Architecture is an exciting field—behind every building there is a whole team of architects working on each and every detail. If you’ve ever looked at blueprints and thought “I could do that” or looked at a building and said “Why not me?” then this article is for you.
There are a few paths to becoming an architect, because there are a few different types of architects. All of them learn history and theory and design, but some programs focus mainly on becoming a designer while others focus on becoming a full-fledged, certified architect (and that certification means something!)
If you want to be a designer, a four or five year bachelors program might be for you. A B.Arch is a five-year professional degree that leads into a lot of depth about design, structural engineering, and technology. This degree is intended for people who want to end their studies there and go into the architecture field as a National Architectural Accrediting Board-accredited Bachelor of Architecture. You’re educated enough to do your own work, but you’re haven’t gone through as much rigorous training as the architects headed to grad school.
If you’re going that route, you’ll want a bachelors in architecture—which will focus on much of the same stuff as the B.Arch only with more design and theory classes, preparing you for graduate school. By the end of the program, a Bachelor of Architecture should be able to apply critical thinking and design into a variety of projects. Then it’s time to move onto the Master of Architecture degree. This is a three-year intensive program which is then followed by an internship. It’s often said that you work as hard as a doctor and get paid as much as a janitor, but by the time you’ve passed your tests and are NAAB accredited you’ll be a fully-fledged architect ready to hang out your shingle and start your own business.