Information compiled by the GradSchools.com team - last updated September 2010
Existing as both an art and a science, architecture plays a dual role in society—provider of aesthetic value and facilitator in the safety, health and welfare of human beings. From the world’s newly embraced ecological perspective, architecture curriculums are also concerned with the conservation and restoration of natural resources. Therefore, professionals working in architecture careers realize not only their commitment to their profession, but also their commitment and dedication to preserving our planet.
Students enrolled in architecture curriculums learn to create the many types of places in which human beings do everything—live, work, play, sleep, worship and more. Those who pursue a masters or PhD degree in architecture wish to study a specific specialization, or desire an architecture career in which they will teach or research.
Graduate architecture curriculums are numerous and holistic, with an emphasis on theory and research. Architecture courses will focus on the physical characteristics of buildings, the aesthetic principles of the field and the physics behind the structures. Programs are offered at the masters level, PhD level and through graduate certificate programs.
Specific architecture concentrations may include:
- Landscape Architecture
- Urban Design & Planning
- Preservation/Conservation/Sustainable Architecture
- Construction Management
- Interior and Industrial Design
- Real Estate Development
- Architecture Design
- Project Architecture
Regardless of the architecture concentration students may choose, through their architecture courses, students will gain knowledge of all phases of construction projects, including developing reports and drawings, and consulting with clients. Students are likely to take such architecture courses as structural planning, building economics, building design and construction methods.
Because of the increased role of technology in architecture curriculums, students may be required to take courses in computer-aided design and architectural technology. Other architecture courses may include structural mathematics, site planning, urban studies, behavior and space and architectural writing. Studio work is also a major component of architecture curriculums, and students are required to get more hands-on experience through internships.
Architecture curriculums help students prepare for the necessary licensure as well. Degree accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is required in most states. Upon successful completion of a professional architect curriculum and state internship requirements, one is eligible for licensure.
Additionally, registered architects are afforded the opportunity to receive their National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certification. The NCARB certification facilitates reciprocal registrations in other jurisdictions, thus enhancing one’s employment opportunities. Depending on your area of interest, students should research multiple programs to determine which program will fit their needs.
Careers in Architecture
As a result of architecture’s holistic graduate level program offerings, various occupations continually emerge within the field. And because of human beings’ growing dependence on digital technology, careers in architecture are increasingly being offered to those individuals with computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) technology skills.
Students can parlay their design, mathematics, problem-solving and communication skills, as well as their attention to detail, into a number of architecture careers. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there is a high demand for architects and there will continue to be for years to come.
In this highly competitive field, those with a masters or PhD degree in architecture can enter careers as architecture historians and earn an average annual salary of $60,000. Design architects can earn about $62,000 per year, while project architects can command an average annual salary of $75,000. Senior architects can expect to earn about $70,000 a year starting out, and landscape architects about $75,000.
Those who enter architecture careers as senior industrial designers can earn an average annual salary of $80,000. Students with a PhD degree in architecture can serve as professors and earn an average of $67,000 a year to start. Meanwhile, architectural researchers can command an average salary of $71,000 per year as they first begin their architecture careers.
There are many architecture careers available to those who have completed a masters or PhD degree as well as the required licensure requirements. Architecture curriculums are also a great way to get involved with study abroad, as students can be exposed to the greatest structures ever built and learn from their creators.
It’s a rewarding field that impacts thousands if not millions, so start searching for the right architecture graduate program for you.
Check out: Architecture Graduate Programs
Photo by marco castelli [zep]