An architect is a visionary, a person with a keen eye, steady hand and a vivid imagination. It is where Art and Spirit meet Science and Engineering. So, how does one go about becoming an architect? Are there different types? What degrees and certifications might a person need? We are about to find out.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to be an architect in the USA, UK, Switzerland or the Czech Republic – one thing that is a must is the obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, or better yet, a Master’s. It takes four to five years to complete (6-10, if we count the Master’s degree, depending on your location). This isn’t that different from getting an education in many other fields.
Acquiring the license is a feat with varying requirements, based on the country. In the US, three years of paid internship are required, whereas in the UK, all you need is two years of work experience. It doesn’t stop there, as many countries demand proof of your continuous education in an effort to keep improving yourself even after you have secured a degree. This ensures that you keep your license, as it is not something that is issued only once, but renewed on a regular basis.
This isn’t just for anyone, mind you. You have to be creative, analytical and very well organized. You have to be amazing at both drawing and math. In addition, you must be flexible and open to compromise, as good communication skills are needed in order to complete any project. It is perfectly fine for your head to be in the clouds, as long as your feet are on the ground.
Types of Architects
While all architects are practical artists, there is a plethora of different career paths to choose from.
A building architect designs buildings for commercial and residential use. They can even cover things like theaters and museums. In truth, this group divides into even more categories, but we will not get into that, simply because we are trying to give you a basic notion of your options.
Landscape architects design public and private parks, playgrounds, golf courses, gardens, and anything else that incorporates nature back into civilization. They are also in charge of planning roads in a way that doesn’t let them intrude on natural and historic landmarks. Being adept at geography, ecology and the local flora and fauna, as well as how these things would be affected by the urban development, is a must for this type of architect.
A conservator-restorer has a calling of saving, preserving or restoring and prolonging the works of architectural marvel. They are responsible for our ability to appreciate what would have been lost to time and the elements. In some cases, the building, or another project, cannot be simply preserved or restored. What these architects do in this situation is clear – they reconstruct. This isn’t to say that every country, nor every architect supports this final course of action.