Apprentice architectural technologists use creativity and technical knowledge to turn fresh ideas into long-lasting, sustainable buildings.
You are qualified to manage a project from conception to finish as a chartered architectural technologist (MCIAT). You’ll specialise in architectural technology, emphasising building design for use and performance.
Your job will include conception and technical design, development and detailing, construction technology, contract administration, sustainability, and building-inclusive settings. In addition, renovation, remodelling, and other building projects may benefit from architectural technology.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- assess clients’ needs and plan work
- collect and read technical data
- create building plans using CAD software
- check construction plans for possible design problems
- lead the design process and team
- advise clients on environmental and legal regulations
- manage contract bids and tenders
- advise clients on the construction team, building materials and processes to use
- check progress and inspect completed building work
- advise and report on the maintenance and future use of completed building work.
- Typical starting salaries for an apprentice architectural technologist range from £20,000 to £25,000.
- With a few years’ experience at mid-level seniority, salaries fall between £24,000 and £45,000.
- Senior-level salaries are usually in the region of £45,000 to £60,000. Possibly rising to £100,000+ in very senior positions.
Working hours are typically 9am to 5pm although extra hours, including work at weekends, are often required, especially as deadlines approach.
You could work on a construction site, in an office, at a client’s business or at a client’s home.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice architectural technologist include:
- Level 3 Digital engineering technician
- Level 4 Construction design and build technician
- Level 6 Design And Construction Management
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
On an architectural technologist apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- design skills and knowledge
- knowledge of building and construction
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- maths skills
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to use your initiative
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently.
A range of employment opportunities exist across the UK, and typical employers include:
- academic and research institutions
- architectural/design practices
- banks and building societies
- building and construction firms
- housing corporations
- local authorities
- property developers
- town planners.
You might also use your skills in the manufacturing and processing industries and health care and government agencies.
After getting MCIAT and accumulating substantial experience, self-employment may be a realistic option. For example, you might create your own business, cooperate with other construction/design specialists, or work as a freelancer for a property developer.
Opportunities to work overseas include employment with UK-based architectural companies with global contracts or international operations and positions with different government bodies.
Larger organisations often provide more organised prospects for promotion to supervisory and managerial roles, although smaller architectural practises may offer more responsibility early on and the chance to build skills and experience in a range of specialised areas. However, one may need to change employment or relocate to grow or increase one’s salary.
Because so much of the work is project-based, it is often possible to transition into industries other than construction, such as industry and commerce.
Aside from starting your own practice (which must be registered with CIAT), there are opportunities to teach and research at universities. Consider also becoming a trainer for industry courses.