Architectural technologist: job description
While architects are responsible for coming up with initial concepts and designs, architectural technologists are more concerned with the technical side of construction. Architectural technologists work closely with architects and other building professionals and they try to resolve any potential design problems before construction starts.
Work activities can vary depending on the project, but typical duties can include:
- selecting the best materials and processes for the project
- surveying sites, identifying location benefits and environmental impacts
- analysing architectural plans and drawings, highlighting any possible risks or problems and making amendments using computer-aided design applications (CAD)
- specifying the appropriate technology and tools to be used in the project and advising where this requires deviation from the initial design plans
- liaising with the architect, surveyors and other construction professionals
- handing the project over to the client and making sure the building is appropriately furnished
Most work is carried out in the office, although site visits are common. Architectural technologists usually work as part of a team of professionals. Hours are typically 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Extra hours during the evenings and weekends may be required where project deadlines dictate.
For information on salaries see our construction salary guide.
- Private construction firms and contractors
- Property developers
- Building societies
- Planning departments and local authorities
- Housing groups and charities
- Higher education and research institutes
If you want to be able to take responsibility for a project from start to finish, a degree programme accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technology (CIAT) is required. Many students take a four-year sandwich course for the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the workplace while studying.
The next step for architectural technologists is chartership with the CIAT. Chartered members are recognised within the industry; they can become self-employed and are able to manage a construction project from start to finish, negotiating contracts and suggesting design solutions. They can also expect a higher salary and will see their professional horizons abroad widen.
- A strong interest in architecture, mathematics, drawing and design, with an excellent eye for detail
- Art and design skills to complement technical know-how
- Strong communication and leadership skills
- Competence in CAD
- An analytical mind with strong problem-solving ability
- Strong leadership and organisation skills
- The ability to work on your own initiative and as part of a team
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
- High levels of creativity, imagination and vision
- The ability to work well under time and budget pressures
- Must enjoy working with your hands and be willing to work outdoors