22 Jobs You Can Get With an Architecture Degree
Updated March 10, 2023
College graduates who studied architecture can serve in a variety of roles within the field and adjacent to it. While many of those who hold architecture degrees apply their knowledge directly as architects and drafters, others hold jobs in related creative and academic fields. Whether you currently hold an architecture degree or you're a soon-to-be graduate, you have many options to choose from when pursuing your career. In this article, we outline 22 jobs you can do with an architecture degree in a variety of industries.
What career paths can you pursue with an architecture degree?
There are a variety of career paths you can pursue with a degree in architecture. While many believe that earning an architecture degree is a direct and rigid pipeline to becoming an architect, that's a common misconception. Not only are there many other job opportunities available within the field of architecture itself, but architecture graduates learn skills that apply in many other fields. With an architecture degree, you typically develop highly useful skills such as:
Ability to collaborate
Attention to detail
The many skills earned by architecture graduates often lend themselves to working in other fields like art, design, academia, engineering and public service. Therefore, those with architecture degrees can choose to take more traditional routes—sticking with careers within the architectural field—or nontraditional paths toward external industries that also value their carefully honed competencies.
22 jobs you can do with an architecture degree
Many opportunities exist for architecture graduates to practice their unique skill sets in a variety of fields. Here are 22 different jobs in a multiple fields that you can get with an architecture degree, ranked by salary:
National average salary: $3,340 per month
Primary duties: Graphic designers use mixed art techniques to create visual designs for use in the publication of magazines, labels, marketing materials, signage and other media. They may interface with clients to determine their specific needs and managing proposals of typeset, formatting, color and other details. From here, graphic designers develop illustrative concepts, graphics and layouts for client use.
Read more: Learn About Being a Graphic Designer
National average salary: $42,197 per year
Primary duties: Framers use carpentry and engineering-based skills to construct or repair the framework of building structures. They may work in the commercial, industrial or residential sectors. Framers are responsible for assessing building needs, drafting plans and taking measurements when necessary. From here, they cut, shape and install building frame materials to ensure they are structurally sound.
National average salary: $45,996 per year
Primary duties: Architectural project coordinators are collaborators within project development teams. They coordinate the workflow of structural duties, interpret blueprints and provide quality assurance inspections. Project coordinators can work in a variety of industries adjacent to architecture, but their principal purpose is to collaborate with engineers and organizations on the oversight of building projects.
Read more: Learn About Being a Project Coordinator
National average salary: $4,174 per month
Primary duties: Interior designers create functional, safe and visually appealing interior spaces. They may curate specific materials, decor and lighting to actualize their visions. Interior designers may use drafting and visual design skills to create plans for their projects. While interior designers may work as part of a team, they often provide the direct oversight to see an interior project to its completion.
Read more: Learn About Being an Interior Designer
National average salary: $53,657 per year
Primary duties: Lighting consultants plan and design lighting systems. While they often work for lighting companies, consultants may also provide their services to large venues, residential clients, retail spaces, event companies or architecture firms. They visit project sites, create plans for client specifications, manage budgets and oversee installation efforts. The main objective of lighting consultants is to ensure that lighting systems are visually appealing, installed correctly and operating efficiently.
National average salary: $54,396 per year
Primary duties: CAD designers use specific technology to generate designs and drafts for large-scale projects. They create 2D images (surface models) and 3D images (solid models) to create such graphics. CAD designers are deeply involved in the development processes within fields like architecture, manufacturing and automotive design. They typically translate complex verbal instructions or conversations into workable models.
National average salary: $4,576 per month
Primary duties: Professors work at colleges and universities, serving a variety of capacities. They work in many fields, including architecture and engineering. Depending on their specific role, professors may teach undergraduate and graduate students studying in their field, plan curriculum, direct programming, oversee extracurricular efforts, complete research projects, secure grants, publish written work and support student development. Professors often also advise students majoring in their fields to direct thesis research and career development.
National average salary: $55,582 per year
Primary duties: Architectural drafters create detailed drawings of plans and designs used by architects to build structures. They must adhere to specific guidelines from architects and utilize software to prepare their drafts. Architectural drafters must often translate complex and abstract ideas into organized technical plans that building teams can work from. They imbed measurements and directions within their drafts.
National average salary: $59,607 per year
Primary duties: Restoration managers, often called restoration architects, are professionals who concentrate on preserving and conserving historic buildings, structures and monuments. Restoration managers draft up plans to prevent the inevitable decay of such structures. Restoration managers are experts in the particular techniques needed to preserve original materials, such as wood, steel, granite, concrete and more. They may oversee a team of restoration professionals or work independently, depending on the needs of their specific projects.
National average salary: $61,791 per year
Primary duties: Architectural technologists work in tandem with architects and engineers to design the construction specifics for building projects. They must posses specific technical skills to understand how to create architectural drafts and building codes. Architectural technologists usually serve as liaisons between creative and technical teams. Architectural technologists often relay measurements, environmental concerns and any needed specifications to drafters responsible for creating designs.
National average salary: $66,115 per year
Primary duties: Archivists work within specific collections of books and other materials. They work toward preserving such materials, which are often historic or important in some way. Many archivists work within discipline-specific or culturally specific archives that focus their collection on particular materials from certain time periods, studies, subcultures, countries or locales. Archivists may build organizational and storage systems to ensure that materials are cared for properly. In addition, archivists are often responsible for helping researchers access archives and handle materials carefully.
National average salary: $67,585 per year
Primary duties: Industrial designers work with other specialists such as engineers, accountants, market analysts and materials scientists to develop products and manufactured goods. They work toward the development of products like automobiles, food packaging, household goods and medical equipment. Industrial designers are responsible for drafting design concepts and working with market research professionals to assess potential product performance.
National average salary: $68,769 per year
Primary duties: Landscape architects design, plan and manage land spaces such as parks, residences, school campuses, cemeteries, hotels and resorts, corporate campuses, gardens and more. Many landscape architects work to systematically design and engineer spaces geared toward improving community and environmental health. Often, landscape architects specialize in areas of public planning and work together to achieve specific goals within larger projects.
Read more: Learn About Being a Landscape Architect
14. Urban planner
National average salary: $68,869 per year
Primary duties: Urban planners are responsible for designing public land for community use. They must pay special attention to building codes and public policies to ensure they comply with regulations while creating community-friendly spaces. While some urban planners focus their work on environmental improvement, others may specialize in revitalization, transportation infrastructure or historic preservation efforts.
Read more: Learn About Being an Urban Planner
National average salary: $77,048 per year
Primary duties: Structural designers work within the civil engineering field to investigate the structural soundness of buildings, monuments and other constructions. They focus their investigations on understanding whether structures possess relative stability, strength and rigidity that can help them resist deterioration from load bearing and environmental impacts.
National average salary: $78,219 per year
Primary duties: Building architects work specifically to design and oversee the construction of homes, apartment buildings, condominiums, office spaces, corporate buildings, retail stores and other structures. Like most architects, building architects are responsible for applying their knowledge of design, construction procedures and environmental analyses to all projects they work on. Building architects may also determine costs of proposals and create workflow timelines to oversee processes.
17. Project manager
National average salary: $81,818 per year
Primary duties: Architectural project managers supervise design and construction processes of specific projects. They may oversee development, review processes and drafting to ensure a specific project complies with environmental and zoning regulations. Project managers usually handle budgetary matters, financial tracking procedures and team communication to guide peers toward successful project completion.
Read more: Learn About Being a Project Manager
National average salary: $82,282 per year
Primary duties: CAD detailers use specific software and technology to create highly detailed drawings and drafts for steel fabricators, erectors and other raw materials and manufacturing clients. They develop plans like blueprints and architectural illustrations that help guide construction professionals through their processes. CAD detailers utilize highly technical spatial and mathematics skills to accomplish the goals of their work.
National average salary: $84,042 per year
Primary duties: Architectural historians advise the restoration and preservation of historically important buildings. They often work for historical societies, government agencies, cultural preservation organizations, museums and public planning commissions to maintain historic structures. Architectural historians may focus their preservation studies within specializations, such as environmental impact restoration. This type of specialization helps historians understand how environmental disasters impact structures and how people of different time periods and cultures prepared for such disasters.
National average salary: $84,649 per year
Primary duties: Architectural researchers determine the objectives of specific research projects to plan and conduct data analyses. They may perform field work, write papers detailing their findings, present their results as consultants on different projects and conduct reviews. Researchers are typically problem solvers who explore prevalent issues and trends within a given discipline to find practical resolutions.
National average salary: $88,305 per year
Primary duties: Structural engineers supervise construction projects to completion and perform review tests to make sure structures are stable and safe. They may design buildings, bridges, utility infrastructure and other structures to withstand environmental conditions and natural erosion. While structural engineers typically must receive specific education to serve in their roles, their work is similar to that of architects—they prepare reports and designs, make calculations to ensure sound designs, select materials, provide technical expertise and interface with other building-related professionals.
Read more: Learn About Being a Structural Engineer
National average salary: $110,628 per year
Primary duties: Architects plan, develop, and design structures of different types. They must oversee a project from the development stages to completion. Architects must pay special attention to creating visually appealing designs that are also functionally safe and economically efficient. They regularly liaise with clients and construction professionals to determine design plans that consider various aspects of building processes. Many architects specialize in certain areas of building, like extreme architecture, residential architecture, commercial architecture, green architecture and more.
Read more: Learn About Being an Architect
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