Career Opportunities with an Architecture Degree

Architecture students develop enhanced, and highly desirable, creative, visual, technical and design-based skills. As well as a career in architecture, there are a number of other opportunities open to you both directly, and indirectly, related to your degree.

If you realise after the first three years (to become a fully-fledged architect takes seven years of study) that you actually don’t want to pursue architecture as a career, don’t panic – you can always take your undergraduate degree and go into a different field (such as engineering or construction), or re-train by doing a postgraduate qualification.

Even if you move into a career completely unrelated to architecture, construction, or engineering there are plenty of transferrable skills you’ll have gained during your three year undergraduate degree that will be useful to a variety of roles.

Here’s more about the career opportunities with an Architecture degree.

What skills will I gain during my Architecture degree?

As well as the specific skills relating to building design and architecture there are a number of core skills that are highly transferrable and sought after by employers in all industries.

These skills are:

  • Numeracy
  • Design and drawing
  • IT skills – usually including computer-aided design (CAD)
  • Project management skills
  • The ability to solve problems in an analytical, logical way
  • Team working skills
  • Written and oral communication
  • Research skills
  • Decision-making abilities
  • Adaptability and flexibility for dealing with unexpected situations
  • The ability to reflect on, and improve, your professional performance

For any job, but particularly if you’re going to go on and train to be an architect, completing a work experience or industrial placement will help you develop an understanding of architectural practices and the industry from the inside.

As well as generating some good contacts, it will build your confidence as well as your skills. It will also demonstrate to potential employers that you are hard-working, reliable and motivated.

Jobs directly related to your Architecture degree


Of course, the obvious role is an architect, and this is what the large majority of graduates go on to after completing their undergraduate degree.

Typically your daily responsibilities may include:

  • Discussing the objectives, requirements and budget of a project
  • Consulting with other professionals about design
  • Preparing and presenting feasibility reports and design proposals
  • Advising the client on the practicality of their project;
  • Using IT – specifically CAD
  • keeping within financial budgets and deadlines
  • Producing detailed workings, drawings and specifications
  • Specifying the nature and quality of materials required
  • preparing tender applications and presentations
  • Negotiating with contractors and other professionals
  • Preparing applications for planning and building control departments
  • Drawing up tender documents for contracts
  • Project managing and helping to coordinate the work of contractors
  • Controlling a project from start to finish
  • Regular site visits to check on progress
  • Ensuring that the project is running on time and to budget
  • Resolving problems and issues that arise during construction
  • Ensuring that the environmental impact of the project is managed

Architectural Technologist

This is another common career path for Architecture graduates. Chartered architectural technologists are qualified to lead a project from start to finish and specialise in the technology of architecture, focusing on the design of buildings for use and performance.

This includes concept and technical design, development and detailing, construction technology, contract administration, creating inclusive environments, and sustainability.

Work isn’t just limited to new buildings either. As an Architectural Technologist you could be refurbishing or altering existing buildings to better suit a new purpose.

Typical daily responsibilities aren’t dissimilar to an architect’s but there may be more of a focus on recycling and re-using existing materials (in the case of refurbishments).

You may also be responsible for making changes or maintaining a building after completion to ensure it meets its performance expectations.

Jobs not directly related to your Architecture degree

There are a large number of jobs that aren’t directly related to your Architecture degree but none the less provide rewarding, and in many cases lucrative, alternative careers.

Some jobs will require further qualifications, such as interior and spatial design or landscape architecture, but the skills you’ve gained during your undergraduate degree would be extremely useful.

If you were more interested in the construction aspect of your course, building surveying or development and planning surveying might appeal, or perhaps other roles within the community and local environment, like town planning.

There are some specialised areas that could also be of interest, particularly if your interested was in the history or architecture or you have a passion for the environment, such as historic building inspectors and conservation officers.

Equally there are roles within the broadcasting industry that would appeal to an Architecture graduate. For example, production designers in the film and TV industry need people who can visualise and produce sets and realistic location.