Types Of Architectural Positions And Career Fields

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

For individuals who appreciate being creative while still mastering technical skills, architectural careers are a popular career path. Individuals with a related academic background can find full-time or part-time jobs in an architectural firm that hires professional architects to complete their projects. Learning about the positions in an architectural firm and the various architectural sectors you can pursue can assist you in determining an ideal career path. In this article, we list seven types of positions in an architecture firm, along with seven examples of architectural fields to consider pursuing.

7 Types Of Architectural Positions In A Firm

There is a wide range of architectural positions that professionals may serve in over the entire course of their careers. Architecture is the art and discipline of designing and creating a building, room or space for individuals to utilise for a specific purpose. An architect is a trained professional who plans and designs buildings and is often involved in the construction process. Professionals in architectural positions receive extensive training in both the artistic and scientific aspects of building design. In decreasing order of rank, here are seven common architectural positions in a firm:

1. Senior partner

Senior partners often own or are the principal investors in a firm. The president of a company, its chief executive officer (CEO), or a managing partner are all terms that describe this role. They are in charge of managing and overseeing the operations of all departments within a company, the workflow of design processes and the firm's operational budget. Senior partners are typically highly experienced architects with decades of experience in their respective fields.

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2. Mid-level and junior partners

These professionals assist senior partners with their responsibilities. Mid-level partners are typically a firm's senior vice presidents and they may oversee each department's daily operations. They regularly conduct performance evaluations to guarantee that every construction project satisfies quality standards. Mid-level partners also supervise junior partners who have similar responsibilities and are relatively new employees in a firm.

3. Department head or senior manager

A department head manages a certain division of an architecture firm, such as construction. They supervise project objectives and ensure that staff members accomplish their department's daily tasks. For example, they may assist designers in analysing building or room locations and coordinating with contractors, freelancers, site engineers and furniture vendors.

Related: Manager Vs. Senior Manager: What Are The Differences?

4. Senior architect or designer

A senior architect usually oversees the design department and creates the key design concepts that appear in a firm's projects. They support the architect on a project by ensuring that all designs are consistent in style and quality. They may also develop and guide each stage of the creative process for construction projects.

5. Project architect or manager

This professional role supervises each step and component of a design project. They manage the design team, keep track of budgets and help clients express their expectations for a project. They may also be responsible for administrative activities, such as compiling proposals and contracts, and using rendering software.

6. Architects and designers

Architects and designers create primary design content for clients' projects while adhering to their firm's style and guidelines. They prepare construction drawings and may use craft materials or computer software to create a three-dimensional model of a building. A lead architect may oversee a larger group in some firms to ensure that everyone meets deadlines and adheres to company standards.

Related: How To Become An Architect (Career Steps And FAQs)

7. Interns

Architectural interns are typically undergraduate students or graduates who work to gain more experience in their field. Full-time architects or other staff members may assign interns a wide range of tasks to teach them how to work in a firm, implement design standards and effectively communicate with other professionals. Interns usually perform routine tasks, such as creating design documentation, layouts and presentations for clients.

Related: What Are Internships And How Do You Find One?

7 Types Of Architectural Career Fields

There are various types of career fields in architecture you can pursue. Some have a broader scope, while others require a more specific set of skills. Here are some popular architectural career roles in different domains:

1. Building architect

Building architects create design plans for buildings and supervise their development. They employ their creative, technical and research skills to design a building's visual appearance and assure that it is functional. They also consult with other specialists to verify that their design conforms to local building codes. To ensure that a prospective building's location is safe, building architects may conduct a chemical survey and soil test of the building's surrounding environment.

The following are different types of architects, depending on the nature of spaces they design:

  • Residential: These professionals design the homes of private clients. They study how to create buildings that are both functional and appealing for regular use.

  • Industrial: An industrial architect emphasises function and efficiency in building design to support industries and the people who utilise it. Power plants, airports and storage facilities are examples of structures that an industrial architect may design.

  • Green design: These architects develop sustainable living conditions by incorporating energy-saving measures into their designs. They may introduce recycled materials to reduce waste or monitor the positioning of windows to see if they can generate heat naturally.

2. Interior architect

Interior architects design the layout of a building's interior spaces, including the placement of walls, windows and doors. They also decide where to place furnishings. Interior architects are responsible for verifying that their designs comply with municipal and federal building codes.

3. Interior designer

Interior designers aim to improve a room's utility and its aesthetic appearance. They coordinate lighting and colour to adhere to customer standards and create a specific mood in a space. For example, it is common for clients to request the hue blue, which can help individuals relax.

An interior designer can then use blue tones in a client's living room to help them relax. Interior designers, besides having good designing knowledge, usually know how to mix and match colours in the same space to create an effect. Some interior designers also offer furniture selections, while others only make furniture recommendations.

Related: 9 Different Types Of Interior Design Jobs With Salary Info

4. Landscape architect

Landscape architects design landscapes that are both functional and safe to visit in outdoor settings. They usually have a good understanding of how to coordinate the growth of natural elements like trees, flowers and other foliage, with the built environment. Playgrounds for children and communal gardens are a few examples of a landscape architect's work. Landscape architects and their teams typically assess an environment to determine whether it is a suitable location to grow certain kinds of plants.

5. Town planner

Town planners plan and supervise construction projects in towns and cities. Landowners and developers hire them to examine the development of land in a town, determine the best areas for new buildings and work with local officials to ensure that each project complies with the town's rules and regulations. They use their architectural skills to work with surveyors, traffic engineers and other field specialists to implement their strategies and maintain a high level of quality.

Related: What Is An Urban Planner? Definition And Career Advice

6. Architectural engineer

Architects and architectural engineers share a similar knowledge base, but architectural engineers specialise in the science and technology involved in construction projects. They often apply their knowledge of thermodynamics, loads and forces to improve a building's structure and identify potential flaws. Architectural engineers can determine if a structure can resist the effects of a natural disaster or severe weather events, such as an earthquake or heavy rain.

Read more: What Is An Architect Engineer? Definition And Career Advice

7. Restoration architect

Restoration architects specialise in restoring older buildings and other structures that are in a state of disrepair to resemble their former appearance. They often work with restoration projects to assist in the preservation of historic structures for educational purposes. They work on projects of all sizes and scopes and they are essential for several archaeological processes and surveys.

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