Architect

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Architect at his drawing board, 1893

An architect is a person involved in the planning, designing and oversight of a building's construction. The word "architect" is derived from the Latin architectus or from the Greek arkhitekton. In the broadest sense an architect is a person who translates the user's needs into the builder's requirements. An architect must thoroughly understand the building and operational codes under which his or her design must conform. That degree of knowledge is necessary so that he or she is not apt to omit any necessary requirements, or produce improper, conflicting, ambiguous, or confusing requirements. He or she must understand the various methods available to the builder for building the client's structure, so that he or she can negotiate with the client to produce a best possible compromise of the results desired within explicit cost and time boundaries.

Architects must frequently make building design and planning decisions that affect the safety and well being of the general public. Architects are required to obtain specialized education and documented work experience to obtain professional licensure, similar to the requirements for other professionals, with requirements for practice varying greatly from place to place (see below).

The most prestigious award a living architect can receive is the Pritzker Prize, often termed the "Nobel Prize for architecture." Other awards for excellence in architecture are given by national and regional professional associations such as the American Institute of Architects and Royal Institute of British Architects. Other prestigious architectural awards are the Alvar Aalto Medal (Finland) and the Carlsberg Architecture Prize (Denmark).

Although architect technically refers to a licensed professional, the word is frequently used in the broader sense noted above to define someone who brings order to the built or unbuilt environment through the use of rational constructs. For example, "landscape architects," "naval architects," "software architects," and graduates of schools of architecture working in architecture firms are often called "architects." However, in most countries unlicensed people working in the construction industry are legally prohibited from referring to themselves as "architects."

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[edit] Professional Requirements

[edit] United States

In the United States, people wishing to become licensed architects are required to meet the requirements of their respective state. Each state has a registration board to oversee that state's licensure laws. In 1919, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) was created to ensure parity between the states' often conflicting rules. The registration boards of each of the 50 states (and 5 territories), are NCARB member boards.

While registration requirements do vary between jurisdictions, there are three common requirements for registration: education, experience and examination. Most states require a professional degree from a school accredited by the NAAB to satisfy their education requirement; this would be either a B.Arch or M.Arch degree. The experience requirement is typically the Intern Development Program (IDP), a joint program of NCARB and the AIA. IDP creates a framework to identify for the intern-architect base skills and core-competencies. The intern-architect needs to earn 700 training units (TUs) in 16 categories; each TU is equivalent to 8 hours. California is the lone exception requiring C-IDP which builds upon the seat time requirement of IDP with the need to document learning having occurred. All jurisdictions use the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), a series of nine computerized exams administered NCARB.

NCARB also has a certification for those architects meeting NCARB's model standard: NAAB degree, IDP and ARE passage. This certificate facilitates reciprocity between the member boards should an architect desire registration in a different jurisdiction. All architects licensed by their respective states have professional status as Registered Architects (RA).

There are three types of professional degrees in architecture in the United States: the Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture, and the Doctorate degrees - either Doctor of Architecture, Doctor of Design or Doctor of Philosophy, respectively abbreviated as "B.Arch," "M.Arch," and "D.Arch.", "D.Des." or "Ph.D." Non-professional degrees include the Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (BA), Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BS), Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture (BFA Arch), and "Bachelor of Environmental Design" (B.Envd). A non-professional degree typically takes four years to complete (as opposed to five years for a Bachelor of Architecture) and may be part of the later completion of professional degree (A "4+2" plan is comprised of a 4-year BA and a 2-year Master of Architecture). The 5-year BArch and 6-year MArch are regarded as virtual equals in the registration and accreditation processes. Other programs (such as those offered at Drexel University and Boston Architectural College) combine the required educational courses with the work component necessary to sit for licensure exams. Programs such as this often afford students the ability to immediately test for licensure upon graduation, as opposed to having to put in several years working in the field after graduation before being able to get licensed, as is common in more traditional programs.

Depending on the policies of the registration board for the state in question, it is sometimes possible to become licensed as an Architect in other ways: reciprocal licensure for over-seas architects and working under an architect as an intern for an extended period of time.

The American Institute of Architects [1] is a professional organization representing architects licensed in the United States, and offers its members services such as continuing education programs, standard contracts and other practice-related documents, and design award programs. The AIA is not directly involved with the professional licensing of architects, although AIA members usually place the suffix "AIA" after their names.

The Society of American Registered Architects [2] or SARA is another professional organization for registered architects in the United States. Its activities and services include conventions, continuing education programs, standard contracts and other practice-related documents, and design award programs. Members of this organization may have the suffix "SARA" after their name.

The National Organization of Minority Architects [3] or NOMA is an organization for minority registered architects and minority architectural students in the United States. It was created in 1971 to bring light to the contributions of African Americans and other minorities in the field of architecture in the United States and the world.

[edit] US Earnings Outlook

Per the 2006-2007 Occupation Outlook Handbook published by the US Department of Labor, the median salary of architects was $62,960 with the middle 50% earning between $46,690 and $79,230. This was slightly above accountants (median income $50,770), college professors (median income $51,800) and on par with most branches of engineering (median income of roughly $60K). Senior architects and partners in mid to large size firms in many urban areas typically have earnings that exceed $100K annually. Principals in larger national firms may have incomes two or three times that figure or more, comparable to many executive management positions.

Entry level positions in architecture have been historically very low paying and have deterred many potential candidates from entering the field; however, competition with other industries has forced many firms to raise starting salaries. In competitive urban markets entry level salaries are in the $40K range for well qualified individuals.

Many architects elect to move into real estate development, corporate planning, project management and other specialized roles which can earn significantly higher income than the industry median.

[edit] United Kingdom

In the UK the title "architect" is protected by law, and only those who have the recognised qualifications ratified by the Architects Registration Board [4]in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British Architects are allowed to call themselves architects. In the UK it takes a minimum of seven years to train to be an architect. Those wishing to become architects must first study at a recognised university-level school of architecture. Though there are some variations from university to university, the basic principle is that in order to qualify as an architect one must pass through three stages: 1. On completing a three year B.A, B.Arch or B.Sc degree in architecture the candidate receives exemption from RIBA Part I. There then follows a period of a minimum of one year which the candidate spends in an architect's office gaining work experience. 2. The candidate must then complete a post-graduate university course, usually two years, to receive either a Diploma (Dip.Arch) or Masters (M.Arch). On completing that course, the candidate receives exemption from Part II of the RIBA process. 3. The candidate must then spend a further period of at least one year before being allowed to take the RIBA Part III examination in Professional Practice and Management.[5]

[edit] Australia

In Australia the title of architect is legally protected and architects are registered through state boards. These boards are affiliated through the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia. The AACA also provides accreditation for schools and assessments for architects with overseas qualifications for the purposes of migration.

There are three key requirements for registration: a professional degree from a school of architecture accredited by the AACA; at least two years of practical experience, and; the completion of the architectural practice examination.

Architects may also belong to the Royal Australian Institute of Architects which is the professional organisation and members use the suffix RAIA after their name.

[edit] Canada

In Canada, architects are required to belong to provincial architectural associations that require them to complete an accredited degree in architecture, finish a multi-year internship process, pass a series of exams, and pay an annual fee to acquire and maintain a license to practice. The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada [6] is a national body that aims to be "the voice of Architecture and its practice in Canada". Members are permitted to use the suffix MRAIC after their names. All members of the RAIC hold accredited degrees in architecture, but not all Canadian architects are members of the RAIC.

[edit] Schools of Architecture

Professionals engaged in the design and supervision of construction projects prior to the 20th century were not necessarily trained in a separate architecture program in an academic setting but usually carried the title of "master builder" or "surveyor", after serving a number of years as an apprentice (such as Sir Christopher Wren). The formal study of architecture in academic institutions played a pivotal role in the development of the profession as a whole, serving as a focal point for advances in architectural technology and theory.

The most significant schools in the history of architecture include:

[edit] Sources

  • Roger K. Lewis, Architect? A Candid Guide to the Profession. MIT Press,Cambridge, 1998.
  • David Chappell, J.Andrew Willis, The Architect in Practice. Blackwell Publishing, London, 2005.
  • Blythe Camenson, Careers in Architecture. McGraw-Hill; New York, 2001.
  • Lee W. Waldrep, Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design, John Wiley, Chichester, 2006.
  • American Institute of Architects, The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, Student Edition, John Wiley, Chichester, 2001.
  • Peter Piven, Bradford Perkins, Architect's Essentials of Starting a Design Firm (The Architect's Essentials of Professional Practice), John Wiley, Chichester, 2003.
  • James R. Franklin, Architect's Professional Practice Manual. McGraw-Hill Professional, New York, 2000.
  • James P. Cramer; Scott Simpson, The Next Architect: A New Twist on the Future of Design. Greenway Communications, 2006
  • James P. Cramer, How Firms Succeed: A Field Guide to Design Management. Greenway Communications; 2nd Illus edition, 2004.
  • Gerald Morosco, Edward Massery, How to Work With an Architect, Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 2006.
  • Pat Guthrie, Architect's Portable Handbook. McGraw-Hill Professional; 3 edition, 2003.
  • Charlotte Baden-Powell, Architect's Pocket Book. Architectural Press, London, 2001.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

cs:Architekt cy:Pensaer da:Arkitekt de:Architekt es:Arquitecto eo:Arkitekto fa:معمار fr:Architecte io:Arkitekto id:Arsitek it:Architetto he:אדריכל nl:Architect ja:建築家 no:Arkitekt nn:Arkitekt pl:Architekt pt:Arquiteto sh:Arhitekt fi:Arkkitehti sv:Arkitekt ta:கட்டடக் கலைஞர் th:สถาปนิก vi:Kiến trúc sư uk:Архітектор zh:建筑师

Architect

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