A Day in an Architect’s Life
The everyday lives of architects are often spent in meetings, paperwork, and other tasks that have little to do with the talents and vision that initially led them to enter architecture school. Like many other professions, architecture involves a great deal of minutiae for the successful completion of a project.
Beginning architects spend much of their time researching zoning laws, building codes, and legal filings, and drafting plans based on the designs of more experienced architects. Only after they have paid their dues following several years in the business do novice architects progress to implementing their own designs. Smaller firms usually have one or two principal architects who market the firm’s services, meet and talk with clients, and design schematic drawings, while trainee architects act as draftsmen and researchers. In larger architecture firms, the apprentice architects usually find themselves in separate departments devoted to such activities as drafting, marketing, and construction management.
Even experienced architects do not spend as much time as they would like on designing. In fact, the more accomplished the architect, the more time the architect seems to spend in meetings, on the phone, and communicating ideas during long consultations with clients.
A typical day in the life of an architect will include such tasks as:
- Meeting with clients to discuss the purpose and objectives of the project
- Preparing a budget
- Various pre-design services such as assisting with site selection, conducting feasibility and environmental impact studies, and specifying design requirements
- Preparing initial drawings and reviewing them with the client
- Developing final construction plans
- Researching and complying with local zoning laws, building codes, fire regulations, and other legal requirements
- Re-evaluating plans according to client needs, budget restrictions, or contractor problems and implementing any necessary changes
- Visiting construction sites to oversee contractors
- Handling any post-construction or close-out issues
Last Updated: 05/05/2013