Sunday, May 29, 2011

Architects and Beyond: Diverse Career Opportunities - Slides

For those of you that were not able to attend the AIA Convention in New Orleans nor attend the session that I moderated (see below), the presentation is available from the link below.

Just scroll down to TH232: Architects and Beyond: Diverse Career Opportunities

Architects and Beyond: Diverse Career Opportunities
Thursday, May 12, 2011
2:00 - 3:30PM

Also, I have been researching additional career paths for those with an architecture background and will be posting soon.

Dr. Architecture

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Could you help me out in UK universities which offer architecture?  Can I practice architecture in the US or india with a degree from a UK university?

I cannot be of any assistance with regards to UK universities.

As for your last question, you can become licensed with a foreign degree, but you must go through NCARB to have your education evaluated.  This is done by EESA - Education Evaluation Services for Architects.
EESA assists those individuals who wish to apply for NCARB certification or for registration by an NCARB member board and who do not have a professional degree in architecture from an NAAB-accredited program of study. EESA works with internationally educated applicants and with architects in NCARB’s Broadly Experienced Architects (BEA) program.

Obviously, if your intent is to become licensed in the U.S., you can always obtain a professional accredited degree in architecture in the U.S.

Dr. Architecture

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Degree Route?

I believe a possible route would be to get a BA in an undergraduate degree and then  continue on to a two or three year Masters degree in Architecture. What undergrad degree’s would you suggest and what school’s would you suggest looking into on an online degree?
To obtain the professional accredited degree, there are three choices - 1) Bachelor of Architecture (5 years), 2) Master of Architecture (4 year pre-professional degree plus 2 year Master of Architecture, and 3) Master of Architecture (4 year undergraduate degree - any discipline plus 3-4 year Master of Architecture.

If you were to select choice 3, you could pursue any undergraduate degree, but select a major in which you will succeed academically and allow you to pursue some art/drawing courses as you will need to submit a portfolio as part of applying to the Master of Architecture.

As for online degrees, I have no insight.


Dr. Architecture

Beginning Education

I am very interested in an architectural career. I took a few drafting class in high school and realized I fancied the freedom of design and creation. I am now graduated and currently serving on active duty in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan. I am still interested in a career in architecture just not sure where to start.  I  plan on being in the Marine Corps for the next 7 ½ years. What is available online that would get me in the right direction for a accredited degree at a physical college after I get out of the Marine Corps?

I am pleased to hear of your interest in architecture.

In its simplest terms, you need to accomplish three tasks - 1) obtain professional accredited degree in architecture, 2) fulfill the requirements of Intern Development Program (IDP), and 3) pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).

Unfortunately, there are no architecture programs online, but most require general education requirements (humanities, mathematics, physics, social sciences, etc.) that you might be able to do via online.  In addition, to the extent that you schedule allows, draw (freehand) everyday.  Also, visit websites related to architecture and "see."

Consider obtaining
Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition, a book that outlines the process.

I hope this helps; let me know if you have additional questions.

Dr. Architecture

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pre-professional vs. Professional degree

I am currently a senior and have a question regarding the degrees I have to take in the future. I would want to not only design buildings, but be able to design a bit of outdoor as well.  I am unsure whether to select a pre-professional and professional degrees.  I should take and what types? Advice would be really appreciated!
In order to become an architect, you need to accomplish three tasks - 1) education, 2) experience, and 3) examination. 

With regards to education, almost all states (jurisdictions) require a professional architecture degree accredited by NAAB (  The professional degree can be either the Bachelor of Architecture or the Master of Architecture; in addition, many architecture programs offer a pre-professional degree typically a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies (BSAS). 

A pre-professional degree is needed to pursue the professional Master of Architecture degree.

Coming from high school, you would enter either the five-year Bachelor of Architecture or the pre-professional BSAS.  Another option would be to pursue a degree in any discipline and pursue the Master of Architecture at the graduate level.

To learn more, visit NAAB,, and consider obtaining Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition.

Dr. Architecture

Monday, May 16, 2011

Architect: Career Report

I am an 8th grader attending North Hills Preparatory in Irving, Texas. For a major project, I have to write a 900- 1200 word paper on the career of my choice and I am really interested in Architecture. I need to interview someone as a primary source for my paper. Could you please provide detailed answers to the following questions in the word document by tomorrow night, so that i may re- email you in case i need any clarifications? 

I very much appreciate you contacting me concerning your career choice paper; further, I applaud your choice of Architect.

However, rather than reply directly to your questions, instead, I will refer you to resources that will be more helpful in writing your paper (see below).

Occupational Outlook Handbook - this government resource will answer many of your questions below. Blog

Becoming an Architect, 2nd Edition - this includes profiles of over 50 students, interns, and architects
Dr. Architecture

Interview Questions
1.     Could you please state your full name and your career in the field of architecture?
2.     Was this field in architecture always your dream job? If it was, what motivated you to succeed in this career? What inspired you to want to become an architect? If not, how did you end up choosing this job? When did you end up choosing to go into this field? Was it your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. job preference?
3.     Are there different positions or rankings in your field of architecture? Who do you respond to and who responds to you?
4.     Do you work for a certain company or own any companies? If so what does the company specialize in and where is it located?
5.     What kinds of data, people, and things do architects deal with?
6.      What style of architecture do you do, why did you choose it, and what other styles are there that architects do?
7.     Are you supervised by anyone or do you supervise people and how does that work out?
8.     Do you have any co- workers? If so how are the relations between you and your co- workers?
9.     Is there great opportunity to relocate your job to a different place? Where are the best places to live with a career like yours and why are they the best?
10.  What are your opinions towards the job and what are others’ opinions towards it? Why are your opinions like that?
11.  How long have you had this career and what has kept you at it for that long?
12.  What is your schedule? Dou you make it yourself? Do you have holidays? How is your time spent and how do you manage your time?
13.  How big can architectural companies be? What is the average size?
14.  Do you have a fast average or a slow growth rate?
15.  How many annual job openings are there in your company? In the country? World?
16.  What are all of the forms of education that architects need to become architects? (Courses, training, etc.)
17.  What are the different costs, times, lengths, and benefits of each type of education and training?
18.  What are the certifications and exams that need to be passed for certification?
19.  Are there any promotions awarded in architecture? What qualities are needed for promotion? How much time is needed for a promotion? Is there a percentage of workers who are promoted?
20.  Could you use the education and experience you gained in this field and take it to another career?
21.   Could you start your own business? How would you do that?
22.   What is the salary range for the average architect? What are the salary ranges for each position in architecture?
23.  Are there any commissions or bonuses awarded to architects?
24.  What are the employee benefits?
25.  How are raises, promotions, and bonuses based?
26.  Is the job stressful? If so, why? Are there time limits, hard clients, impossible conditions, etc.?
27.  Does the job get more difficult with age?
28.  How much freedom and chance to express your creativity do you get?
29.  What are the chances of becoming an architect and getting a good job out of that?
30.  How sustainable are jobs in the field of architecture in a failing economy?
31.  Where do you usually work to do your job? An office, home, anywhere, etc.?
32.  What areas in the world are usually the best for architects?
33.  What is the process that an architect must go through from the beginning by creating a plan for a building, to finishing the building?
34.  What does an architect’s average day look like?
35.  And any other information about architects, their careers, education, etc.?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Meet Architect Barbie

 Barbie has been a doctor, a dentist, a vet and a racecar driver, but now the iconic doll that has inspired and entertained little girls for generations takes on the job of architect. With the help of two American Institute of Architects members, Mattel Inc., has announced plans for Architect Barbie -- complete with hard hat and blueprints -- to be the latest addition to its ‘’Barbie I Can Be…’’ line of dolls.

Mattel says it created Architect Barbie so girls can imagine designing their own dream house. In its marketing messaging for the doll, Mattel calls Barbie ‘’ready to tackle the daily responsibilities of a real architect in or out of the office.’’ 

Will Architect Barbie increase the number of young girls that wish to become architects?  I am not sure, but my 10 year daughter wants to be a veterinarian and has the veterinarian Barbie.

Finally, there will be workshops for over 400 young girls at the AIA Convention in New Orleans involving the Architect Barbie.  I will find out as I am volunteering.


What to do?

 I am very confused! I am a senior in high school and am attending Mass College of Art and Design in the Fall. Since 8th Grade I have thought about becoming an architect. So I went to a technical high school and enrolled in commercial art and design. My foundation in art has grown tremendously but now architecture is really hogging my attention again. Massart has an architecture program, and I'm only paying 9,000 per year for it. 

But Massart only offers a 4 year bfa. So I would need to go to grad school afterwards to get licensed.  But I want to get into a great grad school later on like MIT, UF, Yale, Columbia, Sci-arc or maybe even Harvard. But I feel that with an undergrad at an unknown art state school I won't stand a chance against other applicants. So I have been thinking of switching to either Pratt or RISD in hopes of a great education and a running start at a recognized grad school. The only problem is the price tag for these other schools. Both would be 250,000 in the end, but I'm not sure If it's worth it to stand a chance with other grad school competitors. 

I may not even have to go to grad school with their b-arch programs too. If massart doesent work out I always have the option of transferring to another relativley cheap school, like Wentworth Institute of Technology,(Bs-Arch 20,000 per year) U=mass Amherst (BFA 20,000 per year) and the Boston Architectural College. I don't come from a rich family and I'm trying to make ends meet. 

What is your opinion? Should I stay at MassArt or transfer to pratt or risd? Should I consider mass state school. Or should I consider other state schools in other states with better reps. I had a 3.5 g.p.a. in college prep classes  and a 1500 Sat score .But I don't think schools check high school grades once your already in college.Would you please give me some advice, it would be greatly appreciated!

While I agree that you should attend a great Master of Architecture, I will challenge that it must be one of the programs you mention.  What criteria are you using to determine if a program is great or not?  Have you viewed all architecture programs?  If not, view and for more details.

Also, why do you think attending Massart will prevent you from attending your great programs?  Have you been in touch with these programs to determine their selection process?  Again, be in touch to learn what criteria they use to make selections on admission.

Ultimately, you must make the decision, but for all students, cost is always a strong factor.  The monies you save from staying at Massart could be used for your graduate studies.  Is Massart meeting your needs for an architectural education.  I recognize that it is a new program, but sometimes that allows you to do more with your education.

At this point, my advice would be to seek out guidance from individuals at the various programs you mention to determine the facts about their programs and either transferring or attending their graduate programs.

Also, consider attending the New England Career Day held at Wentworth on Saturday, October 29, 2011. --

Best!  Let me know as you continue your process of becoming an architect.

Dr. Architecture