Apprentice architects use their technical and aesthetic talents to help design structures that satisfy the demands of their clients.
As an architect, you will design new buildings, add or repair existing ones, and advise on the restoration and preservation of historic landmarks. In addition, you might work on individual buildings or large-scale rehabilitation projects, and your duties could include developing the surrounding environment and places.
Working directly with clients and users, you’ll ensure that proposed designs fit requirements and are practical, safe, cost-effective, and incredibly imaginative in some instances. You’ll generally be in charge of a project from start to finish, collaborating with various construction professionals such as surveyors and engineers.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- create hand sketches, 3D models and technical plans using computer aided design (CAD) software
- create a plan that follows building laws, safety regulations and is within budget
- manage construction projects, choose materials and visit sites to check on progress
- write reports and job proposals and complete planning applications
- communicate and share ideas with clients, other architects and architectural technologists and technicians.
- Your salary as an apprentice architect is likely to be in the range of £15,000 to £22,000, rising up to £23,000 to £35,000 once you’ve got enough experience.
- As a fully qualified architect, depending on your experience you could earn between £32,000 and £45,000.
- At senior associate, partner or director level you’ll typically earn £45,000 to £70,000.
Your contracted working hours will generally be 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, 35 to 40 hours a week, but you need to be prepared to work long hours, including evenings and weekends when a project demands it.
You could work in a creative studio, in an office or visit sites.
You may need to wear protective clothing.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice architect include:
- Level 7 Architect – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification typically takes 48 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and academic study at an approved university.
On an architect apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- design skills and knowledge
- knowledge of building and construction
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- thinking and reasoning skills
- customer service skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- analytical thinking skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently.
Private practices use paid architects and may allow you to become a partner or associate. These range from small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to considerably larger practises that incorporate various professional sectors like planning, urban design, construction, or project management.
Architects are regularly engaged in the federal and municipal government planning departments. Other occupations include construction companies, commercial and industrial organisations, merchants, and manufacturers. Alternatives include teaching and research institutions and self-employment as a consultant.
Most large firms provide structured training and develop professional status. Attending internal and external training courses, relevant seminars, and conferences is an effective way to remain up-to-date on issues and refresh skills.
To maintain competence, chartered architects must complete at least 35 hours of continuous professional development (CPD) each year.
Gaining RIBA chartered membership and achieving agreed-upon levels of CPD are crucial parts of professional development that will help you to rise to more senior roles.
Architects with more than five years of chartered membership may be awarded the Fellow of the RIBA level and use the acronym FRIBA. In addition, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland offers critical professional development information to Scottish architects (RIAS).
Larger private practice firms may provide more opportunities for advancement, albeit no established career structure is usually in place. The nature and responsibilities of public institutions influence career growth in the public sector. With experience, a considerable number of architects start their own businesses.