What Does an Architectural Technician Do? (Plus Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 6, 2022

If you're interested in building design but don't want to complete the rigorous training to be an architect, consider becoming an architectural technician. These professionals are under the supervision of architects, meaning they require less training but perform similar duties. Learning more about the responsibilities of an architectural technician can help you determine if this career suits your interests and skills.

In this article, we explain what an architectural technician does and discuss this profession's salary and entry requirements.

What is an architectural technician?

An architectural technician is an assistant to architects and civil design engineers. Technicians use their specialized education to create comprehensive construction blueprints and ensure projects comply with legal regulations. These professionals also leverage industry software, visit construction sites and complete administrative duties like filing blueprints. Architectural technicians usually work full time for construction companies or architectural firms.

Related: Architectural Technologist: What It Is and How To Become One

What does an architectural technician do?

Here are some of the main responsibilities of an architectural technician:

Revising construction blueprints

While architects are primarily responsible for building designs, architectural technicians may use computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software to revise construction blueprints. These programs allow them to apply mechanical and engineering adjustments to clarify project requirements. When a project employs construction teams with different specialties, a technician might create several versions of the same plan. For instance, one version might highlight the project's electrical requirements, while another might outline the plumbing or landscaping specifications. Though architectural technicians usually rely on CADD software, paper drawings can help these professionals create rough drafts before digitalizing them.

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Analyzing client requirements

Architectural technicians review contracts and meet with clients to ensure projects adhere to their requirements. These assessments allow them to account for construction costs and measurements while staying within client budgets. If an architectural technician determines that a project would exceed the available spending or violate safety or environmental regulations, they can work with architects to propose the appropriate revisions.

Sourcing project materials

Because architectural technicians are thoroughly familiar with a project's requirements, they often help choose the appropriate supplies. They might contact vendors to find the most affordable prices while ensuring the materials meet the client's quality expectations. Their expertise allows them to source materials like wood, concrete, brick, stone and steel. Architectural technicians also build relationships with suppliers, source equipment for projects and oversee the maintenance of various machinery.

Related: 19 Types of Architects (Plus Related Careers To Consider)

Surveying sites

While architectural technicians spend many hours in an office, they also visit construction sites to conduct surveys. They might take measurements to ensure the construction crew can accurately implement the architect's blueprints. They also perform risk analyses to identify potential safety hazards and implement the appropriate precautions.

Related: 11 Highest-Paying Architecture Jobs (Including Salaries and Duties)

Communicating with construction crews

Throughout a project, an architectural technician may serve as the primary point of contact between architects and construction managers. They visit sites to update architects on the construction crew's progress and relay any concerns the construction manager may have. If the architectural team updates blueprints to accommodate client requests or comply with new regulations, the architectural technician can alert the construction crew.

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Overseeing a project's legal aspects

Architectural technicians often review building codes and apply for permits to ensure a project complies with legal regulations. They might also draft contracts and educate the client about the safety and environmental requirements of construction. As laws change and new technology emerges, it's important for these professionals to stay up to date with the industry's latest developments.

Related: 14 Common Architectural Positions and Career Fields

Requirements to become an architectural technician

If you're interested in becoming an architectural technician, consider the requirements to enter this profession:

Postsecondary education

Most employers require technicians to complete an associate degree or vocational program in architectural technology. Students cover topics like blueprint interpretation, building materials and mechanical drawings in depth. If you want to improve your job prospects and increase your earning potential, consider pursuing a bachelor's degree. Employers usually prefer candidates who study a subject like architecture, engineering or mathematics.

Related: What Is Architectural Engineering? Career Description and Architectural Engineering Jobs

Certification

In some cases, you may complete an architectural technology certification program in place of earning a degree. These programs usually involve rigorous coursework in architectural theory and structural design to prepare you to use CADD software. If you earn a college degree or vocational program, you may earn certification upon graduation or apply for it independently through an accrediting body.

Related: What Can You Do With an Environmental Design Degree?

Apprenticeship

Before earning more independence in their role, architectural technicians usually complete apprenticeships. For around two to four years, you perform duties under the supervision of a licensed architect or technician. If you completed training as part of your certification or degree program, your apprenticeship may be shorter.

Related: 20 Jobs You Can Get With a CAD Certification

Salary for an architectural technician

The average salary for an architectural technician is $62,509 per year. This amount can vary depending on where you live and what professional qualifications you have. For instance, an employer is likely to pay a higher salary to someone with a bachelor's degree in architecture and several years of experience. You may also increase your earning potential by working for the government or a private construction firm.

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link(s) provided.

Related: Careers in 3D Design: What To Expect and Jobs To Consider

Why become an architectural technician?

Architecture is an attractive field for those with excellent creative thinking and conceptualization skills. If you want to start your career faster, becoming an architectural technician might be the ideal path. This job requires less formal training but still allows you to perform many of the same duties as an architect. It might also be less stressful, as the project's lead architect is ultimately responsible for approving blueprint drafts and supply usage.

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