Becoming a professional architect isn't an easy task at all. While it is a wise career choice, it takes a tremendous effort, hard work, and determination to get there. Being an architect is exciting – the pay is excellent, and you get many fantastic opportunities to work with various companies and learn many new things.
Put simply, being a professional architect today means to make your own meaningful and lasting contribution to the world's architecture and help shape entire communities and societies. It requires a lot of responsibility, and not everyone is made to fulfill this multifaceted, technical, and quite a complex role.
To become a suitable candidate for such a great career, fresh architects need to develop a unique mix of qualities and skills. Let's delve deeper into some of the qualities that will turn you into a professional architect and help you stand out from the crowd.
The concept of modern architecture is based on the boundaries and rules of mathematics. If you're good with numbers, you have far higher chances of achieving your career goals.
Understanding mathematical principles, especially advanced algebra and geometry, is a highly appreciated quality in the world of architecture. That's also a basic requirement in many job interviews in the architecture industry.
Architecture is all about creativity. It requires people to be extraordinarily creative and productive. Since modern architects are required to design state-of-the-art structures that will take the boundaries of aesthetics to a whole new level, it goes without saying that you'll have to be both imaginative and creative.
Being creative is basically thinking outside of the box and bringing daring innovations and new ideas that will essentially change the most common concepts. It's your most essential mission statement, and it separates you from the rest. Constant innovation will ensure that you become well-received and memorable.
Possessing amazing design skills is a quality that you can't do without in architecture. Many newbies make a mistake in thinking that creating something beautiful is all the work, but they're wrong.
While you will be required to design aesthetically appealing structures, they also need to be viable and practical. More importantly, your ideas have to be suited to the demands and needs of your clients.
The only way to achieve this is by acquiring a sophisticated understanding of design processes. It will help you to combine functionality with visual appeal with sacrificing one or the other. A good architect knows how to combine these elements, but a professional knows how to compromise.
Going over your very own possibilities won't just take you nowhere, but it will probably seal the deal on your career. A professional is fully aware of what they can and can't do. You'll have to work in specified conditions and with a limited budget while following many policies, multiple regulations, and building codes.
Moreover, you'll often be restricted by your client's budget, ideas, and specifications. Since time is money, you have to be sure what you can and can't do to save time, money, and effort, and make sure both parties involved are satisfied.
Aside from basic knowledge, design skills, and being creative, communication is perhaps the most important quality in an architect. Architects are required to work with many people from different industries to make things happen.
A building's construction is an incredibly complex process, and you'll be required to liaise with structural engineers, tradesmen, local government officials, contractors, surveyors, construction managers, and lawyers. Each of them has their own concerns and interests.
In such an environment, accomplishing effective communication is paramount. Making sure that you're all on the same page is vital to delivering a project successfully.
Right next to communication is teamwork – one of the most required qualities of a professional architect. Since collaboration is your daily obligation, you have to develop the ability to work with others in harmony. It's a crucial weapon in your architectural arsenal.
You can complete the actual design alone, but you'll have to work with others at some point. When we say others, we mean:
● Your internal team – you depend on them to get potential clients or the updates on an existing project
● The construction team – they inform you about the costs of materials as well as the adherence of your design ideas
● The client – they help you establish the project's direction and its practical functionality
● Planning officials and surveyors – they help protect the local environment and make sure the work goes according to legislative demands
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. You'll be required to work with others who come from different backgrounds and industries. Knowing how to work with them to accomplish mutual goals is a much sought-after quality in a professional architect.
The next quality that would make an essential asset in your professional skillset is commercial awareness. Understanding the very principles of the industry you work in is how you create new opportunities.
Knowing the trends and the direction in which the targeted market goes allows you to recognize great opportunities, connect with the right clients, and get a chance to participate in the best projects.
Understanding the concerns, needs, and wants of stakeholders can significantly contribute to your efforts to become a professional architect.
Even though modern architects rely on the latest technology to complete their projects, you'll have to actually draw something at some point. You can do it through any software like CAD or by using the actual drafting techniques. Regardless of what your choice may be, you will be required to know the methods and processes used. Oh, and scale matters.
Problems tend to occur when you least expect them to, and a professional is always prepared to handle whatever may come. Completing large-scale projects can't go without developing a few problems here and there.
If a problem is directly related to design, you need to be adaptable and flexible to avoid further escalation, which will contribute to resolving issues efficiently and quickly. Whether it's a material supply or a legislative issue or something entirely else, always be prepared to propose an alternative solution.
Becoming a professional in any line of work is quite a lengthy process. However, with a little bit of determination and persistence, it's doable. It takes long years of education and knowledge from all sides, but if you're a natural leader and business-minded, you'll get there.
Your skills, communication, and teamwork combined with expertise and understanding will help you to achieve any goal you can think of. It also takes discipline to accomplish your goal, but in the end, it all depends on you.