for their hard work and dedication. Alongside lectures covering architectural history, theory, construction, and structural engineering, you’ll spend a significant amount of time working on studio projects. Expect long hours and an immersive learning experience.

Keep in mind that an architecture degree is highly respected and can serve as a foundation for various career paths, even beyond the field of architecture. Here’s a list of celebs that started out studying architecture: Tom Ford, Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys, Justine Frischmann of Elastica, Ron Arad, Thomas Heatherwick.

What else might interest you?

If you’re captivated by architecture and its impact on the environment, there are related fields you can explore:

  • Landscape Architecture: Designing outdoor spaces that harmonize with nature.
  • Interior Design: Crafting functional and aesthetically pleasing indoor spaces.
  • Town Planning: Shaping communities and urban environments.
  • Quantity Surveying: Managing costs and budgets in construction projects.
  • Real Estate: Exploring property development and investment.
  • Civil Engineering: Designing and constructing infrastructure.
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineering: Focusing on systems within buildings.
  • Construction and Product Design: Creating innovative and sustainable structures and products.


Architecture offers a world of creativity, problem-solving, and the opportunity to shape the future. From designing remarkable buildings to improving people’s lives, the journey of an architect is both challenging and rewarding.

So, if you possess a passion for design, a keen eye for detail, and the determination to bring your ideas to life, architecture might be the perfect path for you. Embark on this exciting adventure, and who knows, one day your creations may inspire generations to come.