Architects design and create plans and technical drawings of buildings.
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What does an architect do?

Architects design and create plans and technical drawings of buildings which are used in the construction industry. You may also work on the restoration and renovation of existing buildings, for example designing a new extension for a house. You may be working on commercial buildings or residential projects. You could work in a number of different places and in different areas of architecture. For example, you could be:

  • an architect working on commercial buildings, like shopping centres or supermarkets
  • working for a housing developer, designing plans for housing estates
  • self-employed, working on residential projects like building extensions or converting attics

You’ll need to be creative and have good maths and numeracy skills to become an architect. 

What do I need to do to become an architect?

To become an architect, you will need to complete a five year architecture degree which is recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). You will also need two years of professional experience as a trainee architect or architect’s assistant. 

To take a recognised degree you will need: five GCSEs A*- C including English, maths and science and three A levels. Some universities prefer a maths or a science subject. Many also require a portfolio of work, so an art & design based A level can be helpful. Entry requirements vary so check carefully with the the Architects Registration Board.

Other level 3 courses (e.g. science or engineering) may be acceptable for entry to a recognised degree at some universities – check with them direct.

Related skills

  • Ability to understand technical plans
  • Attention to detail
  • Business management
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Numeracy
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

Academic route

  • A levels in science, art & design-based

Vocational route

  • Level 3 courses in science, engineering

Related subjects

  • Art
  • Design technology
  • Maths
  • Physics

Essential qualifications

  • Architecture degree recognised by the ARB
  • Two years of professional experience

Where to find out more

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