The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) reports there are nearly 106,000 licensed architects within the United States. According to other estimates, there are approximately 1.3 Million professional Architects currently practicing their craft worldwide. Before any of these design professionals bring a vision to reality, they must first have the right education, licensing, and skill set.
We put together the below list of the skills most frequently used by Architects. Once you confirm your abilities are a good match for the Architecture industry then it’s time to get started on your path to success. Along the way, You might want to check into Architect Professional Liability Insurance to insure your career is built on a solid foundation.
The Top 7 Skills Architects Need
Take a look at our list of seven skills most Architects possess. How many of these abilities do you already have? Which skills can you gain or improve?
#1 – Advanced Math and Science
Architects have the complicated responsibility of expertly crafting commercial and residential structures. To do so, Architects rely extensively on physics and geometry, as well as some chemistry and biology. In fact, during the initial drafting phase, Architects must perform actions such as calculating dimensions, understanding building compounds, and evaluating the natural landscape surrounding the property.
Architects combine math and science to establish buildings that are energy efficient, structurally strong, safe and accessible, weatherproof, and visually appealing.
#2 – Understand Building Codes and Laws
Perhaps the biggest influence on your Architectural projects will be building codes and zoning laws. Building rules and regulations dictate what, where, and how your project must be completed. For example, you may be required to include handicap accessible entrances, doors, and restrooms. Or you may face regulations that proclaim a building is not allowed in a flood zone or wetland. Other rules may require specific sized windows or a particular type of sprinkler system. Most of the federal, state, and township requirements are intended to keep occupants safe and property values high.
#3 – Computer Literacy
You’ll need to use specialized Architectural technology and design software to develop blueprints and 3D renderings. This will help your clients and team members visualize the final outcome of your design. Using computer programs such as Revit, AutoCAD, and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) will be a regular part of your day-to-day responsibilities so it’s important to be computer literate.
#4 – Architectural Design
Performing calculations, utilizing computers, and understanding codes are not the only important aspects of Architectural duties. That’s because the true essence of Architecture is defined as both science and art. Once you have the math and science down, you’ll then need a profound knowledge of artistic movements and current architectural trends.
#5 – Project Management
Architects are typically the point person during a structure’s creation and construction. For this reason, Architects need excellent project management skills. Project management is the ability to communicate, delegate, coordinate, and regulate a project from start to finish. For example, you’ll need to delegate and instruct contractors, junior architects, technicians, and engineers. An ability to efficiently use visual project management software is also a must for today’s Architects
Working closely with a diverse group of people is necessary to finish a large project like building a new office tower or a residential neighborhood.
#6 – Problem-Solving
Problem-solving skills are necessary to manage any unexpected glitches that will inevitably arise. Creative thinking is sometimes the only way to quickly and effectively make a change in project plans. For example, there could be mix-ups with material supplies or snafus with building permits which you must resolve efficiently. After all, you don’t want your client or any of the stakeholders paying for delays.
#7 – Business Knowledge
In addition to being a trained professional, you’ll also need to tackle all the same tasks as other executives and business owners. For example, Architects need solid skills in networking, marketing, finance, and administration. Even though you’ll be busy drawing blueprints and going to construction sites, you’ll still need to manage your business the same as any other professional.
Skills for Success
By now it’s probably evident that Architects are well-trained and highly-skilled professionals. In fact, Architects usually spend an average of five to seven years completing their education before beginning their real world journey. In addition to coursework, Architects must rely on the seven key soft skills described above.
Of course, there’s no reason to be concerned if you need to strengthen or even develop your Architect skills. During your studies, there will be plenty of time to build a strong foundation of skills which will help advance your Architectural career. Constructing a successful future as an Architect is possible if you have the right knowledge and abilities.