What qualifications do I need to be an Architect?

Architecture covers a wide range of subjects and if you are really good at both art and science, then it may be an option for you.

The work is really varied and you might get involved in all different aspects of projects for example history, technology, design, sustainability, and building technology. You will also be working in a mix of environments such as offices using computer technology as well as making site visits.

Because of the range and depth of subjects you will be studying, it takes a long time to become an architect in the UK so you will need to be really dedicated to take these studies on.

Pros
• A really varied job
• A really rewarding job when you see projects you design come to fruition
• A well paid job

Cons
• It takes a long time to become qualified and earn good money

GCSEs
You will usually need a good base of well graded GCSEs including mathematics and English at grade C or above, and ideally a good range of arts and sciences.

You don't have to study art necessarily, but ideally you should be interested in the subject along with design and technology.

A-levels
Generally you will need at least two A-levels or one A-level and two AS-levels, which should all be in academic subjects. You should always check the requirements of Schools of Architecture you are interested in applying to as requirements may differ - for example some courses require maths or a science at A-level.

Many Schools of Architecture also recognise other further education qualifications such as BTEC National Diplomas.

Degree
You will need to study and pass a course validated by The Royal Institute of British Architects www.architecture.com at a recognised School of Architecture. These courses combine academic studies and professional experience .

How long will it take to get qualified?
It takes a minimum of 7 years to become qualified, and you are then expected to keep up-to-date with developments in the field via continued professional development.

Typical salary
Salaries for architects vary a great deal depending on your experience and the area you work in or your specialism. You can expect to earn around £35,000 to £45,000 or more once you are established.

Useful websites
The Royal Institute of British Architects www.architecture.com
The Architects Journal www.architectsjournal.co.uk
Building Design - the architects favourite weekly newspaper www.bdonline.co.uk