Why become an Architect
Making the decision to pursue architecture is not easy. Often, school leaving students think that they have to be particularly talented at drawing, or have high marks in math to even apply for architecture studies. Once they get there, many students are overwhelmed by the mountainous tasks ahead.
While the path to becoming an architect varies from country to country, the average time it takes to receive a Masters in Architecture is between 5 and 7 years, and following that is often the additional burden of licensure, which realistically takes another couple of years to undertake (Licensure does not hinder your practice). Knowing these numbers, it’s not particularly encouraging to find out that the average architect does not make as much as many doctors and lawyers. However, beyond these problems, there are still many fulfilling reasons to fall in love with the industry and become an architect. Here are just some of them.
- Architects are able to communicate their imagination
The most beautiful aspect of architecture as a profession is how the industry embraces the individuality of each person. Yes, designing buildings is in itself a fulfilling creative pursuit; but even beyond that you are allowed, and in fact encouraged, to have a style which can manifest beyond your work. The idea of wanting to live an “authentic life” has been a trending buzzword lately, and being an architect can certainly serve as conduit to a desire to live creatively. Ten architects with the same client and the same project parameters will provide 10 different solutions every time.
- Architects see the fruits of their labor and enjoy longevity
Perhaps the greatest advantage of being an architect is having a lifetime’s work that remains after you’re retired to remind people of your efforts. You can ultimately live a life much larger and longer than your own mortality allows because the buildings that you design will represent you. Due to the literal “material nature” of the work, it’s difficult to second-guess your contribution to society and the value of your work when it’s 20 stories high and staring right at you. Also, you can practice the profession of architecture for as long as you want – you’ll always be an architect even when it isn’t your job anymore. Some architects don’t really start to become good until later in life.
- Architects start enjoying their career from the university
During studies at the university architecture is a very fun and exciting time because of the dynamism in your experience. Knowledge and theories from other fields are openly welcomed within architecture, and these sources could be as varied as philosophy and economics. Due to architecture’s wide-ranging knowledge set, many architecture programs advocate interdisciplinary learning for their students, meaning that you will either have a wide range of topics embedded within your architecture classes, or you will get the opportunity to take varied classes ranging from environmental studies, to computer science. If there is a particular topic you are interested in, you can incorporate it within your architectural work. Besides, there is a lot of improvisation in architectural education and this is where it gets fun. Unlike science students who have to adhere to strict formatting with lab reports, and humanities students who go through copious amounts of textual analysis, architecture students are encouraged to embrace innovation. Beside, even at that level the student can begin to enjoy clientele.
- Architects are often specialists at everything
As mentioned, what makes Architecture an exciting subject of study is the wide array of learning and research that you have to conduct on a regular basis—and this extends far into one’s working career. There is no such thing as having too much knowledge as an architect. Each new project is a window for inquiry into new technology, theories of organization, or methods of construction. To articulate this information in your building designs, you need to very quickly understand expert knowledge on the specific technique that you wish to include in order to collaborate with corresponding professionals. As maestros of the orchestra that is the whole construction team, architects become specialists at everything.
- Architects are didactic at defending their opinions
For every beholder, there will be a set of buildings that are beautiful. Many students dived into the world of architecture because they were emotionally affected by a beautiful building, but in the classroom “beautiful” is not necessarily a qualifying trait that will convince colleagues and professors. The simple rule is that if you like a form, a motif, a detail or anything really, you must go beyond “beautiful” and make a case for its existence as a “profound aspect of the experiential articulation of the built world” .This gives rise to lively and stimulating debate amongst architecture professionals which also extends to written discourse. Architectural literature contains very colorful vocabulary and a rhetorical style that is nothing short of poesy. That acquired skill to convince your colleagues lives on within even when practicing in the real world.
- You can be your own boss.
You can be your own firm of one and still be a viable service provider on almost any size project. You can enter contests and win commissions for major projects by yourself. It is difficult to see another profession that can provide similar latitudes.
- Architects can do what they love for the rest of their life
Assuming that what you love is Architecture, there seems to be no barrier to continuing to do what you love past the age of retirement. As the saying goes: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Many of today’s architectural masters are still heading their highly successful firms decades past the age of retirement and are honing their craft just as ardently as before—as if they’ve never worked a day in their life.
- Architects are held in high esteem
Thanks to its origin as the “mother of the arts” and its subsequent development as an influential profession, architecture has achieved near-universal recognition as a noble pursuit. In the workplace, architects largely interact with clients from the upper stratum of society. With the many general myths and legends that surround architecture outside of the actual profession there is a certain reverence attached to architects, and you may be able to take advantage of this to impress other people while still having the opportunity to do something that you are interested in.
- Architects improve the lives of countless people
Modern Architecture, as we know it today, emerged from a period of social upheaval in the 20th century. In the hope of creating a better world for everyone, the visionaries of modern architecture developed a heroic rhetoric that continues to inspire architects of today, even if we haven’t exactly figured out how to recapture that spirit. For a brief moment, architects lost hope on that endeavor but emerging practices are today re-invigorating architecture’s social agenda. Architecture always wants to help people and when it does it’s an incredibly satisfactory feeling. Architecture is significant and the ability to touch on an integral part of a person’s life is a reason to be an architect. Also, it is rewarding to develop a personal relationship with your client, particularly when you know that the process will yield a more fruitful end product. By understanding the process, clients appreciate the product. By appreciating the product, they are acknowledging the role it plays.