What jobs are there in architecture and construction

What does an architect do?

Activities of an architect

Your task as an architect is basically the creative, functional, technical and economic planning of buildings or structures. In addition, there are often social and ecological aspects that you have to consider within your portfolio of activities. Your tasks also include the support and advice of the respective client, whereby you primarily deal with the questions that are explicitly related to the planning and execution of a building project; In addition, the coordinating steering or control of all planning and execution for your area of ​​activity counts. In principle, you work on the following tasks as an architect: - During the entire construction process, you are responsible for the entire project management. You coordinate the cooperation of all those involved in the planning, the craftsmen or construction workers and the authorities. In addition, you appear as a representative of the client towards the aforementioned groups.

  • Within the so-called construction planning phase, the architect is responsible for the respective basic determination as well as the preliminary planning. The design planning of structures and buildings as well as the approval and implementation planning are of particular importance. Especially with regard to the implementation planning, you have to plan accurately, as this also involves coordinating the cooperation (time sequence, setting deadlines, etc.) of the specialist planners involved, such as the structural engineer, the house technician or the fire protection expert. Furthermore, you are jointly responsible for the corresponding tendering and awarding process. In this way, you participate in the award of construction works and bring about the necessary contracts.
  • As an architect, you are primarily responsible for holistic construction management as part of the construction work; This also includes the cost control and deadline control segments. The construction management plus the tasks related to construction and property supervision also fall within your area of ​​responsibility.
  • After completion of the construction project, you are often responsible for comprehensive property management and the corresponding documentation (HOAI) during the building use phase. In addition, there are often activities in the areas of real estate management, asset management and building or facility management.
  • Depending on the order or client, in many cases additional areas of activity are part of your portfolio of tasks. For example, engagement in the disciplines of research and teaching is conceivable (example: building research, architectural theory, building economics, etc.) or within designated specialist areas such as model making or architectural representation.
  • Optimizing energy efficiency in buildings also enjoys high priority. Therefore, you have to deal explicitly with the implementation of the Energy Saving Ordinance, the Renewable Energy Sources Act, the EEWärmeG or the application for subsidies by the KfW in the zeitgeist context.

In the video: Klaus-Jürgen Bauer, architect

How do I become an architect?

You can study “architecture” nationwide at around 80 colleges and universities in Germany, including some art colleges. In addition to the "Architecture" course, there are also courses in "Interior Design" and "Landscape Architecture". There are universities specializing in construction and architecture in Biberach and Weimar

Duration of study:

  • 6-7 semesters (Bachelor), whereby the seventh semester is usually the compulsory practical semester that you have to complete in a university of applied sciences courses.
  • 3-4 additional semesters (Master)

conditions

  • You need creativity for the building designs
  • Without mathematical knowledge and technical understanding, you can neither calculate your drafts nor develop a feeling for feasibility
  • You need organizational skills for the construction management
  • You need an analytical mind to be able to grasp complex projects and emerging problems in their entirety.
  • Construction projects are always expensive. You have to be resilient to be able to work under deadline and cost pressure.
  • You have to be able to work precisely even under stress, because mistakes can have expensive and serious consequences.
  • For larger construction projects, the planning is not just in one hand. The construction management is also divided into subsections. You have to be able to work in a team and coordinate with colleagues.
  • You talk to authorities, construction workers and investors: To do this, you need good communication skills at various levels.

Where can I work as an architect?

As a rule, you work as a salaried and freelance architect in architecture offices, whereby you preferably take care of the object-related construction design, the respective construction planning or construction management. Depending on the specialization and size of the architecture office, you will work closely with other specialist planners such as lighting planners, building physicists, kitchen planners or laboratory technicians; Often, pure specialists from areas such as public relations or rendering are also on site. Since the order situation of architectural offices does not always turn out to be constant, you have to expect that flexible working hours are the order of the day in most architectural offices. Especially before important appointments (submission of building applications, client presentations, etc.) and major projects, weekend work and overtime are almost guaranteed. In addition to working in an architecture office, as an architect you can also take on a job in the real estate and construction industry as well as in the project management segment. Another alternative is to work as an appraiser, technical expert or consultant. There is also a trend towards professional engagement in the interdisciplinary interface area around the areas of industrial design, product design, multimedia or, for example, art.

Career and salary of an architect

According to the Federal Statistical Office, the monthly salary of an employed architect varies between 2,200 and 5,000 euros. However, it can be assumed that in the first few years of your career as an employed architect you will earn between 2,400 and 3,100 euros per month. But: If there is no collective bargaining agreement, in some cases only monthly salaries of around 2,000 euros are paid. Only with increasing professional experience and an expansion of the area of ​​responsibility (managerial function, personnel responsibility, etc.) can a salary of around 50,000 to 55,000 euros be realized after around ten years. The reputation as well as the size of the respective architectural office act as the salary-specific tip of the balance. How much you ultimately earn as a freelance architect, on the other hand, depends not least on your budget and your personal lifestyle. In this regard, the Federal Chamber of Architects states that the average annual turnover of a self-employed or freelance architect is around 45,000 euros.

What specializations and alternatives are there for an architect?

The architect's profession is generalist and therefore offers various career opportunities.