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6 Alternative Job Options for Architects Where Being an Architect is a Big Benefit

On-site architects

What Is An Architect?

An architect is a professional who designs new buildings and extensions, does alterations to existing structures and advices on conservation and restoration of old properties. An architect may work on individual buildings or they may work on large developmental schemes. Their job may sometimes also include the designing of spaces and landscape surrounding the site they are working on.

Architects work closely with their clients and ensure that the plan they are proposing is safe, functional and economical. They control a project from the point of ideation up to the completion to make sure that final structure is as per the initial plan.

What Does An Architect Do?

An architect is responsible to prepare designs of a structure according to the requirements of their client. They ensure that the propped design is practical, economical and safe. They oversee the project throughout the construction phase. They make sure that all the material that is being used is of a high quality. An architect is responsible of ensuring the project meets the budget constraints. Being an architect does not only mean to present a design in which a particular building will be constructed. It involves taking complete responsibility of the entire project starting from conception to completion and everything in between.

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Types of Architects 

If you hold a degree in architecture, there many types of architect jobs that you can pursue. All types of architect jobs require a degree in architecture but the job descriptions and work dynamics are different for each type.

The major types of architects are:

  • Residential Architect
  • Commercial Architect
  • Landscape Architect
  • Interior Design Architect
  • Urban Design Architect
  • Green Design Architect
  • Industrial Architect

Alternative Jobs for Architects

An architect on job

Apart from 7 major types of architects, you can use your architecture degree for a number of architect jobs. If you are highly creative and have commendable visual and technical design skills, any of the below listed architect jobs can be a good career option for you.

  • Architectural Technologist
  • Building Surveyor
  • Construction Manager
  • Planning and Development Surveyor
  • Town Planner
  • Structural Engineer


Architectural Technologist

An architectural technologist provides services of technical building designing. They are trained in architectural technology and technical design and construction of buildings. They apply the science of architecture and concentrate on technology of building, design and construction. They are responsible for the technical aspects of a building project. Architectural technology can be applied in alteration, refurbishment and other construction projects.


The responsibilities of an architectural technologist are as following:

  • Meeting with the client and other project related professionals to agree on a project brief
  • Understanding and analyzing how the proposed construction project can have an impact on performance and functionality so that practical queries can be timely addressed
  • Evaluation of legal, environmental and regulatory issues
  • Ensuring all required surveys like land survey are conducted before the commencement of the project
  • Keeping the project briefs updated as the project progresses
  • Using computer-aided design (CAD) software and other software to prepare design proposals which are then presented to the client
  • Advising the clients to procure the most appropriate contracts for all the work
  • Coordinating with the appropriate authorities when documentation for statutory approval is being produced
  • Provide detailed specifications of the materials to be used during the entire construction phase
  • Conducting risk assessments at each stage of development
  • After the construction has been completed, taking feedback from the client and the people who are using the building to ensure the performance is smooth
  • Advising on refurbishment, deconstruction and recycling

Salaries and Working Hours

Salaries of architectural technologist depend upon the experience. The more experienced you are, the higher salary you can expect. Also, salary increases as the responsibilities increase.

Working hours are usually 9am to 5pm but as deadlines approach, working at weekends may be needed.

Building Surveyor

Building surveyors provide professional advice on matters of property and construction that may include mega structures or modest repairs, and adaptations. As the name suggests, they conduct surveys on buildings. They identify defects in a construction and advice on restoration, repair or maintenance options. The projects that are most commonly subjected to building surveys include existing building, new buildings, and old buildings that hold historical and architectural importance. Building surveyor implements measures for prevention of damage and to keep the building in a sustainable condition.



Responsibilities of a building surveyor are:

  • Ensuring that the projects are completed on time and budget
  • Advising the clients on projects and determining the requirements
  • Preparing project designs along with costing, specifications of work and timelines
  • Organizing the documents for tenders
  • Advising the client on appointment of designers contractors, and procuring routes
  • Evaluating existing buildings and see what repairs are to be done and prepare proposals or repair
  • Advising the clients on sustainable construction, energy efficiency and environmental impact
  • Conserving historical buildings
  • Supervising the maintenance work
  • Advising the client on building regulations and property legislations
  • Conduction of feasibility studies
  • Providing advise on safety and health aspects of a building
  • Preparation of insurance assessments and claims

Salaries and Working Hours

Salaries if building surveyors depend largely on the area they are working in. they may get additional benefits like mobile phone, company car and pension. Working hours are typically from 9am to 5pm but sometimes working for longer hours may be required.


Construction Manager

A construction manager leads a building project from beginning till the end. They ensure that a construction project has been completed safely, on time and within the budget. They work in close coordination with the architects, builders, surveyors, and all other professionals who are involved in completing a building project.


Responsibilities of a construction manager are:

  • Managing quality as a construction project has involvement of many contractors and subcontractors. A construction manager has to ensure that all professionals who are a part of the project are delivering quality work and are not cutting any corners during the project
  • Ensuring that all procured material meets quality specifications
  • Staying on top of all costs during a project to ensure the cost is managed. They are responsible to make necessary adjustments whenever a complication arises.
  • Identifying and eliminating any possible safety hazards on the construction site
  • Making sure that all provisions of the contract are being met and ensure that all involved contractors are satisfied.

Salaries and Working Hours

Salaries depend upon the scale and location of the project, and the size and reputation of the employer. The job of a construction manager demands about 40 hours of work a week. the working hours may increase when the project deadline is near.


Planning and Development Surveyor

A planning and development surveyor offers advices to clients on industrial, residential and transport development projects. They help the clients in making informed choices related to investments. Before providing any critical information to the client, a planning and development surveyor has to consider many social, economical, and environmental factors.


A planning and development surveyor is responsible for the following:

  • Gathering facts and figures about social, local economic and geographical trend
  • Evaluating the potential demand for industrial, residential or commercial properties in an area
  • Offering advices on planning policies
  • Identifying the sites that have a potential to be developed
  • Negotiating over the sale or purchase of property
  • Assessing the feasibility of a project
  • Evaluating the market value and safety of the surrounding area
  • Raising funds and finances from investors
  • Managing the project from start till the end
  • Providing evidence in case of public enquiries

Salaries and Working Hours

Salaries of planning and development surveyor largely depend on the location of job, the size of the employer and the demands of job. As for the time, there is no foxed time. Usual late working hours are needed.


Town Planner  

A town planner is involved in the management of towns, cities, villages, and countryside. They work to make sure that the economy, society and environment are flourishing with the growth of the town. They recommend the construction of parks, new buildings and utilities while keeping in mind the short and long-term goals of the town.


The responsibilities of a town planner are as following:

  • Planning and designing new towns (new buildings, parks, utilities, etc)
  • Improving the environmental conditions of a particular area by promoting environmental education and awareness
  • Writing detailed reports making a recommendation or explaining rules and regulations in detail These reports are meant for members of the public, regional assemblies, and borough councils
  • Protection and restoration of buildings that hold architectural or historic importance
  • Researching and analyzing data that helps in strategic development such as an increase in housing provisions that are affordable
  • Using computer-aided design (CAD) software or geographical information system (GIS) for developing plans and designs

Salaries and Work Hours

Salaries depend upon the size of the town and the scale of work that an individual does. If the town planner is employed in the public sector, he may be entitled to benefits like pension. Other benefits include car allowance, home-based working, flexible working hours and generous holiday entitlement. Work hours are usually 9am to 5pm but it usually depends on the level the individual is employed on.


Structural Engineer

Structural engineers design structures that can withstand stresses imposed by environmental conditions and human use. They ensure that any buildings or structures do not vibrate excessively, rotate, deflect or collapse and that they are stable throughout the period of their use. They also evaluate and inspect existing buildings to make sure they are in a sound condition and do not pose any safety hazard to people using it.


The responsibilities of a structural engineer are:

  • Analyzing the configuration of all components of a structure
  • Calculation of stress, pressure and strain that each component in a structure will be exposed to due to environmental conditions and human use
  • Assessing the strength of different construction materials to see how the inclusion of each will impact the strength and sustainability of a structure
  • Coordinating with architects and other related professionals to come up with designs that are safe, aesthetically attractive and sustainable
  • Examination of old structures that are at a risk of collapsing and offering suggestions as to how to restore or repair the damages
  • Making sketches or drawings using computer software for contractors to follow during construction
  • Coordinating with geotechnical engineers to asses ground conditions
  • To make sure that the newly constructed buildings are structurally sound
  • Using simulations to make sure the design will withstand numerous stresses that a building is exposed to during its lifetime

Salaries and Work Hours

Salaries of structural engineers depend on the level they are working at (entry level or senior level). Additional benefits include a company car and health insurance. Working hours are usually 9am to 5pm with occasional late working hours or working on weekends when needed.

An architect preparing a model

Until now, you must have thought that anyone who has an architecture degree can work as an architect only. Now that you know there are many types of architect jobs, you can choose any career path that suits your skill set.

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