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Become A Junior Architect

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Working As A Junior Architect

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Junior Architect Do

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

Duties

Architects typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients to determine objectives and requirements for structures
  • Give preliminary estimates on cost and construction time
  • Prepare structure specifications
  • Direct workers who prepare drawings and documents
  • Prepare scaled drawings, either with computer software or by hand
  • Prepare contract documents for building contractors
  • Manage construction contracts
  • Visit worksites to ensure that construction adheres to architectural plans
  • Seek new work by marketing and giving presentations

People need places to live, work, play, learn, shop, and eat. Architects are responsible for designing these places. They work on public or private projects and design both indoor and outdoor spaces. Architects can be commissioned to design anything from a single room to an entire complex of buildings.

Architects discuss the objectives, requirements, and budget of a project with clients. In some cases, architects provide various predesign services, such as feasibility and environmental impact studies, site selection, cost analyses, and design requirements.

Architects develop final construction plans after discussing and agreeing on the initial proposal with clients. These plans show the building’s appearance and details of its construction. Accompanying these plans are drawings of the structural system; air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems; electrical systems; communications systems; and plumbing. Sometimes, landscape plans are included as well. In developing designs, architects must follow state and local building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordinances, such as those requiring easy access to buildings for people who are disabled.

Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) have replaced traditional drafting paper and pencil as the most common methods for creating designs and construction drawings. However, hand-drawing skills are still required, especially during the conceptual stages of a project and when an architect is at a construction site.

As construction continues, architects may visit building sites to ensure that contractors follow the design, adhere to the schedule, use the specified materials, and meet work-quality standards. The job is not complete until all construction is finished, required tests are conducted, and construction costs are paid.

Architects may also help clients get construction bids, select contractors, and negotiate construction contracts.

Architects often collaborate with workers in related occupations, such as civil engineers, urban and regional planners, drafters, interior designers, and landscape architects.

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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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Junior Architect Career Paths

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Junior Architect Demographics

Gender

Male

39.4%

Female

36.5%

Unknown

24.2%
Ethnicity

White

42.5%

Asian

21.7%

Hispanic or Latino

18.1%

Black or African American

9.9%

Unknown

7.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

35.5%

French

9.0%

Italian

8.4%

Arabic

7.2%

Mandarin

6.0%

Hindi

5.4%

Chinese

4.8%

Portuguese

3.6%

Marathi

3.0%

Korean

2.4%

Cantonese

2.4%

German

2.4%

Dutch

1.8%

Japanese

1.8%

Turkish

1.2%

Russian

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Persian

1.2%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Gujarati

0.6%
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Junior Architect Education

Schools

Pratt Institute-Main

11.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

9.6%

New York Institute of Technology - Manhattan Campus

8.5%

Savannah College of Art and Design

7.1%

New York University

6.0%

Columbia University

5.3%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.6%

Texas A&M University

4.6%

New York Institute of Technology - Old Westbury

4.3%

Parsons the New School for Design

4.3%

Philadelphia University

3.9%

Washington University in Saint Louis

3.6%

New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York

3.6%

City College of New York of the City University of New York

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.2%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.2%

University of Miami

3.2%

Florida International University

3.2%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.2%

Southern California Institute of Architecture

3.2%
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Majors

Architecture

59.5%

Urban Planning

5.2%

Construction Management

5.1%

Environmental Design

4.8%

Architectural Technology

3.7%

Interior Design

3.6%

Architectural Engineering

2.4%

Project Management

2.2%

Business

1.8%

Graphic Design

1.7%

Civil Engineering

1.3%

Computer Science

1.2%

Sustainability

1.2%

Fine Arts

1.0%

Engineering

0.9%

Interior Architecture

0.9%

Landscape Architecture

0.9%

Education

0.9%

Real Estate Development

0.9%

Real Estate

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.6%

Masters

39.5%

Other

11.0%

Certificate

3.0%

Associate

2.0%

Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

1.2%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$43,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$144,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
1.8 years
How much does a Junior Architect make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Junior Architect in the United States is $79,759 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $43,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $144,000.

Real Junior Architect Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Junior Architect Grimshaw Architects P.C. New York, NY Jan 12, 2015 $72,000
Junior Architect Elkus Manfredi Architects, Ltd. Boston, MA Jan 10, 2015 $70,000
Junior Architect Elkus Manfredi Architects, Ltd. Boston, MA Oct 01, 2015 $70,000
Junior Architect Stephen Tilly, Architect Dobbs Ferry, NY Dec 14, 2015 $67,746
Junior Architect DHD Architecture, P.C. New York, NY Jul 05, 2015 $65,000
Junior Architect John Maniscalco Architecture, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 10, 2015 $64,551
Junior Architect Ashe Leandro LLC New York, NY Oct 15, 2015 $62,000
Junior Architect Ashe Leandro LLC New York, NY Sep 28, 2015 $62,000
Junior Architect Atmosphere Design Group, LLC New York, NY May 08, 2016 $60,189
Junior Architect Selldorf Architects LLC New York, NY Aug 23, 2016 $60,039
Junior Architect Elkus Manfredi Architects, Ltd. Boston, MA Nov 16, 2015 $60,000
Junior Architect Oaklander, Coogan & Vitto, Architects, P.C. New York, NY Jan 08, 2016 $59,626
Junior Architect John B. Murray Architect LLC New York, NY Aug 03, 2015 $59,280
Junior Architect Gluckman Mayner Architects LLP New York, NY Jul 16, 2015 $59,020
Junior Architect DJ Associates Architect, PC New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $56,349
Junior Architect Thomas W. Hut Architect PLLC New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $56,349
Junior Architect DSM Design Group NY Jan 08, 2016 $56,000
Junior Architect Selldorf Architects LLC New York, NY Sep 18, 2015 $56,000
Junior Architect Icon Realty Management LLC New York, NY Oct 08, 2016 $55,639
Junior Architect Create Architecture Planning and Design PLLC New York, NY Jul 06, 2015 $55,598
Junior Architect Atelier New York Architecture Islandia, NY Sep 10, 2015 $55,500
Junior Architect KEL-Mar Designs, Inc. New York, NY Jan 08, 2016 $55,472
Junior Architect Robert Olson + Associates LLC Boston, MA Aug 26, 2016 $55,180
Junior Architect O'Neil Langan Architects, P.C. New York, NY Jan 06, 2016 $55,000
Junior Architect/Architectural Drafter SBJ Group Architects, PC New York, NY Nov 08, 2016 $55,000
Junior Architect Guerin Glass Architects, P.C. New York, NY Aug 09, 2016 $55,000
Junior Architect Mistry Design LLC Netcong, NJ Sep 22, 2015 $54,900
Junior Architect Active Design Group Engineering Co Newark, NJ Dec 09, 2016 $54,891
Junior Architect UA-Hie Design LLC Chantilly, VA Sep 13, 2015 $54,158

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Top Skills for A Junior Architect

  1. New Construction
  2. CAD
  3. Architectural Drawings
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Field measurements of existing interiors and exteriors to be renovated or for new construction.
  • Designated as lead CAD technician for Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Satellite Clinics.
  • Provided Complete and accurate architectural drawings and 3D visualizations to professional architectural standard.
  • Involved in schematic design and design development for various commercial, educational, and hospitality projects.
  • Followed through design development drawings and collaborated with the necessary staff for technical details and completion of construction drawings.

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Top 10 Best States for Junior Architects

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Texas
  3. Arizona
  4. New York
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Virginia
  7. Alaska
  8. Nevada
  9. North Carolina
  10. Minnesota
  • (378 jobs)
  • (920 jobs)
  • (199 jobs)
  • (531 jobs)
  • (158 jobs)
  • (559 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (57 jobs)
  • (415 jobs)
  • (222 jobs)

Top Junior Architect Employers

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