This career promotes out-of-the-box thinking and sustainable practices, ideal for dreamers and those seeking a unique job, within the building industry.
Architectural technologists are keen to learn more about the building process, the technology of architecture and the design of buildings for use and purpose. It’s a teaching opportunity of technology for architects and an exciting prospect to be a part of larger projects worldwide. Whether you’re keen to travel, love coming up with new ideas or want to change the world, this role has room for development on every level.
What is an architectural technologist?
Architectural technologists have creative and technical roles. It involves turning innovative designs into durable and sustainable constructions. You’ll be in charge of leading projects from inception to completion, paying close attention through every stage. It’s a specialist job in the technology of architecture, using skills of construction and technology and essentially combining the two, with some creative input as well.
The routes to entering an architectural technologist role are varied.
The work involved in this role includes designing and planning the look of buildings, developing projects, contract administration and creating an inclusive environment for colleagues and clients. It’s not only being creative on the project itself but thinking about how that project can benefit a wide range of people and environments. The work you do can be applied to new construction projects, alterations or refurbishment.
The responsibilities of an architectural technologist can vary from working with clients to brainstorming innovative ideas. These are the key responsibilities:
- Collaborate with clients and other professionals in the early stage of a project brief.
- Understand how the project’s design brief is created for the overall performance and its functioning purpose - and ask practical questions to aid completion.
- Evaluate the environmental and legal issues of projects.
- Create project briefs and work on the progress of the project.
- Identify the surveys required before the work can start and ensure the survey results are fed into the project.
- Advise clients on the most appropriate contracts for the work they're undertaking.
- Create and present design proposals using design software and traditional drawing methods.
- Carry out various risk assessments for the design-stage.
- Be a leader in the design process and coordinate the design information with others.
- Liaise with appropriate authorities such as building inspectors when creating documentation.
- Work on contracts and project certifications.
- Manage the workload of trainee technologists.
- Obtain feedback from people and clients and use it for reporting on the project’s performance.
- Evaluate and advise on the refurbishment, recycling and deconstruction of a project.
- Collect and read technical data and use it for future projects.
The salary for technologist jobs can vary depending on your expertise and experience in the industry. The entry-level salary begins on average at £25,500, whilst for more experienced positions in architectural technology, the salary is £33,200. For more expert architectural technologists such as seniority level associates, salaries can rise to £55,000+. When based in London, salaries can increase even further, as well as taking on increased responsibilities for complex projects.
If you take the self-employed step as an architectural technologist, salaries can increase because it’s up to you to base your rates on your level of expertise and insight.
The routes to entering an architectural technologist role are varied. A degree isn’t essential and you’re able to make your way into the industry through other means, either via work experience or an apprenticeship.
Although a degree isn’t essential for this role, it can improve your job prospects overall. You can either study an HNC, foundation degree, undergraduate degree and/or master’s qualification, accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT). During these courses, some may include a 12-month industry placement which can help you gain practical experience and make connections within the industry. These connections are beneficial for your future career development because you never know who may hire you, or assist your training.
The relevant architectural technology degree can give you a faster and more direct entry into becoming a chartered architectural technologist. Other degrees such as construction management degrees, building services engineering degrees and architectural engineering degrees can have a similar effect. Like an undergraduate degree, a postgraduate qualification isn’t necessary, however, master's courses and research opportunities are available if you’re interested in further study.
Apprenticeships are a good opportunity to enter the architecture industry. Accredited by the CIAT, apprenticeships are an option for those who prefer to work and study for their qualification. Working whilst you’re studying can provide an advantage to your other counterparts. This is because you have the hands-on experience you’ll use in the role. The apprenticeship teaches you in theory and practice, providing the relevant skills and knowledge architectural technologists require. Apprenticeships can include a digital engineering technician, construction design, building technician and more. Many apprenticeships look at a specific area within the role of an architectural technologist.
Training and development
The most significant step in your architectural technologist career is becoming a chartered member of the CIAT. CIAT membership is essential for every stage. To join, complete the MCIAT Professional Assessment or the MCIA Professional and Occupational Performance (POP) Record, and pass the interview within either assessment. If you graduate from higher education courses and are registered with the CIAT, you can upgrade your student membership to associate level and use ACIAT after your name.
Work experience is an advantage for this type of role. It helps you gain hands-on experience, and understand how an architecture practice works and projects are managed.
In terms of other development, the majority of the skills, you’ll develop on the job and often, employers will put you on short courses. Continuing professional development (CPD) is also recommended through in-house or external courses, developing your interpersonal skills and technical drawing skills. As management is a key part of the role, it's recommended to study for qualifications in project management. Working well with those in your team is as important as caring for your clients and projects.
Architectural technologist jobs combine the ability to be a leader with an eye for strong design and creativity. These are the required skills:
- Strong interest in architecture and mathematics.
- Great with attention to detail and visualising objects in 3D.
- Strong communication skills with your team, professionals, clients and authorities.
- A practical and logical approach for problem-solving.
- Able to plan and organise effectively.
- Willingness to be a leader and take on responsibility.
- Work collaboratively in a team.
- Works well under pressure.
- Knowledge of construction, engineering science and technology.
- Strong ambition and desire to succeed.
- Use a computer efficiently and software packages confidently.
Work experience is an advantage for this type of role. It helps you gain hands-on experience, and understand how an architecture practice works and projects are managed. It’s easy to gain experience in numerous ways. Some degree courses include a placement year in industry, whilst, other opportunities can be found through private organisations. Consider university departments, industry magazines and CIAT publications to contact for internships or work placements. Alternatively, if you know someone already in the industry, see if they know of any work experience opportunities. Wherever you can get your foot in the door will be an advantage to your future application as an architectural technologist.
The development of your technology architect career can vary depending on the type of company you’re working for. Larger firms have a more structured method for promotion, whilst smaller firms can ask for responsibility early on.
Architectural technologists have creative and technical roles. It involves turning innovative designs into durable and sustainable constructions.
The smaller firms may offer more potential in providing growth for your skills and learning more insight about the job. This can mean moving into management or working as a consultant. Although, for further experience, it may also be worth moving around companies and locations, to grasp the full scope of the industry. Development is essential as you work as an architectural technologist because it’s about innovative thinking. There are always new projects, new clients and new ways to work.
Another route may be setting up your practice (ensure you're registered with the CIAT first) and growing your skills within your own business. Alternatively, you could turn to teaching, lecturing at university or working as a trainer in industry courses.
- Architectural Technologist Salary in the UK — Jobted.com Retrieved 24 August 2022.