Sunday, February 27, 2011

Career Research Interview #2

How did you get into the field of architecture?
For me, it was a drafting course that I took in 9th grade; also, I met an architect that my father knew whom helped me learn about the profession.
If you work at the University of Illinois, what do you do there?
I serve as Assistant Director for the School of Architecture; I help architecture students in all aspects of their college career.
What colleges/universities near Chicago are best for architecture?
I will avoid this question because each of the institutions that have an architecture program are excellent programs.  You must determine what criteria are most important for you and select the BEST program for YOU.
What can I do in high school to get ready for a career in architecture?
Read that portion of Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition, but do a summer program if possible along with taking courses in art and drawing.
What kinds of degrees would you recommend in college to prepare for working in architecture?
You must determine which is best for you.  Both the BArch and MArch are accredited programs you need for licensure but are different.  Which is best for you?
What are some of the pros and cons of working as an architect?
Most architects like most that they are creating spaces for people; there is a sense of accomplishment in designing structures/buildings.

What architects like least is probably the time commitment; being an architect is not typically a 9-5 occupation.  There are often times that you work extra hours.
How long have you been in the field of architecture?
I have been in the profession for approximately 25 years.
What is an average workday like?
Architects do many different tasks during a typical day; depending on where the architect works, they spend time in meetings with clients, colleagues, consultants, etc.  They spend time designing aspects of buildings, solving problems that come up, making presentations.  Some part of the day is spent on the phone, running the business of the firm
For more details, visit
How much time do you spend at work each day?
There are times that architects do spend more than a typical 8 hour day at work, but it is not often.  There will be days that architects may work more 8 hours per day.
What is the average salary for an architect?
Median annual wages of wage-and-salary architects were $70,320 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $53,480 and $91,870. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,320, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,220. Those just starting their internships can expect to earn considerably less.

Earnings of partners in established architectural firms may fluctuate because of changing business conditions. Some architects may have difficulty establishing their own practices and may go through a period when their expenses are greater than their income, requiring substantial financial resources.
Quoted from -- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Architects, Except Landscape and Naval, on the Internet at (visited February 21, 2011).
Do most architecture jobs require traveling?
Typically no, but some architects do require travelling if the projects are out-of-state.
Does your career involve anything interesting that other careers do not?
Impacting the lives of people; also, what you design/build can last 50 years or more.
Do you feel good communication skills are necessary in your career? Why?
Absolutely!  Because architects are constantly “selling” their ideas, architects must be able to communicate verbally, graphically, and in writing.
How secure are jobs in the field?
Employment is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Competition is expected, especially for positions at the most prestigious firms, and opportunities will be best for those architects who are able to distinguish themselves with their creativity.
What do you think is the coolest thing about your field?
This may seem obvious, but what is so cool is that architects have the opportunity to “design” and be creative; you will be able to solve problems.
What is your favorite building of all? Why?
Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright because it is an amazing solution for the problem presented.

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