Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Architect Position Titles

My son is an architecture major and although doing extremely well, questions whether it's the right path for him.  Finishing his second year he has done well academically, has won awards/contests and his professors consider him to be one of their strongest and most talented students.  He is very artistic as well as a strong academic student.  He is a hard worker and his attention to detail and accuracy comes natural -- a bit of a perfectionist.  He is very critical of himself and his work and often finishes a project thinking he has failed only to receive high praise from professors and peers.  
Within the field of architecture, what types of jobs would he be well suited?  I imagine there is a great need within architecture firms to have a very specialized, reliable, independent employee who is happy with some of the more tedious, mundane work that needs to be done with accuracy.  But, I really don't know the field and would appreciate your insight to the inner workings and needs of an architecture firm.

Thank you for offering this service! 

As you discuss personality, I could not resist referring you to an article (A Difficult Character) on personality and the architecture profession; this will not provide the answer to your question, but it may be interesting reading.

I do not profess to be an expert on the profession, but it needs all types of individuals including ones as you describe (see Definitions of Positions).  For example, 80% of all firms are one person - sole architects.  Through coursework, reading, or meetings with faculty or architects, he can start to learn the different types of positions in a firm.  One source is Dana Cuff's book - Architecture: The Story of Practice and Andy Pressman's book - Professional Practice 101.

In the manner in which you describe your son, he may be well-suited as a
project architect in a firm.

Encourage him to interact with upperclassmen that have worked internships, faculty, and alums that are architects.

I do hope this helps. 

Dr. Architecture

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