Do you love buildings? Are you fascinated by the intricate designs of skyscrapers or the elegant beauty of a well-designed villa? Do you ever look at a building and wonder about the thought process and the hard work that went into its creation? If so, then you might be interested in knowing how to become an architect.
Being an architect is more than just designing buildings; it’s about creating functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces that people can inhabit and enjoy. But how do you become an architect? What qualifications do you need? What skills are necessary? If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an architect but don’t know where to start, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the steps on how to become an architect, from the educational qualifications you need to the skills required to succeed in the industry. We’ll explore the different pathways available to aspiring architects, whether it’s through a traditional degree program or an apprenticeship. We’ll also dive into the different specializations within the field of architecture, from sustainable design to landscape architecture.
So, if you’re ready to learn more about how to become an architect and pursue your passion for designing beautiful and functional spaces, then let’s get started!
Who is an Architect?
An architect is a specialist who plans, designs, reviews and many times manages the construction of buildings (including homes, public buildings, ports and airports, skyscrapers, malls, etc.). The task of the architect is not easy, they must ensure that the construction complies with various measures of public safety, quality, operation, and environmental protection. Therefore, the architect needs to understand all of these features and creative streak.
Types of architects
Before we know in detail how to become an architect, let’s first get to know the most common types of architects with the help of the table provided:
Landscape Architect is a specialist who designs outdoor areas, landmarks, and structures like parks, gardens, squares, statues, etc. They need to understand the soil condition, ecological state, and social arithmetic of the area before designing the landmark or structure, etc. As a landscape architect, you may be an expert in landscape design, site planning, erosion control, environmental restoration, parks planning, recreation planning, etc.
Urban Designer is an expert who designs and shapes the physical structure of cities, towns, and villages. They also work with the municipality to provide municipal planning services to residents. Instead of an individual building or a design, they work on large-scale projects of buildings, streets public spaces of neighborhoods, or even entire cities. They try to make the city/ town functional, attractive, and sustainable.
Transportation Planner is an expert who designs and defines transport infrastructure’s specific goals and policies to prepare for the future need of the people. They assess present transport facilities and design new ones as per the future need and demands of the city including flyovers, roads, parking spaces, etc.
A regional planner is an expert who creates policies and designs for land use activities, infrastructure, and settlements for a larger area (even bigger than a city). They plan a region, formulate construction laws, design regional development corridors, etc.
Conservation Architect is an expert who manages historical buildings and their designs. They increase the life of heritage buildings through planned intervention. They are archaeologists of buildings. As a conservation architect, you will follow four paths of preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction.
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What does an architect do?
Architects play a crucial role in shaping the architectural environment in which we live. They are responsible for designing buildings and other structures that meet the functional, aesthetic, and safety needs of their clients and users.
Architects must consider several factors when designing a building, including the site’s location, the client’s budget and goals, the building’s energy efficiency, and the materials and technologies used. They also work closely with engineers, contractors, and other professionals to ensure that their designs are feasible and can be built according to plan.
Duties and responsibilities of an architect typically include:
- Building Design: Architects are responsible for designing buildings that meet the needs of their clients and comply with local building codes and regulations. They must create a design that is functional, efficient, and aesthetically appealing.
- Developing Project Plans: Architects work with clients and other professionals to develop project plans that define the scope, budget, and timeline of a project. They must also ensure that the project meets the client’s requirements and adheres to legal and environmental principles.
- Construction Supervision: Architects oversee the construction of buildings, ensuring that the work is done according to design plans and specifications. They also monitor the quality of work and ensure that the project is completed on schedule and within budget.
- Collaboration with other professionals: Architects work closely with engineers, contractors, and other professionals to ensure that the project is feasible and can be completed as planned. They must communicate effectively with these professionals and make adjustments to design plans as needed.
- Project/Team Management: Architects often lead teams of designers and other professionals, delegating tasks and supervising their work. They need to make sure that the team is working effectively together and that everyone is working towards the same goal.
- Staying abreast of industry trends: Architects must stay abreast of new materials, technologies, and design trends in their field. They must also monitor changes in building codes and regulations to ensure their designs are compliant.
Why become an architect?
There are several reasons why one may choose to become an architect:
- Designing and creating: Architects are responsible for creating beautiful, functional, and sustainable buildings and structures that people use every day. As an architect, you get to use your creativity and problem-solving skills to design spaces that people will enjoy for years to come.
- Career satisfaction: Architecture is a fulfilling and rewarding career that can offer a sense of satisfaction in seeing your designs come to life. Architects can take pride in their work as they shape the built environment and improve people’s lives through design.
- Professional growth: Architecture is a constantly evolving field, and architects must stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. This presents opportunities for architects to continuously learn and grow professionally.
- Variety of work: Architects have the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects, from small-scale residential designs to large commercial buildings and public spaces. This variety allows architects to diversify their portfolios and explore new areas of design.
- Impact on society: The work of architects can have a significant impact on society and the environment. Architects can design buildings that are energy-efficient, accessible, and sustainable, making a positive contribution to the world around us.
In short, becoming an architect can offer the opportunity to design and create, achieve career satisfaction, experience professional growth, work on a variety of projects, and make a positive impact on society.
Steps to become an Architect
To get into this field, you will need to pass Class 10 in all subjects as per the scheme of your studies. Then can either go for a Diploma or you must complete Class 11-12 with any of the following combinations of subjects:
- Class 11-12 Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics along with any other subject as per the scheme of studies
- Class 11-12 Mathematics along with any other subject as per the scheme of studies
If you are opting for a Diploma after Class 10, you will go for a 3-year full-time Diploma in Architectural Assistantship / Interior Design / Civil Engineering, then obtain work experience as described in the above pathways, then clear the NATA exam and AIIA Exam to pursue Master’s (optional).
You cannot opt for a Master’s right after your Diploma, you will have to sit for the AIIA exam. AIIA exam is considered as pursuing B Arch.
After Class 12, you may also do a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering or any engineering discipline, or a 4-year graduation degree in Interior Design and then switch to Architecture, as described in the pathways above.
You can study for a Bachelor’s / Master’s / Doctoral degree in any of the following fields (Note that all these fields may not offer you a degree at all three levels, that is in Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral. Some fields may offer a degree only at the Master’s or at the Doctoral level):
- Environmental Architecture
- Interior Architecture
- Landscape Architecture
- Recreation Architecture
- Restoration Architecture
- Architectural Conservation
- Architecture & Building Technologies
- Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering
- Industrial Design
- Building Engineering & Management
- Urban Design
Skills required to become an architect
Becoming an architect requires a combination of skills, education, and experience. Here are some of the skills needed to become an architect:
- Design Skills: Architects must possess strong design skills to create functional and aesthetically pleasing buildings that meet the needs of clients.
- Technical Skills: Architects must have a thorough understanding of building materials, construction techniques, and structural systems.
- Communication Skills: Architects must be able to communicate effectively with clients, contractors, and other professionals involved in a construction project.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Architects must be able to identify and solve complex design and construction problems.
- Leadership Skills: Architects often lead project teams and must be able to inspire and motivate their team members to deliver high-quality work.
- Project Management Skills: Architects must be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines and stay within budget.
- Creativity: Architects must be able to think creatively and outside the box to create innovative and unique designs.
- Computer Skills: Architects must be proficient in computer-aided design (CAD) software and other digital tools to create designs and presentations.
- Analytical Skills: Architects must be able to analyze complex data and information, including site studies, building codes, and zoning regulations.
- Attention to detail: Architects must have a keen eye for detail to ensure that every aspect of a building’s design and construction is executed flawlessly.
Architect course fee structure in India
The fee structure for an architecture course in India varies depending on several factors such as the college or university, location, type of program, and duration of the course. Here are some approximate fee structures for various architecture courses in India:
- Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch): The average fee for a 5-year B.Arch program in India ranges from INR 50,000 to INR 5,00,000 per year, depending on the college or university.
- Master of Architecture (M.Arch): The fee for a 2-year M.Arch program in India ranges from INR 50,000 to INR 3,00,000 per year, depending on the college or university.
- Diploma in Architecture: The fee for a 3-year diploma program in architecture ranges from INR 20,000 to INR 1,50,000 per year, depending on the college or university.
Note: The fee structure can vary significantly between different colleges and universities in India. Students are advised to research and compare different colleges and universities before choosing an architecture course.
Salary of an Architect in India
The salary of an architect in India can vary depending on several factors such as location, level of experience, type of employer, and the architect’s reputation in the industry. Here are some statistics on the average salaries of architects in India:
- According to Payscale, the average salary for an architect in India is around INR 5,00,000 per year. This can range from INR 2,50,000 to INR 12,00,000 per year, depending on the factors mentioned above.
- Glassdoor reports that the average salary for an architect in India is around INR 6,00,000 per year. This can range from INR 2,50,000 to INR 17,00,000 per year, depending on the factors mentioned above.
- According to the Indian Institute of Architects, the average starting salary for a fresh graduate architect in India is around INR 3,00,000 to INR 4,50,000 per year. This can increase from INR 8,00,000 to INR 10,00,000 per year with 5-10 years of experience.
Job opportunities after studying architecture
- If you join PWD departments of different states, then you will join as Assistant Architect.
- If you are into teaching, then you may join a college or university with the profile of an assistant professor.
- Most of you will join as Assistant Architects or Architectural Engineers.
- Some of you may also join as a Building Control Officer.
- If you are into the conservation of buildings and sites, you may join as an Architecture Conservator.
Different types of companies can offer you a job. Such as:
- Public Works Development of each state of India
- Housing & Urban Development Corporations of each state public department
- Railways Department
- Real Estate Firms and Private Town Planning Organizations like DLF
- Architecture & Building Firms in various cities
Career progression in Architect profession
- The career growth in university and college states from Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor, Professor, and Professor Emeritus. Professors can also get administrative positions such as Director/Dean/Vice Chancellor, etc
- If you join the PWD department of various states as Assistant Architect, then you will be promoted to Deputy Architect and later Architect and then Senior Architect. Afterward, you will be promoted to the senior position of Chief Architect and then Additional Director General (Architect), and finally Special Director General some of you may even be promoted to Director General (Planning).
- If you start as a Trainee Architect or Assistant Architect or Architect in a firm or a company, you may be promoted to Senior Architect and then to Project Architect. Later you may be promoted as Senior Project Architect and then to Chief Architect or Chief Operating Officer.
It’s a Wrap!
Now that you know how to become an architect! Gear yourself up and rise high in a literal sense. An architect is a career that literally and practically means reaching the stars. Undoubtedly career in Architect can outshine you in every possible way.
The architecture profession in India is expected to see steady growth in the coming years, driven by increasing demand for new construction and renovation projects across the country. According to a report by the Indian Institute of Architects, the architecture industry in India is expected to grow at a rate of 7.1% per year from 2020 to 2025, driven by increasing investment in infrastructure, urbanization, and real estate development.
Whether you’ve already planned a career in it or just starting to dip your toes in the thoughts of it, allow us to make it a bit easier for you. Hope we have served you enough! Still, got questions? Why don’t you connect with our industry experts? Yes, you read it right! You can get your queries resolved in just 60 seconds from our Career counselors. So, what are you waiting for? Download the iDreamCareer app now!
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Top architect colleges
- Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
- Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
- NIT, Calicut
- School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi
- National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli
To become an architect in India, one must have a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture (B.Arch.) from a recognized university or institution. This degree program typically takes five years to complete.
The eligibility criteria for admission to a B.Arch. program in India may vary from institution to institution. However, in general, candidates must have passed their 10+2 examinations with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as compulsory subjects. They must also have obtained a minimum of 50% marks in aggregate in their qualifying examinations.
Some of the popular entrance exams for admission to B.Arch. programs in India are the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA), the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main (Paper-II), and the Architecture Aptitude Test (AAT) conducted by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
Architects in India can find employment opportunities in various sectors such as architecture firms, construction companies, real estate developers, government agencies, and academic institutions. They can work as architects, urban planners, interior designers, landscape architects, and so on.
Some of the top architecture colleges in India are the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) Delhi, Sir JJ College of Architecture Mumbai, and Chandigarh College of Architecture.
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Anushree has 4+ years of experience in the career counseling industry as a Content Writer. She has also worked as a Social Media Marketing Expert for a startup and Content Quality Analyst for Publishing and E-learning Industry. She has done her Master’s in Commerce and PGDM in Finance & Trade and Marketing & HR, but she is currently following her passion for writing.