Architects have the challenging and extremely satisfying job of bringing whole new buildings into the world and saving, restoring or changing the ones we already have.
The Role
  • Advising on restoration and conservation of existing buildings
  • Creating design to meet client requirements
  • Considering budget, safety and community needs for a project
  • Ensuring building regulations, planning laws and environmental considerations are met
  • Creating detailed drawings for the contractor, with exact measurements and building materials needed
  • Assessing client needs, identifying potential risks, creating architectural blueprints, supervising other architects and overseeing the whole construction process.
  • Working closely with contractors, engineers, surveyors, lawyers and planning departments as the building goes up, inspecting the project as they go
  • Inspecting the building as it's built to make sure it meets the requirements
  • Using computer design programs to produce drawings, detailed workings and specifications
  • Senior architects lead a team of architects throughout each phase of a building's design and construction.
  • Starting salaries for an architect's assistant during the trainee stage usually range from £18,000 to £30,000 a year
  • Newly registered architects can earn in the region of £30,000 and £35,000
  • Trained with experience architects can earn in the region of £35,000 and £60,000
  • Senior or chartered architects can earn in the region of £50,000 and £100,000
Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options also improve with chartered status.
Qualifications & Training
Most people do a five-year university course recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) – followed by at least two years’ professional experience. To get on a degree course in Scotland you need 4 Highers (including English and maths or physics). Find further details at Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) In England and Wales you need at least five GCSEs grade 9-4 (A to C) including maths, English and physics or chemistry, plus three A-levels (some universities like this to include a maths or science subject). Lots of universities will accept further education qualifications instead of A-levels. You don’t need an art qualification but should be interested in art and design. Course providers will probably want to see your drawings and sketches. Once you have qualified as an architect, you need to continue to update your knowledge and expertise. Continuous professional development (CPD) makes sure that you always have the skills you need to stay up to date and good at your job. This is usually organised by the relevant industry body, such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).


As an Architect, you can also become Chartered. Becoming Chartered means you have proved that you are highly experienced and skilled at doing your job. It is comparable to a bachelor’s degree and is recognised all over the world. Becoming Chartered can enhance your career, increase your salary and boosts the professionalism of your organisation. There are many routes to becoming Chartered. Whether you’re a graduate, have technical or vocational qualifications or have simply built up years of experience, you can choose the path that best suits you. You can achieve Chartership through the relevant professional institution for the career you are following, however a full range of construction management jobs can lead to Chartered status. For Architects this is The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).