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What is a Junior Architect

Architects are professionals who design buildings and are often members of large construction teams. Their roles are to prepare designs, complete construction documents, and oversee the execution of the plans. Junior architects, more often than not, assist senior architects with these tasks. They may need to climb the ladder and earn the right to work independently.

Depending on years of experience, a junior architect may spend most of her time in front of a computer, instead of doing other tasks like communicating with builders and supervising execution. Junior architects with more experience will work on design teams and assume hands-on roles.

Junior architects are also highly skilled in software like AutoCAD and Revit. Some qualifications for this role include a bachelor's degree in architecture, prior experience with preparing building documents, and soft skills like communication and creativity.

What Does a Junior Architect Do

Architects plan and design houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures.

Learn more about what a Junior Architect does

How To Become a Junior Architect

There are typically three main steps to becoming a licensed architect: completing a professional degree in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination.

Education

In all states, earning a professional degree in architecture is typically the first step to becoming an architect. Most architects earn their professional degree through a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree program, intended for students with no previous architectural training. Many earn a master’s degree in architecture, which can take 1 to 5 years in addition to the time spent earning a bachelor’s degree. The amount of time required depends on the extent of the student’s previous education and training in architecture.

A typical bachelor’s degree program includes courses in architectural history and theory, building design with an emphasis on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), structures, construction methods, professional practices, math, physical sciences, and liberal arts. Central to most architectural programs is the design studio, where students apply the skills and concepts learned in the classroom to create drawings and three-dimensional models of their designs.

Currently, 34 states require that architects hold a professional degree in architecture from one of the 123 schools of architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). State licensing requirements can be found at the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). In the states that do not have that requirement, applicants can become licensed with 8 to 13 years of related work experience in addition to a high school diploma. However, most architects in these states still obtain a professional degree in architecture.

Training

All state architectural registration boards require architecture graduates to complete a lengthy paid internship—generally 3 years of experience—before they may sit for the Architect Registration Examination. Most new graduates complete their training period by working at architectural firms through the Intern Development Program (IDP), a program run by NCARB that guides students through the internship process. Some states allow a portion of the training to occur in the offices of employers in related careers, such as engineers and general contractors. Architecture students who complete internships while still in school can count some of that time toward the 3-year training period.

Interns in architectural firms may help design part of a project. They may help prepare architectural documents and drawings, build models, and prepare construction drawings on CADD. Interns may also research building codes and write specifications for building materials, installation criteria, the quality of finishes, and other related details. Licensed architects will take the documents that interns produce, make edits to them, finalize plans, and then sign and seal the documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states and the District of Columbia require architects to be licensed. Licensing requirements typically include completing a professional degree in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination.

Most states also require some form of continuing education to keep a license, and some additional states are expected to adopt mandatory continuing education. Requirements vary by state but usually involve additional education through workshops, university classes, conferences, self-study courses, or other sources.

A growing number of architects voluntarily seek certification from NCARB. This certification makes it easier to become licensed across states, because it is the primary requirement for reciprocity of licensing among state boards that are NCARB members. In 2014, approximately one-third of all licensed architects had the certification.

Advancement

After many years of work experience, some architects advance to become architectural and engineering managers. These managers typically coordinate the activities of employees and may work on larger construction projects.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Architects must understand the content of designs and the context in which they were created. For example, architects must understand the locations of mechanical systems and how those systems affect building operations.

Communication skills. Architects share their ideas, both in oral presentations and in writing, with clients, other architects, and workers who help prepare drawings. Many also give presentations to explain their ideas and designs.

Creativity. Architects design the overall look of houses, buildings, and other structures. Therefore, the final product should be attractive and functional.

Organizational skills. Architects often manage contracts. Therefore, they must keep records related to the details of a project, including total cost, materials used, and progress.

Technical skills. Architects need to use CADD technology to create plans as part of building information modeling (BIM).

Visualization skills. Architects must be able to see how the parts of a structure relate to each other. They also must be able to visualize how the overall building will look once completed.

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Average Salary
$57,617
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
99,550
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Junior Architect

Junior Architects in America make an average salary of $57,617 per year or $28 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $75,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $43,000 per year.
Average Salary
$57,617
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Choose From 10+ Customizable Junior Architect Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Junior Architect templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Junior Architect resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Junior Architect Demographics

Junior Architect Gender Distribution

Male
Male
55%
Female
Female
45%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Junior Architects, 45.3% of them are women, while 54.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Junior Architects is White, which makes up 71.1% of all Junior Architects.

  • The most common foreign language among Junior Architects is Spanish at 35.5%.

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Junior Architect Education

Junior Architect Majors

Junior Architect Degrees

Bachelors

75.3 %

Masters

16.6 %

Associate

3.9 %

Top Colleges for Junior Architects

1. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

2. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

5. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

6. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

7. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

8. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

9. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

10. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030
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Revit Architecture 2021 Course - Practical Approach
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Top Skills For a Junior Architect

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 24.5% of Junior Architects listed Construction Documents on their resume, but soft skills such as Organizational skills and Analytical skills are important as well.

Best States For a Junior Architect

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Junior Architect. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Alaska, Maryland, and Hawaii. Junior Architects make the most in Washington with an average salary of $69,794. Whereas in Alaska and Maryland, they would average $66,947 and $65,333, respectively. While Junior Architects would only make an average of $64,528 in Hawaii, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Junior Architect Jobs:
995
Highest 10% Earn:
$94,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Maryland

Total Junior Architect Jobs:
1,246
Highest 10% Earn:
$86,000
Location Quotient:
1.74
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Texas

Total Junior Architect Jobs:
3,109
Highest 10% Earn:
$85,000
Location Quotient:
1.36
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Junior Architects

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Top Junior Architect Employers

Most Common Employers For Junior Architect

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Junior Architect SalaryAverage Salary
1$68,235
2
2.KPF
$63,047
3
3.Elkus Manfredi Architects
$62,664
4$62,591
5
5.Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
$61,776
6$61,440